Chamber Praises State Attorneys General’ Latest Support for Rogue Websites Legislation

Statement by Rob Calia, Senior Director for Counterfeiting and Piracy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center

Today, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, and Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, led a coalition of 42 state attorneys general in a chorus of support for Congressional action to address online intellectual property theft. This overwhelming, bipartisan coalition sent a letter to Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Chuck Grassley, Congressman Lamar Smith, and Congressman John Conyers, commending their ongoing commitment and leadership in the fight against counterfeiting and piracy on rogue websites.

The sale of counterfeit products and piracy of copyrighted content not only undermines our nation’s economy, but also robs state and local governments of much-needed tax revenue. Even worse, some counterfeit goods can pose serious health and safety hazards to consumers. Criminals are increasingly using the Internet to lure unsuspecting consumers to seemingly legitimate websites that, in reality, sell counterfeit goods such as shoes, electronics, clothing, and personal health care products, including pharmaceuticals. Bottom line, counterfeiting and piracy endanger consumers and steal jobs across our country. The GIPC applauds the leadership of Attorneys General Cooper, McKenna and Hood and the efforts of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG).

Here are a few key statements from the champions of this effort:

Rob McKenna, Washington Attorney General: “Today, the global reach and anonymity of the Internet provides an attractive platform for criminals who capitalize on the theft of intellectual property in search of easy money with little risk of getting caught or punished. That’s why the vast majority of attorneys general across the country joined in this letter to congressional leaders encouraging federal action against rogue websites.”

Jim Hood, Mississippi Attorney General: “As Co-Chairs of the National Association of Attorneys General’s Intellectual Property Theft Committee, we have made it a priority to combat the sale of counterfeit and pirated products. We are encouraged by Congress’ commitment to combating rogue sites and creating a safer, more vibrant Internet marketplace.”

Roy Cooper, North Carolina Attorney General: “Law enforcement at the Federal, state and local levels must work together to fight online intellectual property theft.  We are glad to have help from strong leadership in the U.S. House and Senate in providing tools and resources to combat online counterfeiting and piracy.”

As we saw last week with the introduction of the PROTECT IP Act, this is an issue that uniquely joins the ranks of the business community and organized labor, and crosses political party lines. Support from the NAAG and state-level leaders is yet another critical voice to join the chorus of support for this legislation. We can help facilitate legitimate commerce while reducing online criminal activity as well as preserve the American spirit of ingenuity and hard-work by enacting rogue websites legislation.

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