New York City calls on students to fight digital piracy

This week marks a new, innovative approach to the fight against digital piracy, as New York City has clearly spoken on the behalf of the 700,000 New York artists that work in the creative fields with the Create the Next Spot contest.

On September 13, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) harbored the Creative NYC: Campaign against Content Theft Summit at the Tweed Courthouse. The result: they have launched a campaign to end the illegal downloading of creative content by agreeing to involve the students of the city in the educational advertisements to spur on a consumer awareness initiative.

Any creative student, in high school or attending university in New York City, can form an interesting and appealing slogan or idea to help stop digital piracy for a new public service announcement that will be featured on billboards, cab posters, web sites, and even TV commercials.

Contestants will be judged by famous celebrities and imaginative artists, such as Whoopi Goldberg, that also wish to bring attention to the numerous jobs that are at risk due to the plundering of digital booty.

More important is that the Create the Next Spot contest involves the youth of the city, who have been partly responsible for a myriad number of illegal downloads–because of the ease of its availability and an affordable price (free)–and the younger generation can help educate their peers about the job killing that piracy pushes off of the plank. Students can help protect their future work themselves.

This week’s summit brought together 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 to come up with a successful way to stop the piracy process without the forceful politics and legislation:  they want to stop people from wanting to illegally pirate data in the first place.

The freedom of digital information rights debates and piracy continue to rage on. The close of LimeWire has even resulted in a 20 percent total decline in the practice to date, but will the pirate ships sink?

Certain facts are showcased on the contest’s web site that are both educational and hard to dispute. Over 140,000 jobs have already been lost in the film, TV, movie, and music industries, which have been attributed to content theft.

A number that is near to the writer’s heart is that over 2.8 billion dollars are lost in book sales due to the pirated copies that grace Kindles everywhere.