Independent Film & Television Alliance Urges Concerted Government Action to Bolster Online Copyright Protections

Monday, December 13, 2010

Los Angeles, CA, Dec. 13, 2010-- The Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA), commenting on how online piracy has put at risk future production by harming independents ability to recoup minimum guarantees, has urged the Department of Commerce and other government agencies to take concerted action to enhance effective online copyright protections.
IFTA submitted the comments Friday in response to a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) issued by the Department of Commerce (DOC), the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Internet Economy. It applauded the DOC for issuing the NOI to gather more information from stakeholders in order to effectually address major barriers to innovation in a digital environment.
“The policy and technological solutions that emerge from this proceeding should assist in establishing a transparent framework that takes into account advances in technology and the need for protection of copyright to encourage further innovation.” said IFTA President-CEO Jean Prewitt.  “We believe solutions are achievable through government leadership and cooperation among all stakeholders and are necessary to ensure that investment in independent content can be recouped and new online distribution models developed.” 
In outlining independent film financing and distribution models, IFTA cited the impact that online piracy has on independents’ ability to recoup investment in production and continue to create future films. Noting that effective online copyright protections can only be provided through concerted governmental action, the Alliance recommended that government act as convener of interested stakeholders, exercising oversight in establishing mechanisms to protect copyright and innovation in a digital environment.
The comments seek to ensure that all stakeholders are actively included and involved in “industry at large” discussions and solutions, with the government determining ways that will simplify and encourage cooperation among stakeholders to combat repeat infringers. While voluntary initiatives by service providers are welcome, IFTA suggested that they must be transparent and accessible by all rights holders.
Additionally, IFTA urged adoption of international standards such as those contained in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Act, which will provide a worldwide framework for vigorous enforcement against those who illegally profit from or otherwise cause damage to investment in intellectual property.

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About The Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA)
The Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) is the global trade association of the independent motion picture and television programming industry. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the organization represents and provides significant entertainment industry services to more than 150 member companies from 23 countries, consisting of independent production and distribution companies, sales agents, television companies, studio-affiliated companies, and financial institutions engaged in content finance.
Collectively, the Independent Film & Television Alliance’s members produce more than 400 independent films and countless hours of television programming each year and generate more than $4 billion in distribution revenues annually. The organization’s premiere event, the American Film Market, held in conjunction with AFI Fest, takes place every year in November in Santa Monica.
As the voice and advocate for the independent film and television industry worldwide, the Alliance speaks out on matters of critical importance and, where appropriate, actively lobbies governments around the world in regard to measures directly affecting the independent industry. For more information on IFTA and the American Film Market, please visit www.ifta- online.org.
 
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