Studios, Unions Launch Grass Roots Content-Protection Site

Same alliance is also backing PROTECT IP Act

The major studios and creative arts unions (AFTRA, SAG and IATSE) have launched Creative America, an online clearinghouse in the fight against intellectual property theft.

That is the same alliance that is backing the PROTECT IP Act, the bill that gives the government more enforcement tools against content theft, including illegal online distribution of TV shows and movies.

Co-opting the techniques of online activist groups that focus on generating grass-roots support, Creative America's site provides a "contact your legislator" link and a form letter so members of the creative community can register their support for the bill.

The site points out that Web sites trading in stolen TV shows and movies get almost 150 million visits a day, and asks users to spread the word via Twitter, Facebook and blogs. It also includes testimonials from industry members and others.

"I love my job," says Grace Yavana, production manager for the "Today" show (NBCU is backing the site), in a testimonial on the site's opening screen . "Every day, I get to help make great television. But when our hard work gets stolen, it hurts us all. I don't think most people realize that jobs are put at risk - my job and the jobs of our entire crew. We have to do something about content theft, and we have to do it now."