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What Congress Is Saying About Rogue Websites and Intellectual Property

What Congress Is Saying About Rogue Websites and Intellectual Property

Today the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the harm that rogue websites cause the American economy and the remedies needed to curb online intellectual property (IP) theft. The members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, through the leadership of Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-IA), guaranteed that Congressional action will be taken against rogue sites. As demonstrated by every statement made at the hearing, there continues to be strong bipartisan support for rogue sites legislation.

That bipartisan support among Members of Congress is matched by a broad and deep coalition organized around the principle that we must do more to stop the loss of jobs to online counterfeiting and piracy.  Even before the hearing Senator Leahy noted, “When the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and organized labor come together on an issue, you know it’s important.” He’s precisely correct; organized labor and professional organizations as well as businesses of all sizes strongly support rogue site legislation and continue to be vocal proponents of protecting the livelihood of their workers and the future of America’s creative endeavors.

Hearing each Senator raising alarm about rogue websites and online IP theft prompted us to look a little deeper into the record. We wanted to find out what other Senators and Representatives–Democrats and Republicans–were saying about rogue websites, online IP theft, and the need for enhanced protection and enforcement of American intellectual property. The short answer is that they are saying a lot. Here are a few examples:

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

“The online sale of stolen intellectual property — whether pirated movies or music or counterfeit electrical goods or pharmaceuticals — hurts American companies, kills American jobs, and puts consumers at risk of defective products. This important legislation will help combat websites that often are linked to criminal syndicates, making the Internet safer for consumers and legitimate businesses.” -Press statement in support of introduction of rogue websites legislation – September 24, 2010

Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)

“I’m committed to strengthening the laws that promote investment, innovation and creativity at home. I share the view that our criminal and IP laws need to be modernized to ensure that legitimate online commerce is not crippled by rampant piracy and counterfeiting, much of which originates overseas.” -Press statement on release of IPEC’s Annual Report – February 7, 2011

You can read a full series of excerpts from a bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives here. Keeping consumers safe and protecting American jobs by taking action against rogue sites is an important issue we should all agree on.