Hear The Chorus of Support for Rogue Websites Legislation

Last week, Senator Leahy and eleven other Senators introduced, S. 968–the PROTECT IP Act–legislation that is aimed at cutting off rogue sites, those dedicated to online piracy and counterfeiting,. This measure will provide an enhanced legal tool against rogue sites, which steal American jobs and threaten consumers’ health and safety. The introduction of the PROTECT IP Act was met by a chorus of support from the business community, labor unions, and professional organizations. Yes, you read that right – business and labor uniting on a common issue and taking a stand against the theft of American intellectual property (IP).

The reasons for broad support of this legislation are simple; websites dedicated to trafficking counterfeit products and digital theft dupe consumers, steal our jobs, and threaten the vibrant Internet marketplace. America’s IP industries account for more than $7.7 trillion of U.S. GDP, drive 60% of U.S. exports, and employ more than 19 million Americans. The contributions of innovative and creative companies to the success of the American economy cannot be taken lightly.

The GIPC has helped lead the charge in support of enacting rogue sites legislation. Here are a few key statements made by representatives of a variety of businesses, artists and creators, labor unions, and professional organizations:

  • Ellen Seidler, Independent Filmmaker “Online piracy isn’t about altruism–it is about income. Today’s technology allows web pirates to steal content (films, music, e-books, etc.) and monetize that content with a click of a mouse. … Online theft is causing severe economic damage to content creators, and those who work in the support of them, at every level.”
  • David Israelite, President and CEO, National Music Publishers’ Association“Society expects law enforcement to have the tools it needs to fight crime in the streets. The same should be true of crime fighting online.… Sites that are operating solely to profit from unlicensed or counterfeit products endanger consumers, erode confidence in the system and undermine jobs and legitimate economic activity.”
  • John Fithian, National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), President and CEO“Few issues are as bipartisan as fighting online theft, and NATO applauds our leaders on Capitol Hill for reaching across the aisle to craft balanced IP enforcement legislation that targets the rogue websites threatening the livelihoods of 160,000 movie theater employees and undermining the nation’s economic growth”
  • Joseph Nauman, Executive Vice President, Acushnet Company“As a trademark holder and brand owner, this legislation could not be more timely…. The golf equipment industry directly provides thousands of jobs in the United States, not to mention all of support and ancillary jobs that the industry drives. Rampant escalation of online counterfeiting jeopardizes the continued viability of those jobs and any potential industry growth. Legislation to stop on line counterfeiting will help protect those jobs.”

The broad level of support for this legislation is unique, especially in its ability to link not only business and labor, but for both parties to reach across the aisle to advance a worthwhile and important cause. We can combat criminals who profit from our innovation and creativity, and help preserve the American spirit of ingenuity and hard-work. The Chamber looks forward to working with Congressional leadership throughout the legislative process to support the passage of a bill that will effectively deal with this growing problem.

To learn more about our campaign against online theft, please visit www.fightonlinetheft.com.

Subscribe for updates from GIPC