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Response to Skinner (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 11:22 PM

77. The unions of the AFL-CIO that represent professionals...

...in the Arts, Entertainment and Media Industries (AEMI) include Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA), the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts (IATSE), the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) are wholly in support of the widest possible access to content on the Internet and the principles of net neutrality, so long as intellectual property rights—and the hundreds of thousands of jobs that are at stake—are respected.

Some would like to portray the debate over Internet theft as one in which a few wealthy artists, creators and powerful corporations are concerned about “giving away” their “product” because they are greedy and cannot change with the times to create new business models. The hundreds of thousands of people represented by the AEMI unions of the AFL-CIO are a testament to the falsity of that proposition.

Online theft and the sale of illegal CDs and DVDs are not “victimless crimes.” Digital theft costs jobs and benefits. It is critical, at this important moment in the evolution of the Internet and potential Internet policy, for union members and leaders to publicly and visibly engage in a sustained effort to protect members’ livelihoods, the creation and innovation that are the hallmark of their work and the economic health and viability of the creative industries in this country. The AEMI unions and other unions in U.S. entertainment stress that pirated content is devastating to the entertainment professionals who create the underlying works.

The AFL-CIO strongly supports the efforts of the AEMI unions and the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO, to combat piracy. It commends their work with government and industry to develop workable solutions to protect the interests of their members. The AFL-CIO urges its affiliate unions to educate their members about the adverse impact of piracy; to support efforts to ensure that government officials and lawmakers are aware of, and support the protection of, entertainment industry jobs that will be lost to online theft; to encourage their members to respect copyright law; and to urge their members, as a matter of union solidarity, to never illegally download or stream pirated content or purchase illegal CDs and DVDs.


http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/pdf/Almeida%2011162011.pdf

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