WGA East Briefs Capitol Hill on Internet Issues

Guild leadership and a delegation of writers speak out on net neutrality and Internet piracy.

Members of the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE), led by WGAE President Michael Winship and Executive Director Lowell Peterson, went to Capitol Hill yesterday to hold a briefing on the Internet. The group of about ten television, news, and web writers addressed issues including net neutrality and Internet piracy.

The WGAE reinforced its key positions on those issues: The WGAE supports net neutrality; the WGAE opposes Internet piracy; the WGAE does not believe an open Internet will encourage piracy, and the WGAE strongly supports the proposed PROTECT IP Act.

“A free and open Internet presents infinite possibilities for content creators [and citizens],” said Winship in a statement. “It is critical that the potential of the Internet and other digital media – their diversity, accessibility, competitiveness and imagination – not be stifled by multinational corporate behemoths that would restrict access for their own commercial use.”

Peterson reiterated this point as well.

"The Internet remains a true meritocracy. A video becomes popular because it’s entertaining, not because Sony’s boardroom decided to shove it into 3,000 theaters,” said writer Tom Ruprecht.

“Residual payments from my past TV work support me in between jobs,” said writer Gina Gionfriddo. “When people pirate my shows it actually takes money out of my pocket” by reducing DVD sales and legal downloads.

Email: jhandel@att.net
Twitter: @jhandel