Today, Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia spoke at a press conference in Richmond to highlight the economic benefits of film production in Virginia and how to preserve jobs by passing rogue sites legislation. Stephen Spielberg’s “LINCOLN” is currently filming at Virginia’s historic State Capitol. The film will have an estimated economic impact of $35 million in Virginia. The economic impact of the film industry in Virginia in 2010 was $344 million with 2,700 Virginians actively working in the sector.
At the press conference, Governor McDonnell spoke about the importance of rogue sites legislation to preserving jobs. Rogue sites legislation, the PROTECT IP Act (S.968) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261) in the House, will preserve American jobs and target foreign websites that steal and profit from counterfeit goods and stolen creative content like books, movies and music.
McDonnell said, “One of the things that’s very important at this stage though in film production is to be able to protect the intellectual property rights of our great film producers. Unfortunately, we have the best storytellers, the best filmmakers, the best actors, and the best technology in America but yet so much of that is pirated by other countries.”
He added, “It’s a significant loss to the American taxpayer and the American filmmaker. And so, there’s legislation in front of Congress that has gotten bipartisan support, the IP protection act. I’ve written a letter in support of that act. And we’re very hopeful that the Congress will pass that to be able to protect the intellectual genius of Americans by not having it pirated by other countries who don’t have laws as tough as ours. “
Governor McDonnell is part of a bipartisan coalition of governors from across the country who support rouge sites legislation. The following governors have given their support: Dannell Malloy (Connecticut), Jack Markell ( Delaware), Pat Quinn (Illinois), Sam Brownback (Kansas), Bev Perdue (North Carolina), Brian Sandoval (Nevada), Dennis Daugaard (South Dakota), Gary Herbert (Utah), and Peter Shumlin (Vermont).
As he indicated in his remarks, Governor McDonnell has previously expressed his support for the PROTECT IP Act. On August 15, he wrote to Senators Patrick Leahy, Orrin Hatch, and Charles Grassley and Representative Bob Goodlatte in support of rogue sites legislation. He wrote, “As you are aware, copyright infringement and the sale of counterfeit goods has reportedly cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs, as well as billions of dollars in lost revenue to federal, state and local governments. During these difficult economic times, preventing the loss of jobs and revenue is more important than ever.”
A video of the event is available here.