Friday, October 22, 2010

If You Believe That Authors Have A Right To Earn A Living

This is an email from Lucinda Dugger, Director of The Copyright Alliance:

Dear Copyright Advocates,

A couple weeks ago I emailed you about a bill that has been introduced in the Senate that will combat online infringement of copyrighted works (it's called the "Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act" or "COICA"). I encouraged you to sign a petition in favor of the bill.

Though many of you did this, our efforts have not been enough.

The opponents of this bill have been active in mobilizing the masses to speak out against it. The result of their efforts is that it seems like the public is against this bill. Yet, I hear from you everyday about how websites are illegally posting your creative works for others to take and how this affects your livelihood.

This bill would benefit all artists and creators! TAKE ACTION TODAY! Stand up for your rights!
1.   Speak up on blogs and listservs.  Last week I blogged about a musician who spoke out in favor of the bill on a website. When he did so, others verbally attacked him calling him a "greedy pig" among other things. This musician and other artists need your support on this effort. Post blogs and comments on your own websites or on websites like this one.
2.   Contact your Senator and House Representative.  Tell your congressional representatives to vote YES to the bill. Tell them your story and how piracy and infringement affect you.

      To find and email your Senator, go here.
      To find and email your House Representative, go here.
3.   Tweet this:  Stop online piracy of art, music, movies, books, all creative works. Vote yes to Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act #COICA
4.   Facebook this:  The U.S. Congress is debating a bill that could help millions of artists around the world. If passed, the bill would allow the government to target and shut down "internet sites dedicated to infringing activities" which are "primarily designed" to access unauthorized copyrighted material. Tell your representatives to vote YES to the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA).
1.   Check out this short video by independent filmmaker Ellen Seidler as she talks about how websites that are illegally hosting her movie are profiting. Yet, she is losing money. This bill will help shut down websites like these.
2.   The bill will not target minor violations of copyright. It will target "internet sites dedicated to infringing activities" that are "primarily designed" to offer or provide access to copyrighted material "without the authorization of the copyright owner."
3.   The Attorney General will be able to request a court order to suspend the domain names of U.S.-based infringing websites. For non-U.S.-based websites, the Attorney General will be able to request a court order to require the ISPs to block the website. Credit card companies and networks providing ads to these sites will also suspend all activity with the infringing sites.
4.   A list of all the domain names that are found to be infringing copyright protected content will be posted on a "publicly available Internet site, together with other relevant information, in order to inform the public."
Last February we made you aware of "Pilfered Magazine", an online magazine that freely took images from photographers without their permission and didn't credit or compensate the photographers. Because of your emails, Tweets, and postings on blogs and Facebook, the magazine was shut down in a weekend and has never reopened.

It is important that we take collective action on this bill too. Pilfered is not the only website that hosts and offers infringing material. This bill will help remove other websites like Pilfered from the internet.


Lucinda Dugger
P.S. If you received this email from a friend, and you are interested in receiving more information about how you can speak up for your rights, sign up for our network of Copyright Advocates.