Pharmaceuticals Warn Consumers on the Dangers of Rogue Websites

by Jessica Garcia 08/02/2011 09:12 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) has published alarming findings on the dangers of rogue websites. The new report, The Internet Drug Outlet Identification Program Progress Report for State and Federal Regulators: July 2011, found that out of 8,000 websites selling prescription drugs, 96% do not comply with United States pharmacy laws, facilitate prescription drug abuse and misuse, and provide an outlet for counterfeit medicines to enter the US drug supply. NABP has issued a public health alert in response to the report findings:

“The fake online pharmacy crisis has reached an epidemic level – they prey on prescription drug abusers and the most vulnerable members of society who rely on medicine every day for their health,” said NABP President Malcolm J. Broussard, RPh. “They offer easy access to potent medicines without a prescription and indiscriminately push dangerous counterfeit drugs. This problem poses a clear danger to Americans’ health and safety and weakens the essential relationships between pharmacists and patients. By issuing a public health alert, we are calling on pharmacists, physicians, and other health professionals to educate their patients about the growing public health threat posed by these illegal online enterprises.”

This report is a troubling reminder that rogue sites aren’t just illegal – too often, they are dangerous.  And as we saw in this video from, counterfeit drugs purchased from rogue sites can even be fatal. 

From malware and identify theft to and counterfeit prescription medicines, rogue sites are clearly a serious threat to health and safety.  This is yet another reason why we need legislation like the PROTECT IP Act to protect the American people against those who threaten our safety for a profit.


Categories: Policy

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Pittsburgh Transforms into Gotham City

by Jessica Garcia 07/27/2011 09:44 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania will transform into Gotham City when Magnus Rex begins local filming this week. Magnus Rex, the third installment of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, will feature local attractions including Heinz Field, Downtown, Carnegie Mellon University and plenty of opportunities for Pittsburghers to witness a little bit of staged mayhem.

This Warner Bros. film is causing quite the stir as the largest production ever to be filmed in Pittsburgh. The local economic impact of Magnus Rex will undoubtedly be sizable: according to the Pittsburgh Business Times, many local businesses and up to 10,000 extras will be employed to help with the needs of the production.

The motion picture and television industry already makes a major impact in Pennsylvania, accounting for 18,181 production and distribution-related jobs and $756.3 million in wages as of 2009.

Gotham City may be known for its crime and corruption, but this week Gotham City is bringing in millions of dollars and thousands of jobs to Pittsburgh.

California Legislators Hold Hearing on the Ongoing Threat of Piracy

by Jessica Garcia 06/29/2011 09:24 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

A cross-section of leaders from creative industries impacted by piracy and counterfeiting were called upon last week to provide testimony at an informational hearing, “The Ongoing Threat of Piracy to our Economy,” convened by California State Senator Curren Price, Chairman of the Joint Committee on the Arts, and Committee member Senator Ron Calderon.

Held last week on the Paramount Studios lot, the hearing opened with a screening of New York City’s latest public service announcement (PSA) aimed at educating the public on the consequences of piracy. The PSA gives a face to the below-the-line movie industry workers impacted by content theft.

Kevin Suh, Senior Vice President of Content Protection, Internet, testified on behalf of the MPAA. Informing on the threat of rogue websites, he stated:

The sites, whose operators are located throughout the world, take many forms, but have in common the simple fact that all materially contribute to, facilitate and/or induce the distribution of copyrighted works, such as movies and television programming.

These “rogue” websites are increasingly sophisticated and take on many attributes of legitimate content delivery sites, creating additional enforcement challenges and feeding consumer confusion.

Rogue sites legislation, at the federal level, is needed to address the threat to our industry. 

Other panelists included representatives from the Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition; Teamsters Local 399; the Business Software Alliance; the Recording Industry Association of America; Levi Strauss & Co.; and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The overall message of the hearing was that piracy and counterfeiting is a serious threat to all creative industries, consumers, and the economy.

A webcast of the hearing is available here.

Michelle Obama Rallies Hollywood in Support of Military Families

by Jessica Garcia 06/15/2011 09:21 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

Monday Michelle Obama made a guest appearance in Los Angeles to rally the Hollywood troops in support of our nation’s military families.
In an event hosted by the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Directors Guild of America, Producers Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild, and Writers Guild of America, Michelle Obama sat on a panel moderated by Super 8 director, J.J. Abrams, along with three members of military families and Army Wives creator Katherine Fugate.

The First Lady, together with Dr. Jill Biden, is encouraging the entertainment industry’s involvement in the Joining Forces campaign by including military families in our films, television programming and digital content.

 “I urge you to do what you do best: Be creative, funny, dramatic and move us.”

Joining Forces is an ongoing effort to highlight the unique needs and strengths of America’s military families. Special focus lies in the employment, education and wellness challenges the community encounters. The campaign aims to inspire, educate, and spark action from all sectors of our society to ensure veterans and military families have the opportunities, resources and support they have earned.
The entertainment industry’s current involvement in Joining Forces includes:

 - Public service spots featuring Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey and military families to air in July

 -An original song composed by Dianne Warren, to be sung by the music group Rascal Flatts, entitled Compass

 - A cameo by the First Lady on Nickelodeon’s program iCarly, whose lead character is the daughter of an American Service Member

Joining Forces is a great opportunity to inspire a new generation in Hollywood to tell new compelling, intelligent and heartfelt stories of our military troops.

Movie Thieves Feel the Heat

by Jessica Garcia 05/26/2011 09:18 (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)

As the summer months approach and movie goers eagerly anticipate this year’s blockbuster films, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) continues to crack down on websites selling counterfeit goods and copyrighted materials.

ICE is now in the fifth stage of “Operation In Our Sites,” an ongoing effort to seize the domain names of websites used to sell counterfeit goods and copyrighted materials. During the course of the operation, ICE HSI agents investigate websites suspected of illegal activity within the United States. If the materials sold or distributed by the website are found to be counterfeit or illegal upon inspection, the website domain names are then seized by federal authorities. Since the launch of “Operation In Our Sites” in June 2010, ICE HSI and the IPR Center have seized 125 domain names, seventy-six of which have now been forfeited to the U.S. Government.
These websites not only violate intellectual property but place Americans in danger of purchasing faulty and dangerous products and cost the American economy billions of dollars annually.

We applaud ICE’s continued efforts to protect the United States economy and the more than two million people who work in and count on a thriving movie industry.

View complete ICE bulletin here.

Categories: Copyright

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