Technology

US Senate Bill to crack down on online piracy

MUMBAI: A bipartisan group of Senators in the US this week introduced legislation to address the growing problem of online piracy and counterfeiting.
 
The legislation will allow the federal government to quickly block websites anywhere in the world if they are dedicated to sharing copyrighted music or other protected content. Authorities will have more tools to crack down on websites engaged in piracy of movies, television shows and music.


The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act will empower the US Department of Justice to shut down, or block access to, websites found to be dedicated to infringing activities. Sites that use domain names registered by a US-based company, or a top-level-domain administered by a US-based company, would find their internet addresses frozen. 
 
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy and senior Republican member Orrin Hatch introduced the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act. The legislation is cosponsored by Committee members Herb Kohl, Arlen Specter, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, Sheldon Whitehouse and Amy Klobuchar. Senators Evan Bayh and George Voinovich are also cosponsors of the legislation.


Leahy says, "Each year, online piracy and the sale of counterfeit goods cost American businesses billions of dollars, and result in hundreds of thousands of lost jobs. The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act will protect the investment American companies make in developing brands and creating content and will protect the jobs associated with those investments. Protecting intellectual property is not uniquely a Democratic or Republican priority - it is a bipartisan priority."


Hatch said, "In today‘s global economy the Internet has become the glue of international commerce - connecting consumers with a wide-array of products and services worldwide. But it‘s also become a tool for online thieves to sell counterfeit and pirated goods, making hundreds of millions of dollars off of stolen American intellectual property".


Kohl said, "This legislation is critical to our continued fight against online piracy and counterfeiting. By coordinating our efforts with industry stakeholders and law enforcement officials, we‘ll be better able to target those who are profiting from illegal activity. This much needed bill will help law enforcement keep pace in shutting down websites that illegally sell copyrighted goods. That way we protect legitimate businesses from losing sales and consumers from being duped into purchasing counterfeit and unauthorized goods.


"By cracking down on online piracy of television shows and movies, we hope this bill will encourage copyright owners to develop innovative and competitive new choices for consumers to watch video over the internet."

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