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New York City Launches a New Campaign to Fight Digital Piracy and Content Theft

The Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment Launches Latest Digital Piracy Campaign with the 'Create the Next Spot Contest' and the Opportunity for Students to Design their Own PSA Campaign

Contest Judges to Include Whoopi Goldberg, Sway of MTV News, Dan Mahoney of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Doug Oines of the National Association of Theatre Owners, Katherine Oliver of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment and James Schamus of Focus Features

September 13, 2011 - Today at the Creative NYC: Campaign against Content Theft Summit at the Tweed Courthouse, the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) announced a new digital piracy campaign and consumer awareness initiative. The Create the Next Spot Contest asks creative students in New York City to design the next public service announcement to address digital piracy and encourage teens and young adults to consider the impact of content theft. This is the next phase of a campaign first launched by the Mayor's Office in 2007 to combat illegal sales and distributions of DVDs.

With piracy now prevalent online, the multimedia campaign "Piracy Doesn't Work in NYC" was launched Citywide in 2010, with the support of the creative industry and government partners, to raise awareness and educate New Yorkers about the threat of digital piracy to the jobs of nearly 700,000 New Yorkers who make their living working in or supporting the creative industries. That campaign was seen in taxis, online, on local television and on bus shelters across the City. Since the launch of "Piracy Doesn't Work in NYC" the City has worked with various partners to help further examine the issue. Following the launch of last year's campaign, Sucherman Consulting Group conducted focus groups to assess its impact and concluded that while young people are among the most likely to pirate digital content there is significant opportunity for education and increased awareness within that age group. Based on those findings, today's summit and the launch of the student contest represent the next phase of the campaign to educate young people about digital piracy.

"New York is the global capital of the entertainment, media and creative sectors of the economy, and an increasingly important center of film production," said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel. "Protecting the work generated by these sectors - and the hundreds of thousands of jobs that go with it - is a priority for the Bloomberg Administration. Continuing to strengthen our anti-piracy efforts is critical to ensuring that New York continues to be the destination of choice for creative talent from around the five boroughs and around the globe."

"New York City is at the forefront of the entertainment industry, and we need to deliver the message that digital piracy costs real New Yorkers real jobs," said Mayor's Media & Entertainment Commissioner Katherine Oliver. "By encouraging teens to speak to each other about the issue of digital piracy in the Create the Next Spot Contest , we hope to inform a new demographic and influence change in order to strengthen our entertainment industry for generations to come."

"It is imperative that we come up with new solutions to stop digital piracy and protect jobs in the creative industry," said John Feinblatt, Chief Policy Advisory to Mayor Bloomberg. "We are proud to be a leader nationwide and are always focusing on ways to be even more effective in the fight against piracy."

During the summit, which was hosted by the Mayor's Office Media & Entertainment Commissioner Katherine Oliver and the Mayor's Chief Policy Advisor John Feinblatt, representatives from the entertainment industry including the MPAA and IATSE, US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, academia and law enforcement participated in panels and a thoughtful review of the current state of digital piracy. After discussing the 2010 campaign and the results of the focus group, the participants engaged in a thorough discussion about digital piracy; reviewed current university policies to combat piracy and ideas for more robust, pro-active programs; brainstormed best practices for an integrated approach toward combating content theft and creating sustainable awareness programs and shared relevant recent case studies that demonstrate the challenges faced in prosecution and recidivism.

At the summit, Commissioner Oliver thanked the numerous partners who have been part of this effort: the contest judges, New York's labor community overall and IATSE in particular, Sucherman Consulting Group, Fathom Communications, media companies and members of the local entertainment industry.

Starting today, NYC students can visit StopPiracyinNYC.com and enter to win the opportunity to produce their own creative campaign with the help of a professional production company. The spots will be distributed on television in NYC, including in taxis, online and on local television. By asking New York City students to engage in the dialogue, the City hopes that they will think about the long-term consequences of digital piracy for the industry and for future generations in the creative industry.

Through October 19, 2011, local high school and college students can submit their video entries, which will be reviewed by a discerning panel of judges including: Whoopi Goldberg; Sway of MTV News; James Schamus, CEO of Focus Features; Doug Oines of the National Association of Theatre Owners; Katherine Oliver of the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment; and Dan Mahoney of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). The top ten entries will be posted online for public voting from November 7 to November 18, 2011. The student entry with the most votes will then be produced with a professional production company as the next campaign against content theft. It will be distributed on TV, in taxis and online in the winter of 2012.

Go to StopPiracyinNYC.com to learn more about the contest and the fight against digital piracy.
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