Collectively, the Directors Guild of America (DGA), the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), the Writer’s Guild of America, East and West (WGAw, WGAe), and the Screen Actors Guild–American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) represent approximately 331,000 directors, actors, craftspeople, performers, tech developers, writers, and others whose creativity is the American entertainment industry’s beating heart. This number does not include the near infinite untold global artists whose intellectual property, which they pour their body and soul into. They are among their fellow artists who suffer daily at the hands of the infinite nameless faceless thieves.
The entertainment guilds, unions, and non-represented artists all stakeholders hold dear, and know the optimum manner by which to combat Intellectual Property (IP) infringement, and assess the United States government’s enforcement efforts, the United Nations, and other global governments. Those who suffer the most, and those who gain the most, are those who know how best to police or not to police this global criminal enterprise.
Artists rejoice in the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator’s (IPEC) “Strategic Plan”, particularly its involvement in the implementation of the White House’s Administration-wide enforcement operations accordingly “Operation in Our Sites” and its role in facilitating best practices agreements between private parties participating in the blossoming online ecosystem. Its enforcement actions involve federal agencies procuring seizure warrants, then seizing the web site domain, and the prosecution thereof. Those efforts are compelled to maintain and sustain, and expand exponentially in direct proportion to IP criminal activity.
Unfortunately, the ongoing threats expressed within the IPEC’s June 4th, 2013 Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement comments are even more relevant today than they were on that day. IP theft remains a perennial barricade to the Internet fulfilling its potential as a significant, lawful distribution channel for the high-quality works created, and often owned by the respective guilds and unions’ innovative and entrepreneurial members.
IP theft delivers an injurious, and to many, a crushing economic blow by constricting artists’ employment availability; moreover, by siphoning their downstream revenue. However, there are also fewer tangible costs from IP theft. These costs cannot be quantified fiscally pursuant to the Notice, (OMB) but they are equally important to the cost-effective analysis between IP enforcement and its ultimate cost. What cannot be wholly quantified within a limited forecast is the unquantifiable value that creativity bestows to global society and culture, the cornucopia of creativity that thrives in societies with strong and enforceable Intellectual Property laws, and the impact of IP theft on the creative, fundamental rights that directors,...