Veteran industry exec Ruth Vitale is coming on board to head the entertainment industry’s anti-piracy Creative America initiative, which is backed by the motion picture and television businesses and Hollywood’s labor unions.
Vitale and Creative America declined to comment when contacted by Variety. But sources indicated that Vitale will join the two-year-old venture in the fall with a mandate to build awareness of the negative impact of piracy.
The Creative America organization launched in July, 2011, as a nonprofit coalition aimed at fighting theft of copyrighted content with backing from the Motion Picture Assn. of America, Warner Bros., Viacom, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Co., Viacom, CBS, NBCUniversal, SAG-AFTRA, the DGA and IATSE.
The group came together largely to galvanize grassroots support for the federal Protect IP and Stop Online Piracy Act, but it proved to be no match for an unprecedented campaign propelled by Silicon Valley against the legislation, which included millions of emails from Internet users to Capitol Hill and an Internet blackout on sites like Wikipedia. Early last year, that effective viral protest quashed the legislative effort that was also fueled by free-speech concerns and general public distaste for government interference.
Vitale served for seven years as co-president of Paramount Pictures’ specialty film label Paramount Classics (which subsequently became Paramount Vantage), leaving in 2005. She then worked as president of the now defunct producer-distributor First Look Pictures until 2007. Vitale has recently been heading the Film Collective, a consultancy firm that works with filmmakers, financiers and production companies on strategic planning for their movies.
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Earlier in her career, Vitale handled acquisitions and co-productions at New Line.