Posts Tagged ‘PIPA’
February 2nd, 2012 at 4:49 pm
Counterfeit NFL Merchandise Bust Blows Hole in Internet Piracy Apologists’ Claim
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In the ongoing battle over Congressional legislation to target foreign rogue websites, opponents falsely characterize the battle as one pitting sinister liberal “Big Hollywood” against underdog champions of Internet freedom.

That characterization was always false, but too many conservatives and libertarians unfortunately fell for it.  The truth is that hundreds of businesses and employers, from the NFL to EA Sports to Ford Motor to 1-800-Contacts to Burberry supported the bill.  Why?  Because their property, employees and innovations actually suffer from the menace of online piracy.  Meanwhile, groups like Google have no property right at stake from online piracy.  Indeed, they benefit from uninterrupted rogue website traffic.  So no wonder they opposed anti-piracy legislation.

Today, just days before the Super Bowl, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency announced a major bust of 307 rogue websites selling millions of dollars’-worth of counterfeit merchandise:

Special agents this week seized a total of 307 websites and snatched up 42,692 items of phony Super Bowl-related memorabilia along with other counterfeit items for a total take of more than $4.8 million – up from $3.72 million last year.  Sixteen of the sites the agency shut down during this operation known as Fake Sweep, were illegally streaming live sporting telecasts over the Internet, including NFL games.  Two hundred ninety-one website domain names were illegally selling and distributing counterfeit merchandise, ICE stated.”

And the bust wasn’t limited to counterfeit NFL merchandise:

During this operation, an additional 22,570 items of counterfeit merchandise and clothing representing other sports leagues, including Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association and National Hockey League were seized by law enforcement. In total, this operation netted 65,262 counterfeit items worth $6.4 million, ICE stated.”

This is a critical example to keep in mind as the battle against foreign rogue websites moves forward.  That sort of illegal activity is already subject to seizure if it occurs within the U.S., but foreign sites remain largely beyond American law.  Piracy apologists want to make this look like anti-piracy legislation is just some sort of Big Hollywood handout, but this bust illustrates the falsity of that claim.

January 20th, 2012 at 9:25 am
Podcast: The Truth About SOPA and PIPA
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Timothy Lee, Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs at CFIF, corrects the record on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA), and explains the urgent need for congressional legislation to crack down on foreign rogue websites dedicated to the theft of American intellectual property.

Listen to the interview here.