Delegates to the opening day of IATSE’s 68th Convention in Hollywood, FL, heard a local U.S. congressman blast President Donald Trump and Congress for failing to address one of the industry’s major concerns, and a serious threat to the nation’s creative wellspring: the theft of intellectual property.
“Every day Americans spend an average of 10 hours, 39 minutes in front of one screen or another,” Rep. Ted Deutch of Boca Raton told the delegates. “You build much of the content that is available at every hour of the day delivered through smartphones, tablets, TVs and computers. Our culture and our politics are creating a divide right now that will make it harder and harder to deal not just with the big controversies, the ones in the headlines, but also the policy issues that ought to be bipartisan.
“Piracy,” he continued, “threatens healthy marketplaces around the globe that can sustain creativity, creators and the myriad professionals who make up our entertainment and media industries. American creativity, our intellectual property, is our most important export. This is a simple issue to grasp and fighting online piracy and the people who try to steal the important products that you make is something that we should all be committed to.
“Congress and President Trump ought to be working together to grow our economy and to create good jobs. Instead, we’ve been thrown into chaos with head-spinning breaking news every single day. Trump’s decision to let this story bleed out in a slow drip has already exposed half-truths and, frankly some outright lies from his administration, from his campaign, and from his family.
“We need to end gerrymandering so that Congress can look and start to sound a little more like the Americans that they’re supposed to be representing.”