Global Intellectual Property Center

Cotton: Piracy Is Four-Letter Word

Cotton: Piracy Is Four-Letter Word

“We must move from a perspective where counterfeiting is a four-syllable word to one where it is a four-letter word,” says NBCU Executive VP and General Counsel Rick Cotton, “from where counterfeiting is regarded as morally ambiguous to where it is recognized as a reprehensible job killer in a U.S. economy that is starved for high-wage employment.”

Cotton was testifying Tuesday as chairman of the Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy before a hearing in the Senate Finance Committee on S 1631, the Customs Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Reauthorization Act.

The coalition strongly supports the bill, which would boost the trade-protection roles of the CBP (Bureau of Customs and Border Protection) and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

Cotton said that cross-border IP theft has “mushroomed from a cottage industry into a global network that endangers our economy, kills our jobs, threatens our citizens’ health and safety and nourishes organized crime.” He put the scale of the threat at half a trillion to a trillion dollars a year, or what he called “a growing tsunami.”