Groups Urge Action On Bill To Combat Online Piracy

National Journal
More than 130 companies, business groups and others signed a letter to members of Congress Tuesday urging lawmakers to move legislation that would give law enforcement more tools to crack down on websites that offer pirated content and counterfeit products.

“Legislation to disrupt these efforts is a major step to make the Internet safer and protect consumers from the dangers of buying in the online marketplace,” according to the letter signed by such groups and companies as the Association of American Publishers, Ford Motor Co., the Motion Picture Association of America, Reed Elsevier, the Recording Industry Association of America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “IP-intensive industries are a cornerstone of the U.S. economy, employing more than 19 million people and accounting for 60 percent of our exports. Rampant online counterfeiting and piracy presents a clear and present threat that we must do more to address.”

The letter praised legislation offered in the last Congress by Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., aimed at cracking down on Internet piracy and counterfeiting, particularly on foreign websites.

“We urge you to support bicameral introduction and enactment of carefully balanced rogue sites legislation this year and look forward to working with you in support of that goal,” the letter from the companies and groups added.

Steve Tepp with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center said he hoped the “show of support” by the groups and firms who signed the letter would “serve as a further catalyst to congressional action this year.”

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