Now Is the Time to Speak Up About Digital Theft

Artists and creators who want to speak up about their experiences battling digital theft of their work have a new platform at artistsagainstdigitaltheft.com

The Copyright Alliance today announced the new web site, which lets individuals write in their stories and provides them a direct link to send a letter to their congressional representatives expressing support for legislation to address the problem.

The effort coincides with introduction in the U.S. Senate of a new bipartisan bill called the PROTECT IP Act, which would give law enforcement the tools it needs to target operators of sites engaged in for-profit trafficking in counterfeit and unlicensed copyrighted products.  Leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives are likely to introduce similar legislation in the coming weeks.

As artists in every creative field are all too aware, digital theft of their work is a threat to their livelihoods. Websites trafficking in unlicensed, infringing content divert customers from legitimate online outlets, robbing creators of both income and opportunity to connect with their fan base. To add insult to injury, these website operators are profiting themselves on the backs of artists, either by charging directly for purchase of the unlicensed work or through ad revenue. Also frustrating is that chasing down all this illegal activity detracts from the ability to devote time and energy toward their work.

Artists need to know that there are aggressive voices on the other side who believe artists’ rights should be secondary to an unfettered right-to-steal. We have recently written about these tactics, and will continue to highlight examples of this “sky-is-falling” rhetoric as congressional activity continues.

These voices should not go unchallenged. The copyright holder next door - photographers, graphic artists, songwriters, authors – the entire creative community that sometimes is unseen as the businesses that they are, need to speak out on this issue.

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