Screenwriter James V. Hart opines on the difference between honorable and dishonorable pirates.
James V. Hart writes about pirates – the eye patch and peg leg kind, not the ones that host stolen creative works on ever-changing website domains.

The screenwriter, whose lengthy credits include Hook, was on Capitol Hill this week to participate in the “Script to Screen” event, hosted by Creative Rights Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Judy Chu and Rep. Doug Collins.

In an op-ed that ran in The Hill today, Hart extolled the virtues of the creative arts, specifically their ability to create jobs:

When a writer types THE END, it is the beginning of a process that involves hundreds of jobs and services before the script even reaches the actual production stage. Staff at the Producer’s office, Studio execs and Story execs and their staff who are employed to read, develop, finance and produce your script get to keep their jobs because of writers. Agents, Managers, Lawyers who negotiate the writer deals, all have jobs in part because of writers. Once the script goes into the production stage, the amount of jobs required to produce a film grows exponentially; crews of 100-400 and more become necessary; local vendors and merchants in the location where my script is being filmed benefit and are able to boost employment. Hotels, car rental agencies, airlines, local restaurants, stores, shops, all benefit enormously by my typing THE END.

Hart makes a compelling argument for why screenwriters specifically, and all creatives in general, should be protected from piracy:

Every pirated download steals royalties and residuals directly from me – and many others who make a living in creative industries. Just like having your bank account hacked, or your credit card stolen, or you pension plan co-opted, or your social security checks compromised.

These pirate sites are profitable because major advertisers and credit card companies pump millions of dollars into pirate coffers.

Like I said, I write about pirates and have been very successful at it. Pirates founded the first democracy a half century before our forefathers. Pirates offered freedom to slaves 150 years before the emancipation proclamation. Pirates had a code of honor they followed diligently. We have no code, or laws, or protections among these new pirates that are supported by name brand companies.

You can read the entire op-ed here.

Photo Credit: Anne Tinder