Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

by Gregory Joseph 01/12/2012 13:53 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

Those who still think the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT-IP Act aren’t about jobs for hard-working Americans need to read the editorial by Danny L. Thompson, the Executive Secretary Treasurer of the Nevada State AFL-CIO,  in today’s Las Vegas Sun

  • Thompson writes: “When foreign websites illegally sell counterfeited intellectual property, they are taking jobs, income and benefits from American workers…The motion picture industry alone employs nearly 7,900 people in Nevada — not just actors, but stage employees, technicians, musicians, writers and many other middle-class workers. And the revenues generated from the film industry’s production in Nevada total more than $90 million each year and $1.2 billion since 2000. Online piracy put this all at risk.”

As Nevada leads the nation in unemployment, Thompson is right to sound the warning that “copyright infringement also extends far beyond film and music.” Thompson is correct in his understanding that SOPA and PROTECT-IP are not solely about movie industry jobs.

  • He writes: “Nevada businesses developing software and creative manufacturing technologies are also supporting SOPA and PROTECT-IP to protect their innovations from being stolen and distributed on the Internet. The engineering firm Bechtel Nevada, one of Southern Nevada’s largest nongaming employers with 3,000 employees, and Reno-based gaming developer International Game Technology, employing 2,500 in Reno and 600 in Las Vegas, both support these solutions to protect their intellectual property and the vitality of their businesses.”

Organized labor has been a strong supporter of both SOPA and PROTECT-IP.  Organizations like the AFL-CIO understand that our current economic climate demands the preservation of jobs for American workers.

Law Enforcement Stands Behind SOPA and PIPA

by Gregory Joseph 01/11/2012 11:19 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

While the Attorney General of Utah Mark Shurtleff came out strongly against rogue websites and in support of SOPA and PIPA, he is not the only distinguished member of the law enforcement community to support these bills. The fact is law enforcement organizations, which are on the front lines managing the increasing dangers of foreign owned or operated websites, strongly support both bills.  

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced the launch of a public education campaign to increase Americans’ knowledge of the threat IP crimes pose to America’s economic prosperity and public safety. In addition, 15 leading public safety and law enforcement groups including the National Criminal Justice Association, the National Troopers Association, and the National District Attorneys Association, urged Congress to support and enact SOPA and the PROTECT IP Act.

And since they’re those out there so caught up with the use of words, let’s take a look at some of the language law enforcement has used to shower support on PIPA and SOPA. The President of the Fraternal Order of Police said the PROTECT IP ACT “would strengthen the ability of the United States to take action against foreign ‘rogue’ websites that traffic in counterfeit and pirated products,” while the National Association of Attorneys General urged Congress to enact these bills because “legislation is needed to disrupt the counterfeiting and pirate business model by cutting those sites off from the American marketplace.” The President of the Major Cities Chiefs’ Association, which represents 63 of the largest police departments in the nation, called on ISP’s to join in the fight against rogue websites who “routinely violate the intellectual property of U.S. companies and individuals.”

Their assessment of the severity of illegal activity committed by rogue websites is reflected in the 2011 seizure statistics issued by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Office of International Trade, which notes that “[t]heft of intellectual property is a serious crime,” and details the type and extent of seizures of counterfeit products, including pharmaceuticals.

Utah Leads the Way

by Gregory Joseph 01/09/2012 13:49 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

Writing in the Salt Lake City Tribune, Utah Attorney General Mark L. Shurtleff effectively hammers the point that Google, Yahoo and others have spent millions trying to distort – that states which allow rogue websites to operate unfettered will experience massive revenue reduction and job loss. Calling operators of rogue websites by their real name; criminals, Shurtleff goes on to write that these criminals “unload unsafe products and malicious computer viruses, perpetrate identify theft and engage in wholesale theft of America’s most innovative products.”

Shurtleff rightly contends that  America cannot afford to lose one more job, let alone the shuttering of entire industries that can occur if online piracy continues unabated.

Yet, that’s exactly what failing to pass the PROTECT IP Act in the Senate, and the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House will allow. Industries that provide millions of dollars to local economies and thousands of jobs will be jeopardized. For example, in Utah the film and television industry is responsible for nearly 8,000 jobs and $385 million in wages. However, despite providing a tremendous economic benefit, Shurtleff points out “these industries and jobs are undermined by online counterfeiting and piracy.”

Hard-working Americans make great American products. We shouldn’t allow an international network of faceless criminals to seize or stifle this greatness.

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