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Business News (more headlines) 12-18-2011

MPAA Statement On Strong Showing Of Support For Stop Online Piracy Act

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The House Judiciary Committee recessed its markup of the Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261), a bill that would provide the Justice Department with major new tools to seek court orders to curb online content theft and counterfeiting by foreign rogue websites. The action came after the Committee had considered over 25 amendments to the bill, consistently voting by a 2-1 margin against measures that would have made it more difficult to combat online theft and counterfeiting. The following is a statement by Michael O'Leary, Senior Executive Vice President for Global Policy and External Affairs for the Motion Picture Association of America Inc. (MPAA).

"We applaud Chairman Lamar Smith, Ranking Member John Conyers and the members of the House Judiciary Committee for taking up and showing such strong bi-partisan support for legislation to curb online content theft and counterfeiting by foreign rogue websites, which are costing hundreds of thousands of American jobs and billions in lost wages and benefits.

The Chairman and the supporters of this important legislation are to be commended for continuing to work with interested parties to fashion a strong bill that has a growing base of support. The Judiciary Committee's overwhelming support for the bill shows that the legislative process, when allowed to work, can result in strong, bi-partisan legislation that will protect millions of American jobs and creativity. It also illustrates the strong commitment in Washington to take steps to combat foreign theft of American products this Congress.

Over the past two days, the Committee has carefully considered and defeated dozens of amendments that would have weakened the bill and would have made it more difficult to stop online content theft and counterfeiting. When the Committee resumes its work, we believe the bill will be approved by a strong bi-partisan margin and will be taken up by the full House and approved.

It is critical that this legislation, along with the PROTECT IP Act (S. 968), which was already approved unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee, move forward to preserve American jobs and help grow our economy. Every day of delay means foreign criminal 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.

Content theft is not a victimless crime. More than 2.2 million hard-working, middle-class people in all 50 states depend on the entertainment industry for their jobs and many millions more work in other industries that rely on intellectual property. For all these workers and their families, online content and counterfeiting by these foreign sites mean declining incomes, lost jobs and reduced health and retirement benefits.

According to the Institute for Policy Innovation, more than $58 billion is lost to the U.S. economy annually due to content theft, including more than 373,000 lost American jobs, $16 million in lost employees earnings, plus $3 billion in badly needed federal, state and local governments' tax revenue."


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