California Legislators Hold Hearing on the Ongoing Threat of Piracy
Author:  Jessica Garcia
Date:  06/29/2011

A cross-section of leaders from creative industries impacted by piracy and counterfeiting were called upon last week to provide testimony at an informational hearing, “The Ongoing Threat of Piracy to our Economy,” convened by California State Senator Curren Price, Chairman of the Joint Committee on the Arts, and Committee member Senator Ron Calderon.

Held last week on the Paramount Studios lot, the hearing opened with a screening of New York City’s latest public service announcement (PSA) aimed at educating the public on the consequences of piracy. The PSA gives a face to the below-the-line movie industry workers impacted by content theft.

Kevin Suh, Senior Vice President of Content Protection, Internet, testified on behalf of the MPAA. Informing on the threat of rogue websites, he stated:

The sites, whose operators are located throughout the world, take many forms, but have in common the simple fact that all materially contribute to, facilitate and/or induce the distribution of copyrighted works, such as movies and television programming.

These “rogue” websites are increasingly sophisticated and take on many attributes of legitimate content delivery sites, creating additional enforcement challenges and feeding consumer confusion.

Rogue sites legislation, at the federal level, is needed to address the threat to our industry. 

Other panelists included representatives from the Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition; Teamsters Local 399; the Business Software Alliance; the Recording Industry Association of America; Levi Strauss & Co.; and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The overall message of the hearing was that piracy and counterfeiting is a serious threat to all creative industries, consumers, and the economy.

A webcast of the hearing is available here.