Industry organization looking to help rank-and-file

While Hollywood’s Washington lobby has been pressing for new anti-piracy legislation, there’s a new push to enlist the help of the industry rank-and-file and even the general public.

A coalition of labor unions, guilds, studios and networks on Tuesday announced a nationwide campaign to sound a warning about the online piracy of movies and TV shows, tying copyright infringement to jobs.

Creative America has launched a newly designed website — with the motto “the entertainment community united against content theft” — with a focus not on stars, but on crew members like location managers, craft services workers and camera operators across the country. NBCUniversal’s TV networks will broadcast a PSA, and a petition is being circulated in social media.

Creative America exec director Mike Nugent called it a “nationwide mobilization campaign.” Creative America was formed because “what was missing were the voices of the people most affected.”

The org estimates that more than 500,000 movies are illegally distributed each day worldwide. Websites offering stolen content, they say, generate about 146 million visits per day.

Their effort also is designed to push for passage of the Protect IP Act, a bill pending in Congress aimed at choking off support for websites devoted to infringing content. The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill unanimously earlier this year, and it is awaiting introduction in the House. The Senate legislation has drawn opposition from digital rights groups and tech firms like Google, Yahoo and eBay.

The orgs involved in the Creative America effort also are fanning out on sets and studio lots to enlist supporters for the effort, stationed at studio commissaries or other well-trafficked areas.

The coalition includes AFTRA, CBS Corp., the DGA, IATSE, NBCUniversal, SAG, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, Viacom, Disney and Warner Bros.

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