September 21, 2010

Online Piracy The Subject Of Senate Bill

US law enforcement authorities could have more tools to help them crack down on websites pirating movies, TV shows and music, after the US Senate introduced a new bill on Monday.

Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, and Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, introduced and supported the bill from the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act.

The bill will give authorities the tools needed "to track and shut down websites devoted to providing access to unauthorized downloads, streaming or sale of copyrighted and counterfeit material," Leahy's office said.

The illegal products offered by websites, many of which are from non-US sources, range from movies to pharmaceutical products, it said in a statement.

Online piracy and the sale of counterfeit material "cost American businesses billions of dollars, and result in hundreds of thousands of lost jobs," said Leahy.

"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," said Hatch.

"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," he added.

The bill is critical to the continuing fight against online piracy and counterfeiting, Hatch said.

The bill will give the Justice Department an accelerated process for cracking down on websites engaged in illegal activity including having a court issue an order against a domain name that makes pirated goods available.

The Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus condemned Canada, China, Mexico, and Russia and in May for failing to crack down on piracy and said theft of intellectual property in those countries was at shocking levels.

The websites singled out by the caucus, were Chinas"˜ Baidu, Canada's isoHunt, Ukraine's MP3fiesta, Sweden's Pirate Bay, Germany's Rapidshare and Luxembourg's RMX4U.


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