Reality Checks: Don’t Be Fooled by Anti-IP’s Scare Tactics

Well, it looks like Halloween came a few days early for the anti-IP crowd this year. With the introduction of rogue sites legislation in the House, the Stop Online Piracy Act, they have been unpacking all their favorite ghouls and hobgoblins. And just like cheap paper decorations, their claims are thin and don’t stand up. But they just keep churning this stuff out. So, we here at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global IP Center have decided to call their bluff— and we’ll do so by offering a series of REALITY CHECKS. We will be highlighting the most extreme and absurd claims made by the anti-IP crowd, and debunking them with <*gasp*>…the facts.

First up is Demand Progress. Before they even saw the House bill, they started calling it the “New Internet Blacklist Bill.” Blacklist?  That sounds pretty bad. But before we get carried away, let’s take a look at the actual language of the actual legislation. Can YOU find a blacklist? No? Can you find a list of ANY kind? No?

Oooh, oooh, wait. There’s a study! The bill requires a report to Congress about “notorious foreign infringers!” Wow. So, the only thing Demand Progress can hang its hat on is a study and a report to Congress. The fact is that the ONLY way that the Stop Online Piracy Act requires action against rogue sites is through a federal court process, applying the same rules of notice and procedure as any other case. The same is true for the Senate bill, the PROTECT IP Act.

Undeterred by the facts, Demand Progress continues to try to scare people with this rhetoric. But what is really scary are the millions of American jobs—over 19 million jobs to be exact—and consumers that are put at risk by illegal, dangerous products offered by foreign rogue sites that disguise themselves as legitimate online vendors. Remember Glenda’s friend? Fortunately, the tricks being offered by the anti-IP crowd aren’t fooling anyone. Rogue sites legislation has broad, bipartisan support in Congress (with an unprecedented 35 cosponsors in the Senate!), among almost all state Attorneys General, and from a coalition of over 380 companies, trade associations, and professional organizations employing millions of American workers from nearly every sector of the economy and all 50 States.

That’s no fake blood- real companies are being bled to death by these foreign IP-thieves. The threat to jobs, consumers, and innovation posed by rogue sites is, indeed, the true horror of this story and cannot go left unchecked. Rogue sites legislation is needed, and needed today.

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