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Almeida Statement on H.R. 3261, the "Stop Online Piracy Act" 2011-11-16

Almeida Statement on H.R. 3261, the "Stop Online Piracy Act" 2011-11-16

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Published by Paul Jackson
Paul Almeida
President
Dept. of Professional Employees
AFL-CIO
Paul Almeida
President
Dept. of Professional Employees
AFL-CIO

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Published by: Paul Jackson on Nov 16, 2011
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11/16/2011

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 WRITTEN STATEMENT OFPAUL E. ALMEIDA,PRESIDENT,DEPARTMENT FOR PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEES, AFL-CIOBEFORE THECOMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARYUNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVESonH.R. 3261, THE “STOP ONLINE PIRACY ACT”November 16, 2011
 
Before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, November 16, 2011H.R. 3261, the “Stop Online Piracy Act”
Written Statement of Paul E. Almeida, President, Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO
 Page 2 of 13
Good morning, Chairman Smith, Ranking Member Conyers, and distinguishedMembers of the Committee. My name is Paul Almeida. I am the President of theDepartment for Professional Employees (DPE), a coalition of 22 national unionsaffiliated with the AFL-CIO. I have listed those unions at the end of this writtenstatement. I am honored to speak today on behalf of the more than four millionprofessional and technical people whom our affiliated unions represent.Those people include creators, performers, and craftspeople in the arts,entertainment, and media: writers, broadcast journalists, singers and musicians, stageemployees, actors, and many more. They include professional and technical people ineducation, health care, and public administration; in aerospace and other manufacturingsectors; in pharmaceuticals, science, engineering, and information technology; and inprofessional sports. In these times of high unemployment and economic crisis, theiroccupations range across several of the most vibrant sectors of the U.S. economy. Theseare sectors where professional and technical people – seeking the ability to do their jobsright – have organized into unions in large numbers; where creativity and ingenuitypropel success; and where, unlike other segments of the economy, industries likeaerospace and entertainment enjoy a trade surplus.Just as the people I represent work in a wide range of occupations and industries,they bring to the Stop Online Piracy Act a wide range of interests: as workers andconsumers as well as ardent defenders of the First Amendment. On their behalf, permitme to commend and thank you. Many of you have worked on a bipartisan basis withbusiness and labor over many years to combat digital theft, piracy of intellectualproperty, and counterfeiting. I am pleased to acknowledge your expertise and
 
Before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary, November 16, 2011H.R. 3261, the “Stop Online Piracy Act”
Written Statement of Paul E. Almeida, President, Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO
 Page 3 of 13
effectiveness. The unions that the professional and technical people whom I representhave organized unanimously support the Stop Online Piracy Act.Their strong support has brought the support of the entire AFL-CIO, 12.2 millionworkers in 57 national and international unions. In May, AFL-CIO President RichardTrumka applauded the introduction of the PROTECT IP Act, S. 968, in the Senate. Hiswords apply equally to the Stop Online Piracy Act: “The economic well-being of workers in the United States – jobs, income, and benefits – turns more and more on ourprotecting the creativity and innovation that yield world-class entertainment, cutting-edgeand sustainable manufacturing and construction, and disease-ending pharmaceuticals. Ina tough economic time, [this legislation] will help to protect U.S. workers and consumersagainst digital thieves and counterfeit scammers." President Trumka’s statementfollowed a unanimous AFL-CIO Executive Council statement in March 2010, “Piracy isa Danger to Entertainment Professionals,” that is attached to my written testimony below.My message is simple. It has three parts. First, strengthening protections for U.S.intellectual property helps American workers, jobs, incomes, and benefits. Theft of intellectual property raises unemployment and cuts income.Second, counterfeit goods endanger workers, both as workers and as consumers.Third, freedom of speech is not the same as lawlessness on the Internet. There isno inconsistency between protecting an open Internet and safeguarding intellectualproperty.Start with American workers, jobs, incomes, and benefits. A May 2011 reportfrom the U.S. International Trade Commission focused on China, its infringement onU.S. intellectual property rights, and American jobs. The report estimated conservatively

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