Statement from Charles Segars, co-creator and executive producer of Disney's "National Treasure" movie franchise and CEO of Ovation on the SOPA legislation before Congress
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- "This week, the Internet flexed its collective muscle and some 10,000 websites went dark in protest of the proposed legislation that has been introduced to protect the copyrights of music, film, television and books we all know and love. They're calling the SOPA bill "censorship" and an infringement of our First Amendment rights. And the entertainment industry is painted as "greedy" for supporting this legislation.
"But I wonder ... what would happen if all the movie theaters, cable and broadcast channels, book stores and radio stations did the same thing -- went completely dark, off the air, closed their doors. Would you miss Wikipedia more than, say, being able to watch 'American Idol' or go to AMC theaters and see the latest movie in 3D? Would it take a total shut down to make the point that entertainment content is something of value and therefore needs protecting?
"As a writer and producer, I believe SOPA is the first step in protecting my rights, and my copyrighted content from being stolen by digital thieves. Theft is not a right guaranteed by the First Amendment. It is not a form of self-expression. It's stealing, plain and simple. But because this theft has become so pervasive in our digital society, many have come to believe that it is acceptable. IT IS NOT! You wouldn't expect your mechanic to repair your car for free or farmers to give you free food. Content, like other goods and services, is valuable and that's why digital thieves are out to steal it. The internet shouldn't make it easy for pirates by letting them hide behind the First Amendment."