Thursday November 8, 2012 3:20 PM
Arts+Labs has long believed that it is critical that Internet users both respect other users’ rights and are able to express themselves online without fear of government censorship or persecution for unpopular views. The Internet can be a powerful tool for spreading freedom and for empowering individuals to take control of their own lives. Thus, we are greatly disturbed by reports that two Vietnamese songwriters have been sentenced to prison for posting songs online that criticize their government.
August 14, 2012 1.52 PM
By revising its search algorithms to help users find legal content instead of pirated materials online, Google has sent a potentially important signal about the future of Internet commerce. We are crossing our fingers that this move will prove a win-win for consumers and creators, who have been victimized too often by those who profit from the theft of creative content. While more can and must be done without sacrificing fundamental Internet principles such as openness and privacy, this is an important step towards a fairer Internet ecosystem.
Arts + Labs has long advocated for a digital environment marked by fair play and respect for the rights of all Internet participants, including the creators of Internet content. Digital society thrives when creators are confident that they can safely share their work and consumers have confidence that the web sites and content they access are legal and safe.
April 6, 2012, 1:35 PM
Reopening this case reminds us of the continuing need to create an Internet ecosystem that protects content creators’ rights, and acknowledges limitations on liability afforded to service providers while also providing Internet users with convenient legal access to high quality creative works. Part of the answer is continuing enforcement of existing copyright laws and a reasonable approach to safe harbors such as those provided by the DMCA.
But after-the-fact enforcement may sometimes take place only after artists have suffered substantial losses from online theft. To make sure the Internet remains a place where we enjoy music, movie, books, and other creative works, Internet participants need to work together to create a safe online environment in which artists’ rights are respected, safe harbors from liability are maintained, consumers are able to enjoy creative works, and copyright theft is not tolerated.
Arts + Labs Launches “Innovation Central” to Highlight New Business Models that Provide Safe, Legal and Affordable Content to Consumers Online
Coalition of Media and Technology Companies Underscores “Good News Stories” around New Technologies; Verizon’s Paveen Atreya, AT&T’s Ed Schmit, Patronism.com’s John Pointer and More Discuss Innovations
New York, NY – February 29, 2012 – Arts+Labs, a unique alliance of the technology, content and creative communities whose members include AT&T, Microsoft, NBC Universal, Verizon and Viacom, today announced the launch of their “Innovation Central” program to highlight the Internet innovations and new business models that provide safe, legal and affordable content to consumers. The program kicks-off with a series of interviews with notable entrepreneurs and Internet innovators that are featured on TechCrunch and in the Huffington Post, as well as housed on the Arts+Labs website at http://artsandlabs.com/innovation.
“Innovation Central” focuses on the technologies that ensure that innovators and content holders can easily and effectively share and manage their work through new channels online. Conducted by Arts+Labs advisors, including acclaimed Internet speaker, author and broadcaster Andrew Keen, Host of the TechCrunch show “Keen On,” Rick Carnes, President of the Songwriters Guild of America, and Chris Castle, veteran music industry commentator and lawyer, the interviews include conversations with:
- Ed Schmit, Director of AT&T’s Developer Program, on the company’s commitment to radical innovation, particularly in the medical and energy sectors
- Paveen Atreya, Director of the LTE Innovation Center, on the Verizon Innovation Program and bringing innovation to consumers through their rich network of Internet ecosystem partners
- John Pointer, CEO, Patronism.com, on Patronism.com, a website that allows artist fans to make music happen by connecting with and pledging their support to their favorite musicians
- Matt Urmy, President of Artist Growth, LLC, on his groundbreaking mobile software platform that gives both amateurs and seasoned artists the tools to manage and grow their business
Other interviews to date include conversations with Evan Lowenstein, CEO of StageIt, Damon Berger, Executive Vice President of Digital Networks, Sony Pictures Television, Ty Roberts, Founder & CTO Gracenote and Greg Goodfried, President and Co-founder, EQAL, and more. As “Innovation Central” progresses, each interview will continue to promote the Internet as a showcase of creativity while emphasizing the value of intellectual property.
“Arts+Labs operates on the core belief that quality content drives the Internet and that distribution of easily accessible, affordable and secure content in the Internet age requires new and innovative business models,” said Mike McCurry, Co-Chair of Arts+Labs. “‘Innovation Central’ provides Arts+Labs with another platform to highlight and herald the new business models of today’s Internet ecosystem and share their successes,” added Mark McKinnon, Co-Chair of Arts+Labs.
Arts+Labs members include AT&T, Viacom, NBC Universal, Cisco, Microsoft, BMI, JibJab, Auditude, ASCAP, Blue Pixel, Verizon and the Songwriters Guild of America. For more information, go to www.artsandlabs.com.
Emma Post for Arts+Labs
The introduction in the House of Representatives of legislation to combat the theft of U.S. intellectual property represents an important step in the fight to sustain American creativity and support individual innovators. The newly-introduced Stop Online Piracy Act, along with the PROTECT IP legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate earlier this year provide a way to push back against rogue websites that seek to profit from digital counterfeiting and piracy.
While adjustments will be necessary to reconcile the House and Senate bills and secure the votes for final passage, Arts + Labs endorses the key premise in both measures: namely, that all actors in the Internet ecosystem must play a role in helping protect the rights of those who create content while fostering innovation. Ultimately, these twin goals help fight the digital theft that robs the U.S. economy and threatens creativity. We also are pleased that the proposals recognize the critical need for substantial due process safeguards and the central role of federal law enforcement.
Arts + Labs offers a special thanks to House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R- Texas) and Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich) for working across party lines on this economically critical measure. We also applaud the similar bipartisan efforts of IP Subcommittee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va) and Ranking Member Mel Watt (D-NC) and the eight other co-sponsors.
We look forward to working with Congress to ensure that the needs of creative communities, as well as those who provide Internet services and sustain its commerce, are fairly represented in this legislation to protect, preserve, and enhance the American workforce.
Arts+Labs is comprised of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, AT&T, Broadcast Music, Inc., Cisco, Microsoft, NBC Universal, Songwriters Guild of America, Verizon and Viacom.
On Thursday, Arts+Labs issued the following statement on the Center for Copyright Information and Copyright Alert System:
“The Center for Copyright Information and the voluntary Copyright Alert System are important new steps for protecting creators against digital theft so they can safely test innovative business models for delivering quality content and earning a living. Arts+Labs believes these twin initiatives can unite consumers, content creators, Internet service providers, and all members of the Internet ecosystem in creating a safe, legal, and enriching online neighborhood.
Sharing information as outlined in the Copyright Alert System provides consumers with the opportunity to better control their online experience and to support the continued creation of the online content they enjoy. We believe this partnership is an important action against online theft that threatens the continued creation of quality content and could undermine all users’ online experience.”
On Thursday, Arts+labs Co-Chair Mark McKinnon issued the following statement:
Yesterday, at Arts+Labs’ CREATE event in Washington, D.C., Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) discussed the forthcoming PROTECT IP legislation. We valued their participation and believe the conversation was enriched by two important points of view. Of course, this does not mean we agreed with everything they had to say.
In particular, we were surprised by Rep. Polis’ comment that creators will be hurt by efforts to fight the rogue websites that are the most egregious thieves of their products. We beg to differ.
Representative Polis’ primary argument seems to be that blocking access to rogue sites will “break the Internet.” It was surprising that he took this approach given that – as ITIF’s Dan Castro has pointed out – the domain name blocking Rep. Polis was concerned about has already been used for years to block spammers and malware.
This does not “break the internet” when we do it to protect users from spam and malware, and it will not “break the Internet” when it is done to protect creators from theft.
Rogue sites are stealing the best of American creativity and innovation, and along with it American jobs. At the same time, they take advantage of unwary consumers, subjecting them to malware and viruses. The reality if that an Internet that is besieged by pirates is bad for creators, bad for technology companies, and bad for consumers.
As Steve Tepp of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce put it, “The Internet, like all marketplaces, needs rules to protect people from fraud and theft.”
We appreciate Congressman Polis taking time to speak with us at CREATE. And we hope that the discussion will help him understand the concerns of creators and the reasonable, bipartisan approach taken by the PROTECT IP legislation.
Arts+Labs applauds introduction of legislation by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) as the beginning of the legislative process to focus on the creation of new law enforcement tools to crack down on rogue websites dedicated to stealing America’s intellectual and creative property. The Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act, or PROTECT IP Act, builds on bipartisan legislation introduced in 2010 to prevent the theft of billions of dollars of American IP, which leads to hundreds of thousands of lost jobs annually in the United States.
PROTECT IP is a step in the right direction towards combating digital counterfeiting and piracy. We appreciate that this legislation starts from the premise that all actors in the Internet ecosystem should play a role in helping to protect the rights of those who create content, while, at the same time, acknowledging the important need for substantial due process safeguards and the central role of federal law enforcement.
We look forward to working with Congress to ensure that the needs of creative communities, as well as those that provide Internet services and sustain its commerce, are best represented in this legislation to protect, preserve, and enhance the American workforce.
Arts+Labs is a collaboration between technology and creative communities that have embraced today’s rich Internet environment to deliver innovative and creative digital products and services to consumers. Arts+Labs is comprised of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, AT&T, Broadcast Music, Inc., Cisco, Microsoft, NBC Universal, Songwriters Guild of America, Verizon and Viacom.
Arts+Labs, an alliance of the technology, content and creative communities that aim to build an inclusive digital society by encouraging cross industry collaboration, appreciates the opportunity to respond to the Notice of Inquiry on Copyright Policy, Creativity and Innovation in the Internet Economy. A+L seeks an online environment in which innovation and competition
flourish, innovative new content is continually created, and fresh business models can be tested with the knowledge that every participant retains the legal right to the rewards of their creativity. Our members are united by their reliance on intellectual property rights as a fundamental tenet of their business planning and by the conviction that the wholesale digital theft of intellectual property poses a significant threat to the U.S. economy and to the continued evolution of the Internet.
We applaud the Obama administration’s strong public commitment to the defense of intellectual property rights generally and the enforcement of laws designed to protect these rights in the online world. As noted by President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of Commerce Locke (and other senior officials), the law is not suspended because theft occurs in the digital world instead of the physical world. As Vice President Biden has observed: ―Piracy is theft. Plain and simple. It’s smash and grab.
Authors, musicians, filmmakers, inventors, software writers, game developers, journalists and thers who earn a living by creating content are entitled to control the sale and distribution of their work. Absent those assurances, these professionals will be discouraged from producing the high-quality work that consumers enjoy when property rights are protected. The result will be diminution in the volume and quality of online content and the loss of the general economic benefits that flow from this work. As Secretary Locke has noted: ―This isn’t just an issue of right and wrong. This is a fundamental issue of America’s economic competitiveness.
Download PDF here
It’s often said that actions speak louder than words. That is why we think that Google’s recent move to keep rogue online pharmacies from posting ads on their network by taking them to court is so significant.
The company said that despite its best efforts, too many of these outlaw drug stores – which illegally sell pharmaceuticals over the Internet – are using Google’s platform to put consumers at risk. While the company’s decision to litigate may irk those who see any attempt toward Internet safety a violation of free speech, we believe Google deserves a pat on the back for standing up against lawbreakers. It’s a smart and responsible approach. We hope Google will soon adopt the same attitude toward ads for other outlaw activity on the Internet, such as websites that exist for the sole purpose of stealing and distributing creative content such as movies, television shows, and music.
The company’s problem with rogue pharmacies illustrates perfectly why networks, including the Internet, require a reasonable degree of management to make sure that users’ benefit from the safe and effective experience they are entitled to.
We believe all Internet participants should work to eliminate criminal behavior of all types from the Internet. A “wild west” approach may seem romantic in works of fiction, but experience shows it isn’t practical in real life.