The good news is that Congressman Darrell Issa and Senator Ron Wyden recognize that doing nothing to stop foreign criminals who profit from stolen creative content and counterfeit goods on their websites is not an option. American jobs are being placed at risk and consumers can face serious dangers from counterfeit drugs and other products, so it is critical that action be taken by Congress.
The bad news is that this draft legislation fails to provide an effective way to target foreign rogue websites and goes easy on online piracy and counterfeiting. By changing the venue from our federal courts to the U.S. International Trade Commission, it places copyright holders at a disadvantage and allows companies profiting from online piracy to advocate for foreign rogue websites against rightful American copyright holders. It even allows notification to some of these companies if they want to help advocate for rogue websites.
We need action now to preserve American jobs and help grow our economy. Every day that we don’t act foreign rogue websites and companies profiting from these websites continue to reap financial gain at the expense of American jobs and Americans’ hard work, investment and ingenuity. Hopefully, this draft legislation is not just a delaying tactic to prevent Congress from acting quickly on this serious problem.
The PROTECT IP Act, sponsored by Senators Patrick Leahy, Orrin Hatch and 38 others, and the Stop Online Piracy Act, sponsored by Representatives Lamar Smith, John Conyers and 28 others offer measured, needed solutions to target online theft and counterfeiting by rogue websites. Few bills have this type of bipartisan support and the backing of businesses and labor groups. The draft legislation introduced by Congressman Issa and Senator Wyden goes far easier on the criminal enterprises operting these rogue websites than these two bills.