Copyright Law Updates | New Proposed Legislation
October 31, 2011
Bipartisan Bill Combats Online Piracy
Stop Online Piracy Act
H.R. 326, 10/26/2011
A bipartisan group in the House has introduced legislation that expands protections for America’s intellectual property (IP) and combats the illegal distribution of counterfeit goods via rogue websites.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261) allows the Attorney General to seek injunctions against foreign websites that steal and sell American innovations and products.
The bill increases criminal penalties for individuals who traffic in counterfeit medicine and military goods, which put innocent civilians and American soldiers at risk. And it improves coordination between IP enforcement agencies in the U.S.
Eight members joined House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.), IP Subcommittee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.) in sponsoring the bill.
Chairman Smith: “Rogue websites that steal and sell American innovations have operated with impunity. The online thieves who run these foreign websites are out of the reach of U.S. law enforcement agencies and profit from selling pirated goods without any legal consequences. According to estimates, IP theft costs the U.S. economy more than $100 billion annually and results in the loss of thousands of American jobs.
“The Stop Online Piracy Act helps stop the flow of revenue to rogue websites and ensures that the profits from American innovations go to American innovators. The bill prevents online thieves from selling counterfeit goods in the U.S., expands international protections for intellectual property, and protects American consumers from dangerous counterfeit products.
“American IP industries provide 19 million high-paying jobs to the U.S. economy and account for more than 60% of U.S. exports. It’s time to stop online piracy and start protecting American jobs and innovations.”
After its introduction on the House floor, representatives referred the bill to the Committee on Judiciary for study and deliberation.
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