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Internet Piracy Hurts Individual Creators, Not Just "Industries,"
Say the Entertainment Unions

January 25, 2005 - The following is a joint statement from the American Federation of Musicians, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Directors Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild, and the Writers Guild of America, west regarding today's filing in Supreme Court of a friend of the court brief in the Grokster case.

"Copyright infringement on the Internet harms individual actors, directors, musicians, vocalists and writers.  Sound recordings, movies and television programs are the unique artistic creations of the individual performers who make them and those same performers depend upon income from legitimate distribution networks to earn their livings and continue creating. 

"As consumers around the world are entering the digital age of instant access to music, movies and other media, the debate over access too often obscures the voice of the artist and creator. Nowhere has this absence been more evident than in the discussion of who is affected by P2P networks.

"Peer-to-peer piracy allows copyrighted works to be downloaded without the authorization or compensation of creators. In addition, an artist's work - when distributed in an unprotected digital format through peer-to-peer networks - is easily altered and exploited, so that it no longer resembles what the actor, director, musician, vocalist or writer intended, yet is distributed under their names.
 
"If the work of creators is not protected, and is used around the world without just payment, it is very likely that, in the end, neither the creator nor the copyright holder will be able to continue to make this work available. The losers will not only be those artists whose talent and hard work is the creative heart on each screen, TV and Ipod; but also the very public that enjoys quality movies, music and television."


                          AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS (AFM)
  AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TELEVISION AND RADIO ARTISTS (AFTRA)
                              DIRECTORS GUILD OF AMERICA (DGA)
                                    SCREEN ACTORS GUILD (SAG)
                          WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, WEST (WGA)


AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS (AFM)
The American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada is the largest organization in the world dedicated to representing the interests of professional musicians.  Whether it is negotiating fair agreements, protecting ownership of recorded music, securing benefits such as health care and pension, or lobbying our legislators the AFM is committed to raising industry standards and placing the professional musician in the foreground of the cultural landscape. For more information visit the website at www.afm.org.

AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TELEVISION AND RADIO ARTISTS (AFTRA)
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists -- affiliated with the AFL-CIO -- is a diverse national union representing nearly 80,000 professional performers, broadcasters and recording artists in 32 Locals throughout the country. AFTRA members work as actors, broadcast journalists, dancers, singers, announcers, hosts, comedians and disc jockeys in all aspects of the media industries including television and radio, sound recordings, commercials, industrial non-broadcast, interactive games and the Internet. More information on AFTRA is available at www.aftra.com.

DIRECTORS GUILD OF AMERICA (DGA)
The Directors Guild of America was founded in 1936 to protect the economic and creative rights of directors.  Over the years its membership has expanded to include the directorial team - Unit Production Managers, Assistant Directors, Technical Coordinators, Associate Directors, Stage Managers and Production Associates.  Today, through the collective voice of more than 12,900 members, the Guild seeks to protect the rights of directorial teams, to contend for their creative freedom and strengthen their ability to develop meaningful and lifelong careers in film, tape and digital media.

SCREEN ACTORS GUILD (SAG)
Screen Actors Guild is the nation's largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists' rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 branches nationwide, SAG represents nearly 120,000 working actors in film, television, industrials, commercials and music videos. The Guild exists to enhance actors' working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists' rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Headquartered in Los Angeles, you can visit SAG online at www.sag.org

WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA, WEST (WGA)
Founded in 1933, the Writers Guild of America, east and west represent writers in the motion picture, broadcast, cable, and new media industries in both entertainment and news. The union conducts numerous programs, seminars, and events throughout the world on issues of interest to, and on behalf of, writers.

Contact:
AFM, Honore Stockley:  315-422-4488, ext 104
AFTRA, Rebecca Rhine:  415-713-8301
DGA, Morgan Rumpf:  310-549-6872
SAG, Seth Oster: 323-549-6872
WGA, Gabriel Scott:  323-782-4603

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