An Open Letter To Washington From Artists And Creators

Please forward this open letter to Washington from artists and creators signed by a group of greatly talented people who care to make a difference and speak out against the current SOPA bill that is threatening to censor our internet in the U.S. and along with it would devastate innovation, artistic and cultural communication, works of art, technological advances, businesses and the livelihoods of many.

Our own Hank Shocklee on behalf of Shocklee Entertainment is a part of this open letter being hosted at stopthewall.us/artists

January 17, 2012

We, the undersigned, are musicians, actors, directors, authors, and producers. We make our livelihoods with the artistic works we create. We are also Internet users.

We are writing to express our serious concerns regarding the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

As creative professionals, we experience copyright infringement on a very personal level. Commercial piracy is deeply unfair and pervasive leaks of unreleased films and music regularly interfere with the integrity of our creations. We are grateful for the measures policymakers have enacted to protect our works.

We, along with the rest of society, have benefited immensely from a free and open Internet. It allows us to connect with our fans and reach new audiences. Using social media services like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, we can communicate directly with millions of fans and interact with them in ways that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago.

We fear that the broad new enforcement powers provided under SOPA and PIPA could be easily abused against legitimate services like those upon which we depend. These bills would allow entire websites to be blocked without due process, causing collateral damage to the legitimate users of the same services – artists and creators like us who would be censored as a result.

We are deeply concerned that PIPA and SOPA’s impact on piracy will be negligible compared to the potential damage that would be caused to legitimate Internet services. Online piracy is harmful and it needs to be addressed, but not at the expense of censoring creativity, stifling innovation or preventing the creation of new, lawful digital distribution methods.

We urge Congress to exercise extreme caution and ensure that the free and open Internet, upon which so many artists rely to promote and distribute their work, does not become collateral damage in the process.

Respectfully,

Aziz Ansari, Actor/Comedian

Kevin Devine, Musician

Barry Eisler, Author

Neil Gaiman, Author

Lloyd Kaufman, Filmmaker

Zoë Keating, Musician

The Lonely Island

Daniel Lorca, Musician [Nada Surf]

Erin McKeown, Musician

MGMT

Samantha Murphy, Musician

OK Go

Amanda Palmer, Musician [The Dresden Dolls]

Quiet Company

Trent Reznor

Adam Savage, Special Effects Artist [MythBusters]

Hank Shocklee, Music Producer [Shocklee Entertainment, Public Enemy, Bomb Squad]

Johnny Stimson, Musician



To help protect Internet innovation please visit: stopthewall.us and for more info on SOPA, check out:

What Is SOPA? & How You Can Stop The First American Internet Censorship System

TAKE ACTION: Your Website May Be Shut Down! Scary Facts On SOPA [Stop Online Piracy Act]

Why SOPA Is Dangerous

Confused by SOPA? Five Multimedia Explainers

What’s On the Blacklist? Three Sites That SOPA Could Put at Risk

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Comments

  1. I completely agree. My intellectual property is valuable, but not more valuable than the freedom of information as a whole, and however the balance between those two things gets figured out, I don’t believe it should be done with blanket laws that leave the door open for any number of Neo Con / Fascist scenarios to play out. Use the internet while you still can people.

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