Advocacy Group Forms To Combat Piracy

    September 30, 2008

An advocacy group created by a number of major media and technology companies plans to promote the Internet as a place for people to get songs, television shows and movies without turning to piracy.

The ArtLab

The group Arts +Labs, founding members include, AT&T, Viacom, NBC Universal, Cisco, Microsoft and the Songwriters Guild of America. The group says it aims to ensure that artists, creators and innovators can safely share their works through new online distribution channels while being fairly compensated.

Arts +Labs says its mission is to inform and educate people about the availability of legal, safe, affordable entertainment content on the Internet. The group will also raise awareness about viruses, malware, hack attacks, spam, illegal file sharing and other activity that threatens user’s Internet experience.

Arts +Labs is co-chaired by Mike McCurry, former White House press secretary to President Bill Clinton and public policy spokesperson Mark McKinnon, a former songwriter and newspaper editor. Rick Carnes, president of the Songwriter’s Guild of America, and Chuck swims, of the law firm Proskauser also have joined the group’s advisory board.

"Arts+Labs believes that quality content drives the Internet and that distribution of easily accessible, affordable content in the Internet age requires new business models," said Arts+Labs co-chair Mark McKinnon.

"We also strongly feel that every effort should be made to ensure that artists benefit from their creativity. Arts+Labs will work to ensure that consumers know where to access safe and legal online content while promoting artists’ and innovators’ ability to easily share their ingenuity through a range of new, online distribution channels with the confidence that their legal rights will be respected."