AFL-CIO chiefs back piracy fight

Executive council supports Hollywood effort

Hollywood’s fight against piracy has received the official backing of the AFL-CIO executive council, which has stressed that theft of intellectual property leads to job losses.

The AFL-CIO, which includes SAG, AFTRA, the WGA East and IATSE, issued an unanimous endorsement of a statement offering a detailed analysis of the harm done to U.S. workers by piracy.

“Motion pictures, television, sound recordings and other entertainment are a vibrant part of the U.S. economy,” the statement said. “They yield one of its few remaining trade surpluses. The online theft of copyrighted works and the sale of illegal CDs and DVDs threaten the vitality of U.S. entertainment and thus its working people.”

SAG prexy Ken Howard, a member of the exec council, said, “Today’s action provides important support to the tens of thousands of men and women in the entertainment industry whose jobs are threatened by illegal duplication and download of movies and television shows.”

The AFL-CIO noted that digital theft of sound recordings costs the U.S. economy $12.5 billion in total output and costs U.S. workers 71,060 jobs while feature film piracy results in an estimated $5.5 billion in lost wages annually, and the loss of an estimated 141,030 jobs that would otherwise have been created.

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