The website demandprogress.org, a paid lobbying organization that promotes itself as a progressive voice, forgets that being anti-labor is hardly progressive. In fact, in its latest campaign to generate attention, demandprogress appears to have allied itself with at least one – and who knows how many more – offshore rogue websites that promote the theft and illegal marketing of American products like movies, video games and software. Is that progress? For the 2.4 million workers in the entertainment industry, and for the millions of others who owe their livelihoods to other forms of creative content, the resounding answer is NO!
Even as demandprogress is boasting of hundreds of thousands of signatures in its drive to protect offshore rogue websites, we learned today that one of their partners in this business is demonoid.me, a Montenegro-based online trafficker of stolen content, which is hosting the so-called demandprogress grassroots petition against the PROTECT IP Act.
So, in the end we have a website that is content to ally itself with criminal enterprises that have a strong, direct, personal and commercial interest in continuing to steal from American creative workers and businesses.
And we have a petition that allows anyone to sign on.
Unlike many other petition gathering organizations that provide safeguards against abuse, the demandprogress site allows literally anyone to sign on. Anyone. Just to see if we could, we signed on twice using arbitrary names, bogus emails, and random U.S. zip codes.
We can assure you, StripeytheLizard (StripeytheLizard@gmail.com, zip code: 90008) and Zedonk, (Zedonk585858@gmail.com, zip code: 91011) are both now listed as petition signers; neither are voting constituents of the stated zip codes; neither have real emails; and both were entered by the same individual.
Contrast this petition with the letter-writing campaign launched by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, whose over 110,000 members make it the largest labor union in the entertainment industry.
Stagehands, makeup artists, and costume designers are only a few of the crafts served by IATSE. These hardworking, middle-class Americans are real people who are facing the all-too-tangible consequences of online theft: disappearing jobs, declining pensions, and diminished health and retirement benefits.
In a personal appeal, IATSE President Matthew Loeb explains how online theft works, what’s at stake, and how his members and supporters can advocate for a solution, directing them to an online advocacy form to support the PROTECT IP Act. Writing a support letter to your U.S. Senators requires a title, a first and last name, a full address, email and local number, if applicable.
We hope that at the end of the day, the scores of letter-writers fighting for their livelihoods – building a groundswell of support for protecting American jobs from foreign, criminal interests – are the ones being heard.