Zucker: 'We are losing' piracy battle


WASHINGTON -- The entertainment industry continued its efforts to expand the war on piracy to other sectors of the economy on Wednesday as NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker touted the cost to the nation's economy before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Zucker told the largely friendly audience that the theft of intellectual property whether its a movie, TV show or pair of brake pads has reached crises proportions.

"The unfortunate truth is that today we are losing the battle," he said as he urged members of the Chamber to join the entertainment industry in a national effort to combat the threat.

"Our unified voices will carry far more weight than the pleas of the individual industries," he said.

To back up his call, Zucker cited a study by the industry-friendly Institute for Policy Innovation study released Wednesday that found the impact of intellectual property piracy among all the copyright industries is nearly $60 billion a year, cost about 373,000 jobs and $2.6 billion in lost tax revenue.

While Zucker said NBC Uni continues to believe in digital delivery, he urged the government to make a bigger effort to stem the piracy's rising tide.

"We need, across the board, to move IP enforcement up the agenda of the federal government," he said.

To that end, the Chamber is pushing for the creation of a new White House post called "chief intellectual property enforcement officer," increased spending for border and law enforcement, and stepped-up coordination with industry and foreign governments.

"The intellectual property of our key industries is under assault around the globe and we believe that IP protection is among a handful of issues that will determine America's competitiveness in the 21st century," Chamber of Commerce president Tom Donohue said.

Tying copyright piracy to other intellectual property issues like fake pharmaceuticals and other consumer goods that have the potential to hurt or kill people, the entertainment industry gains a much broader grass-roots platform to make its appeal heard in Congress.

"Lets face it, the squeaky wheel gets the grease in this business," said MPAA chairman and CEO Dan Glickman.