Forty-two U.S. Attorneys General – from states and territories spanning from Kansas to Hawaii – have written the leaders of the U.S. Senate and House Judiciary Committees, Chairman Patrick Leahy, Ranking Member Chuck Grassley, Chairman Lamar Smith and Ranking Member John Conyers, to support constructing the legislative framework necessary to stem the illegal trafficking of stolen and counterfeit American products online, and thank them for making online content protection a top priority. Their letter helps demonstrate the critical need for Congress to take action against a growing threat to the millions of American workers and businesses whose jobs, benefits and economic viability are so threatened by the growth of content theft by foreign based rogue websites.
To quote the letter:
“A growing number of rogue websites are based overseas, presenting law enforcement with unique enforcement challenges. We are therefore extremely pleased that in Washington, D.C., both the House and Senate have turned their attention to this major problem. Legislation is needed to disrupt the counterfeiting and pirate business model by cutting those sites off from the American marketplace. This narrowly tailored response to clearly illegal activity would enable effective action against the worst of the worst counterfeiters and pirates online.”
Led by Co-Chairs of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, and NAAG President, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, the letter indicates that the current challenges facing officials tasked with enforcing U.S. laws online are hurdles that must be resolved in order to effectively address the growing cost of online content theft.
Rob McKenna, Washington Attorney General: “Today, the global reach and anonymity of the Internet provides an attractive platform for criminals who capitalize on the theft of intellectual property in search of easy money with little risk of getting caught or punished. That’s why the vast majority of attorneys general across the country joined in this letter to congressional leaders encouraging federal action against rogue websites.”
Jim Hood, Mississippi Attorney General: “As Co-Chairs of the National Association of Attorneys General's Intellectual Property Theft Committee, we have made it a priority to combat the sale of counterfeit and pirated products. We are encouraged by Congress’ commitment to combating rogue sites and creating a safer, more vibrant Internet marketplace.”
These AGs are joining a chorus of officials urging a crackdown on content theft online to address the proliferation of the black market traffickers disseminating stolen content online. By disrupting their business model and blocking their profit sources, enforcement officials can take the upper hand in stopping these criminals from taking advantage of the anonymous nature of the Internet to flout U.S. law.