CreativeFuture traveled to Austin, TX Saturday for the #ArtistServices Workshop – an all-day event jam-packed with panel discussions and presentations aimed to help filmmakers promote and be rewarded for their work in today’s digital age.

The #ArtistServices Workshop was hosted by Sundance Institute and the Austin Film Society, and was sponsored by CreativeFuture.

CreativeFuture Executive Director Ruth Vitale participated in a panel entitled Cutthroat Ideas: Pioneers Of Alternative Distribution. The panel — also featuring Alamo Drafthouse Films CEO Tim League and BitTorrent Director of Brand Marketing Straith Schreder — examined the balance between advances in on-demand technology and the core issue facing filmmakers and all who create for a living.

“They are thieves, and a cancer to this industry,” said Tim League, CEO and Co-Founder of Alamo Drafthouse, describing patrons of pirate sites. “Perhaps there is a way to leverage that community and to get them to transact.”

CreativeFuture Executive Director Ruth Vitale believes promoting respect for creativity and the creative process is an important part of addressing piracy. “How do we create a culture that supports content to the extent they would not want to steal that culture?” she said.

Since launching in 2011, Sundance Institute’s #ArtistServices Initiative has helped both newcomers and pros navigate an ever-changing independent film landscape. CreativeFuture is an official sponsor of #ArtistServices.

“If piracy continues unabated, there will be no more of these panels,” said Chris Horton, of Sundance Institute. “Today, we are trying to find constructive dialog that can empower artists’ rights and nurture careers.”

In his closing remarks, moderator Joseph Beyer, Director of Sundance Institute’s Digital Initiatives, said: “If you’re asking yourself if my film was pirated, it was.”