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Rep. Linda Sanchez Says Digital Piracy Has Turned Entertainment Industry Into the Wild West – and ‘There Is No Sheriff’ (Video)

Power Women Breakfast Washington, DC: Producer Gale Anne Hurd, Rep. Linda Sanchez, and more discussed digital piracy and copyright protections

Last Updated: July 12, 2019 @ 9:47 AM

U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez, the California Democrat, compared the state of the entertainment industry in the era of digital piracy to the Wild West on Thursday, adding that as it currently stands, “there is no sheriff.”

Veteran producer Gale Anne Hurd, whose credits include the “Terminator” franchise and TV’s “The Walking Dead,” added that she often seen no profits from her past film projects. “I mean, literally,” she said on a panel about the future of the the creative economy at TheWrap’s Power Women Breakfast in Washington, D.C.,

Ruth Vitale, the CEO of CreativeFuture, cited a Global Innovation Policy Center study that the U.S. loses $29 billion annual to piracy.

“Let’s take ‘Moonlight,'” Vitale said. “Everyone knows ‘Moonlight.’ It won the Academy Award two years ago. It did $65 million at the box office worldwide during its theatrical run. Lowest-grossing Academy Award-winning Best Picture ever. During the time it was in theaters, there were 60 million piracy transactions, most of them streaming … 9 million people went to see the movie legitimately and 60 million stole it. Twelve million of those transactions were the day after the Oscars, when it was available on iTunes.”

The panelists, who also included Gail MacKinnon of the Motion Picture Association of America, suggested potential ways to address the issue.

“The very nature of legislative bodies is to be reactive and technology moves much more quickly than government does,” Sanchez said, noting that the House Judiciary Committee recently held hearings “to try to talk about copyright and, ‘How do we modernize copyright?’ … I’m hopeful that maybe they’re starting to generate momentum to talk about legislation that’s needed in that space.”

She also suggested enforcing trade agreements and the protection of copyright.

TheWrap’s Power Women Breakfast franchise brings together influential women in entertainment, media, technology and finance in key cities to network and connect. Each event brings inspiring speakers to talk about issues that relate to professional women. Thursday’s event in the nation’s capital also featured congressional candidate Cori Bush and former Hillary Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri.