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Friday, May 13, 2011
Senate Introduces PROTECT IP Legislation to Confront Foreign Counterfeiting Websites

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee leaders Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today introduced bipartisan legislation to counter and closedown foreign websites that sell pirated American products.

The bipartisan bill, S.968?the "Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act," or "PROTECT IP Act," is cosponsored by Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).

The legislation targeted at reducing copyright piracy on the Internet would allow copyright owners to get court orders requiring Internet service providers and search engines to stop sending traffic to websites accused of trafficking in infringing goods.

The bill also allows for blacklists of websites and allows copyright holders to get court injunctions against credit card companies and other businesses.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) offered the following statement by Chairman & CEO Mitch Bainwol on the legislation:

"American music is repeatedly stolen online every day, yet current laws have not kept pace with criminal enterprises that set up rogue websites overseas to escape accountability," said Bainwol. "The result for the music community is thousands of lost jobs and fewer opportunities for aspiring musicians. This important legislation represents the beginning of a common-sense approach to hold illicit foreign websites accountable for profiting from the pirating of American ingenuity and creativity.

"We thank and applaud Chairman Leahy, Ranking Member Grassley, Senator Hatch and all of the cosponsors for their important work on 'PROTECT IP Act.' We look forward to working with the Senate and the House as they continue to develop an effective law that will save American jobs, protect creators' property from rampant online theft and foster a legitimate online shopping experience for consumers."

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