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Creative America Launches New Anti-Piracy Offensive

Major unions and studios are ramping up their efforts to enlist the creative community rank and file to combat the online theft of TV shows and movies.

It also comes as there appears to be some movement on the PROTECT IP Act, an online content-protection bill that has been held up in the Senate but could see a complementary House version introduced, according to bill supporters.

The Creative America coalition is announcing Tuesday the launch of a new Web site, where supporters can register their backing of the bill and learn more about the issue.

It is targeting the "more than 2 million Americans in all 50 states whose livelihoods are supported by the film and television industry and all those who value the work they create and believe that American jobs and creativity deserve to be protected."

In addition, there will be increased outreach to the community, creative and otherwise, via Facebook, Twitter, an online petition with more than 18,000 signatures already and a PSA campaign that will air on NBCU TV nets, cable and broadcast. NBCU has been one of the most high-profile supporters of online content protection.

"Creative America gives workers in the creative industries a platform to speak out about internet content theft," said Rick Cotton, executive VP, general counsel, NBCU, and chairman of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy (CACP) representing over 500 companies and associations. "Everyone whose future is at stake needs to make his or her voice heard on this critically important topic."

The Creative America's union partners will also be sending representatives to TV and movies sets encourage their members to join the effort.

"The message that Creative America is imparting to members of the entertainment community and all who value American creativity and innovation is that content theft is not a victimless crime," said Mike Nugent, executive director of Creative America. "And with Creative America, you do not have to stand by and be a victim. You can make your voice heard.  You can fight back."

Creative America coalition members include the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, CBS Corporation, the Directors Guild of America, IATSE International, NBC Universal, the Screen Actors Guild, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Viacom, The Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros. Entertainment.