Posts Tagged ‘Rogue Websites’
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 13th, 2012 at 1:35 pm
Video: Want to Protect American Jobs? Start by Fighting Internet Piracy
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In this week’s Freedom Minute, CFIF’s Renee Giachino debunks the misinformation by opponents of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and discusses the immediate need for Congress to pass legislation to crack down on foreign rogue websites that are dedicated to stealing U.S. intellectual property.


November 4th, 2011 at 4:16 pm
CFIF’s Timothy Lee to Speak at AFP’s Defending the American Dream Summit
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Timothy Lee, CFIF’s Vice President for Legal and Public Affairs, will speak at 1:15 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday, November 5) at the Defending the American Dream Summit, hosted by Americans for Prosperity.  The panel session at which Mr. Lee will speak is entitled “Keeping the Internet and Americans Safe from Illegal Foreign Rogue Websites,” in Room 209 – Track E.  Mr. Lee will appear with co-panelists Andrew Langer of the Institute for Liberty, Ryan Radia from the Competitive Enterprise Institute and panel host Steve Tepp from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

CFIF’s Liberty Update this week includes Mr. Lee’s commentary on the topic, entitled “Tea Partiers, Conservatives Should Embrace Congressional Anti-Piracy Legislation.” Please stop by for what promises to be an important discussion amid a very important summit hosted by AFP.

July 15th, 2011 at 12:39 pm
CFIF to Congress: Fight Online Theft Through the PROTECT IP Act
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This week, CFIF joined dozens of employers, entrepreneurs and groups spanning the political spectrum on Capitol Hill to ask Congress to help put a stop to online theft by rogue websites that steal jobs and cost American businesses $135 billion annually.  In this era it is rare to find an issue that achieves almost complete consensus among ideologies and interest groups, but this is one.

Rogue websites steal intellectual property (IP) through counterfeiting, knockoff goods, piracy and misappropriation of movies, music, books and software.  Such thieves don’t pay taxes, they don’t follow American laws, they cut into American exports at a time of enormous trade deficits and they cut into our jobs and earnings.  Astoundingly, such sites constitute approximately 25% of all Internet traffic (53 billion visits per year), deceive honest customers, spread malware and even threaten lives and health with counterfeit pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

Simply put, there is no justification or defense whatsoever for rogue websites.  So what to do?

Well, on May 12, 2011 Senators Orrin Hatch (R – Utah), Chuck Grassley (R – Iowa) and Patrick Leahy (D – Vermont) along with nine other original co-sponsors  introduced S. 968, the PROTECT IP Act.  That legislation would at long last halt rogue site access to the American market and help secure the fundamental rule of law.  Because many rogue sites operate outside our borders, the Act would allow the Department of Justice or private individuals to obtain court orders halting search engine connections to sites proven through due process to be “dedicated to infringing activity.”  The Act would also require payment processors and online advertising networks to discontinue payments to rogue sites.

Chances are that you or others close to you are impacted by rogue websites causing inestimable damage to U.S. jobs and prosperity.  We can help put a stop to that travesty by supporting the PROTECT IP Act and asking our Senators and Representatives to do the same.