Los Angeles – American Federation of Musicians (AFM), American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), Directors Guild of America (DGA), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada (IATSE), International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) today released the following statement:
“We commend the Senate Judiciary Committee for passing S. 978, the Commercial Felony Streaming Act, out of committee. This marks the second time in three weeks that the Senate Judiciary Committee has taken decisive action to approve legislation that can make a significant difference in fighting the scourge of online content theft.
“We congratulate Senator Klobuchar, Senator Cornyn and Senator Coons, who introduced the Commercial Felony Streaming Act, for recognizing that digital content theft via streaming is just as illegal as digital content theft via downloading, and for leading the charge to apply the same criminal penalties to illegal streaming that already apply to illegal downloading.
“As the Guilds and Unions that represent more than 400,000 entertainment industry workers including craftspeople, actors, technicians, directors, musicians, recording artists and others whose creativity is at the heart of the American entertainment industry, we are dedicated to the passage of strong legislation that will help us to protect the jobs, residuals and pension & health benefits that allow our members to make a living creating the movies, television shows and sound recordings that are enjoyed by millions around the world.
“The Commercial Felony Streaming Act, together with the PROTECT IP Act that was also passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee three weeks ago, is critical to the ability of law enforcement to actively and effectively combat the online theft of our members’ work. Make no mistake: the illegal streaming of content for commercial or financial gain is a crime, and the Commercial Felony Streaming Act places the appropriate criminal label on the activity. This legislation is an important step forward in our efforts to stem the rising tide of Internet theft that threatens our members’ very livelihoods.”