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CreativeFuture Lines Up Industry Figures in Call for Ad Industry to Address Piracy

Bruce Cohen, Gale Anne Hurd, Spike Lee, Michael London, Lisa Henson, Alec Berg, Marshall Herskovitz, Ken Kamins and Dan Jinks are among the industry figures who have lent their names to a letter to representatives from the advertising industry, urging them to continue to pursue proposals to curb advertisements that appear on sites that traffic heavily in pirated content.

“We appreciate past efforts by the advertising industry to reduce piracy, but also agree with you that more needs to be done,” wrote Ruth Vitale, executive director of CreativeFuture, in the letter. “Legitimate advertisers often find themselves unwittingly supporting these sites with their ad dollars. Piracy jeopardizes the rights of all creative individuals, puts jobs at risk, and undermines innovative online distribution services.” The full letter is here.

CreativeFuture is mobilizing the industry’s production and creative community as the industry seeks different ways to fight piracy. So much of the industry’s fight against online infringement has been centered on action by D.C. lobbyists and trade associations, studio legal divisions or MPAA public service announcements. CreativeFuture has 250 member companies and organizations so far, and part of its mission will be to underscore “value of creativity in today’s digital age.”

With any future legislation doubtful, the latest push has been to push for voluntary action, including urging advertisers to take steps to prevent their sponsorships from appearing on sites. The idea has been to choke off the money flowing the infringing sites.

Last week, representatives from three advertising industry organizations — the Assn. of National Advertisers, the American Assn. of Advertising Agencies and the Interactive Advertising Bureau — sent a letter to the Congressional International Creativity and Theft-Prevention Caucus outlining a series of steps the industry has taken, including a statement of best practices adopted in 2012 and, more recently, an independent validation process for companies to use in deploying technology that prevents ads from being placed on infringing sites.

Hollywood studios and unions launched Creative America in 2011, and it was rebranded CreativeFuture earlier this year. Vitale joined the organization last year.

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