CREATE Conference– Downloading “Free” IP Isn’t Cool

by Mike Wendy on June 16, 2011

Suzanne Vega, advocating for rights holders

Yesterday, I attended a conference called CREATE (Protecting Creativity from the Ground Up) at the NEWSEUM in DC.  The event – which brought together film directors, artists, musicians, technology policy experts and legislators – discussed the need to crack down on online piracy from “rogue” websites and other “enablers” of intellectual property (IP) theft that undermine the incentives to take risk and innovate in our IP-driven economy.

Recording artist Suzanne Vega – famous for her 80’s hits, “Tom’s Diner” and “Luka” – keynoted and sang at the event.  In advocating for the rights of creators, Vega told attendees that though she understands the allure of “free” downloaded content, it’s wrong.  Still, she remains optimistic that the next generation of Internet users gets educated, changes its behavior for the better, and pays artists (and other rights holders) for their work instead of thoughtlessly poaching it online.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn

Others at the conference included Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Representative Jared Polis (D-C0), both of whom were there to discuss pending congressional legislation (Protect IP Act) designed to reduce online IP theft.

Rep. Jared Polis

Lively discussion ensued during the half-day conference, revealing a common message from the CREATE expert panelists – Downloading “free” art, music, software or other IP isn’t cool.  Not only does it hurt the individual artists who made the work (and who depend on being remunerated to survive and create more work), it hurts American jobs and our economy, which now more than ever relies on IP and its proper protection to grow and thrive.

I couldn’t agree more.



mickeywhite June 19, 2011 at 2:24 am

Why does Marsha Want Congress to Regulate the Internet? Why not just say NO FEDERAL branch (the FCC and congress and the federal courts included) has any authority to decide or rule on any aspect concerning the Internet?

BUT Marsha Blackburn did Vote FOR: Patriot Act Reauthorization, Electronic Surveillance, Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Thought Crimes “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, Warrantless Searches, Employee Verification Program, Body Imaging Screening, Patriot Act extension; and only NOW she is worried about free speech, privacy, and government take over of the internet?

Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
See her “blatantly unconstitutional” votes at :

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