Big Content Fights Back in Anti-Piracy Campaign

Ads stress U.S. job protection

Big content is striking back at big Internet.

As tens of thousands of websites protested SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act), Creative America, the organization representing major entertainment unions and media companies, launched another round of advertising Wednesday to support the two anti-piracy bills they worked so hard to advance in Congress.

TV and radio ads will be running in as many as 25 targeted states, focusing on key districts and key legislators. National print ads are running in papers such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Washington, D.C., trades such as Politico and The Hill. The group also created a new banner ad for Creative America member websites and took out a billboard in Times Square.

"We're trying to mobilize people to contact members of Congress and support the bills," said Mike Nugent, the executive director of Creative America. PIPA is scheduled for a vote in the Senate next week and SOPA is headed for markup next month. The ads stress the importance of cracking down on foreign websites that steal U.S. content and products and "put Americans out of work."

Nugent said he wasn't worried about the number of lawmakers that announced today they would pull their support for the bills. "They are announcing today because it's a great time to announce it. None of them are saying 'kill the bill.' They aren't saying they'll never support these bills. That's fair," he said.

But Nugent was concerned about claims made by the Internet protesters that charged the bills would destroy the Internet or threaten free speech.

"Opponents of the bill are trafficking in misinformation, fear tactics and public relations stunts," said Nugent. "In blacking out their websites, they are in essence, censoring the Internet themselves. For once, it is clear about Google's clout on the Internet and how they can manipulate information. They are abusing their platform to advance a very narrow economic business model. I think it will bite them and others in the end."