Contact: Gregg Mitchell (323) 782-4574
 
News Release: September 29, 2010
Writers Applaud Anti-Piracy Bill

WGAW supports new legislation introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy

LOS ANGELES -- The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) today announced its strong support for Senate Bill 3804, the “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act.” Introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and co-sponsored by Ranking Member Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Senators Evan Bayh (D-IN), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Charles Schumer  (D-NY), Arlen Specter (D-PA), George Voinovich (R-OH), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), the bill protects both the value of intellectual property and Internet freedom.

The WGAW is firmly committed to curtailing piracy and protecting the value copyrighted works create. Websites illegally exhibiting copyrighted material, such as the ones targeted by this bill, threaten the ability of writers to sustain and develop content.

In a letter to Chairman Leahy and the bill’s co-sponsors, WGAW President John Wells wrote, “The Guild strongly endorses this legislation’s approach to copyright enforcement. We are encouraged by the development of anti-piracy efforts that respect free speech and the right to privacy. We believe preservation of an open Internet and copyright protection are essential objectives; neither of which can be sacrificed to achieve the other. By creating a legal process empowering the Department of Justice to shut down websites hosting or streaming unauthorized content, this bill achieves both and strikes at the pocketbooks of Internet pirates.”

To read the WGAW letter, click here.

To read S. 3804, click here.

The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) is a labor union representing writers of motion pictures, television, radio and Internet programming, including news and documentaries. Founded in 1933, the Guild negotiates and administers contracts that protect the creative and economic rights of its members. It is involved in a wide range of programs that advance the interests of writers, and is active in public policy and legislative matters on the local, national and international levels. For more information on the WGAW, please visit: www.wga.org.