October 21, 2010

U.S. Chamber Joins Call for Congressional Action to Shut Down Rogue Websites

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) today joined a broad coalition of more than 40 companies and business organizations in supporting S. 3804, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeit Act. In a letter to Senator Patrick Leahy, the signatories cite the growing problem of online counterfeiting and piracy and urge for action on the legislation prior to the close of the 111th Congress.

“This legislation has attracted strong bi-partisan support in the Senate and is equally supported by a broad and diverse array of American businesses and labor unions,” said David Hirschmann, president and CEO of the GIPC. “We urge the full Senate to act on this reasonable and carefully crafted legislation that will help shut down the worst of the worst online sites that are engaged in illegal activity and costing Americans their jobs.”

The letter, signed by 44 companies and organizations, emphasizes the damage these rogue websites can inflict on businesses and consumers. The letter also notes that these sites—“many of which are hosted outside of the United States—have become increasingly sophisticated in both design and operation, and often deceive consumers into believing they are legitimate.” Additionally, the letter makes clear that this legislation is aimed at thwarting criminal activity and dismisses the myth that S. 3804 would embolden efforts by foreign countries to censor political speech online. The signatories praise the Senator’s efforts to ensure that the legislation will “adhere to constitutional requirements that protect free speech and provide appropriate due process for all affected parties.”

“The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeit Act is a critical tool to fight back the rampant growth of online counterfeiting and piracy,” Hirschmann said. “This legislation will facilitate continued innovation and consumer access to digital products and services, while protecting consumers against rogue sites whose only purpose is to offer stolen content or counterfeit products.  As the letter has noted, the business community stands ready to work with the bipartisan supporters in Congress to further improve the bill and facilitate its enactment this year.”

The Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center is working around the world to champion intellectual property (IP) rights as vital to creating jobs, saving lives, advancing global economic growth, and generating breakthrough solutions to global challenges.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.

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