What is CreativeFuture?
CreativeFuture is a coalition of 490 companies and organizations and thousands of creative individuals encompassing film, television, music, photography, and book publishing. We promote the value of creativity, expanded digital access to legitimate content, and the fundamental right of creatives to determine how their works are distributed. CreativeFuture is united in opposition to the for-profit digital theft of creative works, which jeopardizes the rights of all creative individuals, puts jobs at risk, and undermines new business models and distribution platforms.

What is CreativeFuture’s mission?
Our mission is to promote the value of creativity in today’s digital age. We embrace expanded audience access to content in ways that reward creativity and hard work. CreativeFuture empowers the creative communities to speak with one collective and powerful voice – advancing a positive, dynamic vision of a digital future that better serves audiences and artists alike. We speak up about the value of creativity – and speak out against the harm caused by piracy. We speak up about our fundamental right to determine how our works are distributed. We hope to change the perception that art is “easy” by putting a face to some of the hardworking people who are trying to make a living by doing what they love.

Why?
Creativity and innovation have given rise to extraordinary entertainment that provides millions of jobs and supports economic growth, enriches our culture, inspires social change, and captivates audiences around the world. Everyone has a shared interest in sustaining the vitality of the creative economy – from all who create, to those who develop new distribution platforms, to all who access and enjoy creative works.

Also, piracy is stealing – that’s why. It’s not just kids in a basement swapping files. Piracy is a for-profit, black market business that puts money into the pockets of criminals and contributes nothing to individual creatives.

Piracy is a problem that impacts every level of the creative communities worldwide – from independent filmmakers to the major studios, from writers and directors to musicians and novelists. For many emerging and independent creatives, the effects of piracy are even worse because they are not insulated against losses the way that more established creatives often are.

Who are we?
We are executives, lawyers, prior Capitol Hill staffers, and policy experts, and we’re also filmmakers, photographers, writers, and musicians. We understand the daily struggles that creatives face and we are fighting to make creativity a viable career choice and not just a hobby.

We also recognize the importance of technology and innovation – we harness new technologies and are all for developing new business models and new distribution tools. We make money only when our work is distributed.

We don’t oppose Big Tech using our content to build their platforms, but it has to be done in a way that respects the value of creativity. Our interests are aligned – we need their platforms to reach viewers and they need our content to gain customers.

The perception that Silicon Valley is a bunch of kids in garages building the next startup is increasingly false: it’s run by a handful of major companies with substantial market power.

 In conclusion, we need Big Tech to step up – we’d like to see them work with us on solutions. No one is in a more important position to help than the search engines that steer internet users to pirate websites.

Who leads CreativeFuture?
The CreativeFuture team is led by Ruth Vitale, an independent film veteran. Having acquired or produced and released over 100 films, including Dirty Dancing, Gummo, and Hustle & Flow, Ruth is familiar with all the moving parts behind a production. She understands that sometimes the biggest challenge is convincing audiences how truly difficult it is to make a film – the hundreds of people that work together in perfect synchronization to pull off a minor miracle in front of a camera. As CreativeFuture’s CEO, part of her job is making sure that the people on Capitol Hill understand what goes into the making of movies and television shows, in addition to the creative disciplines of theater, music, photography, and book publishing – how valuable creativity is and how dearly they must help us defend the rights of the creative community.

When was CreativeFuture founded?
CreativeFuture, formerly Creative America, launched in July 2011 with the backing of 10 coalition partners, comprised of companies, guilds, and unions. In February 2014, the organization rebranded and relaunched as CreativeFuture along with a membership of 65 organizations.

Where is CreativeFuture based?
The CreativeFuture offices are located on Los Angeles’ Miracle Mile.

Who’s on CreativeFuture’s Leadership Committee and what do they do?
The CreativeFuture Leadership Committee is comprised of some of the most innovative minds in film, television, music, theater, photography, and book publishing. The Committee offers expert advice and counsel on issues confronting creative professionals, with its members often lending their names to important CreativeFuture initiatives aimed at protecting the next generation of creativity. To see who’s on our leadership committee, click here.

We work with members of our Leadership Committee to publish op-eds on a wide array of topics that are vital to supporting CreativeFuture’s mission of supporting a strong copyright system. Their work has appeared in dozens of national media outlets including The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and many others. To read op-eds written by members of our leadership committee, click here.

What are CreativeFuture’s initiatives?
CreativeFuture has four primary initiatives: Mobilizing the Creative Community, Follow the Money, Youth Outreach, and the StandCreative™ Series.

How does CreativeFuture mobilize the creative community and what do we ask them to do?
We mobilize the creative community through petitions such as this one opposing the FCC’s set-top box proposal and this one or this one urging elected officials that creative jobs matter. Over 90,000 creatives have signed these petitions!

In order for our voices to be heard, the creative communities must take part in the conversation. CreativeFuture believes members of the creative community must play an active role in raising awareness about the cultural, social, and economic contributions of creativity and advocate for policies and solutions that will take the profit out of piracy – including increased cooperation from all legitimate businesses that make up the internet.

In July of 2015, CreativeFuture joined a distinguished set of film and television veterans in a “From Script to Screen” event on Capitol Hill, hosted by Creative Rights Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Judy Chu and Rep. Doug Collins. The featured guest panel included some of the team behind Best Picture Oscar®-winner Spotlight, who demonstrated to policymakers the entire complex creative process behind making the film – from the investigative journalism on a very disturbing issue, to buying the rights, writing the script, finding financing, attaching actors, losing financing, finding financing again, attaching a director, rewriting again, finding a location, filming, editing, selling, distributing, marketing the film, and finally seeing the name of the film on a marquee and playing in a theater. A process, in this case, that spanned from 2001 through 2015 – from when the story first broke to when the movie finally appeared in theaters.

This effort allows lawmakers to hear and see first-hand how creatives produce incredible works of art and learn about the importance of copyright to creatives’ livelihoods.

What is the Follow the Money initiative?
CreativeFuture works with major brands to keep their good ads off bad sites. By collaborating with ad agencies and advertisers, we hope to divert a major source of revenue for criminal enterprises that illegitimately profit from other people’s creative work. By taking an active role and encouraging voluntary best practices, the creative community can advocate for policies and solutions that will reduce the flow of money to pirate site operators.

The good news is that we are making progress – and that’s good for the creative communities as well as the integrity of the advertising community. So far, this effort has attracted over 30 major brands that have pledged to keep their ads off pirate sites. They include American Express, Kellogg’s, Walmart, Johnson & Johnson, and Allstate. Over 20 advertising agencies have also taken the pledge. They include GroupM, OMD, and MediaVest.

What is the Youth Outreach initiative?
CreativeFuture raises awareness among youth about the cultural, ethical, and economic implications of creative ownership to instill greater respect for artists and the creative process. We hope to inspire students from kindergarten through college to better understand artists, the works they create, and how students can pursue creative endeavors to contribute to industries that together comprise nearly 7% of the country’s gross domestic product. To do this, CreativeFuture partnered with iKeepSafe to help finance their Copyright and Creativity for Ethical Digital Citizens educational modules and worked with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) to include their members in our school and student outreach.

What does StandCreative™ mean?
StandCreative™ is the creative communities coming together to use our collective, unified, and powerful voice to speak up about the value of creativity. When we StandCreative™, we stand together.

What is the StandCreative Initiative?
With our StandCreative™ initiative, we are providing a platform for creatives to share their personal stories and speak directly to their fans.

For three years now, we have heard countless stories from emerging and independent creatives about their personal experiences – how the for-profit digital theft of their work has hurt them.

That’s why, in 2016, we launched the StandCreative™ Series I that features creatives telling their own stories about what they do and how piracy has affected their ability to make a living. Whether you are a photographer, a filmmaker, a musician, songwriter, novelist, playwright, or painter – the work that you do matters and has value. And we want to hear from you, because your voice also matters.

In 2017, we launched StandCreative™ Series II. This series shines a spotlight on jobs in the creative industries that many people overlook or simply never knew existed. We interview our members and tell their stories.

Location managers, set photographers, costume designers, special effects makeup artists, book cover illustrators, graphic designers, producers, and even a tattoo artist share stories about their work – how they got started, their first big break, and offer advice about how to make a career in the arts from these specialized skills.

People create – not machinery, not conglomerates, but people. People you may know. With both of our StandCreative™ series, we are putting faces to the stories they are telling. Learn more about our creative community by checking out StandCreative™ Series I and Series II.

Lastly, our StandCreative initiative includes an effort to have the voices of our community speak directly to their fans. Through our Thanking Audiences campaign, we work with our member companies to create thank you spots from casts and crews for movie audiences around the country. These spots simply say, “Thank you for coming to the movies.”

While AMC Theatres served as our launch partner in this effort, we have since expanded to thousands of other theaters nationwide. The spots can be humorous or dramatic, but they are always genuine and heartfelt. It’s a simple ‘Thank You’ – emphasizing that where you watch matters and expresses our industry’s appreciation to audiences.

You can check out some of our thank you spots here. If you are a producer and would like to be a part of this effort, email us at info@creativefuture.org!

I’m a creative and my copyrighted work has been stolen. Can CreativeFuture help me?
We do not offer legal services, but we can work together to help raise awareness for the harms caused by piracy. We ask that you join us and become one of the voices that resonates in Washington – urging our politicians to consider the value and importance of copyright and how it affects the livelihoods of creatives everywhere.

How do I become a CreativeFuture member?
You can sign up here.

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