STATEMENT FROM: Copyright Alliance Executive Director Sandra Aistars, RE: Statement from White House on Legislative Efforts to Address Rogue Web Sites

Date Published: 

January 17, 2012

WASHINGTON—The White House today issued comments about efforts in the U.S. Congress to address foreign rogue websites trafficking pirated and counterfeited goods to U.S. consumers. Copyright Alliance Executive Director Sandra Aistars made the following statement:

"Artists and creators, particularly small and independent artists and creators, rely on a vibrant Internet to reach fans, network and market their work. Increasingly, however, the rampant theft by rogue websites of copyrighted work by American creators is rendering their efforts economically meaningless. We appreciate the Administration today affirming the fact that 'existing tools are not strong enough to root out the worst online pirates beyond our borders' and calling 'on all sides to work together to pass sound legislation this year' to combat online piracy.

"We also appreciate the goals outlined by the Administration and agree that legislative efforts to protect American workers and enforce intellectual property rights online should neither harm free speech nor damage the structure and security of the Internet.

"We are confident that if people take the time to read the Protect IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act, rather than unquestioningly accepting view points being put forward by parties with commercial interests in preserving the status quo, they will see that these bills meet all the goals outlined by the Administration today.

"We are concerned that all the rhetoric surrounding the bills entirely ignores the plight of individual artists and creators. In particular we are extremely concerned about the OPEN Act because it would leave individual artists and creators in a worse situation than they face now, establishing entirely illusory remedies that are geared only to the largest of corporate interests - and offering inadequate protection even for those.

"We appreciate the Administration's suggestion that all affected parties need to be included in the discussion, and look forward to an opportunity to join a consultation with the Administration and other affected stakeholders about the way forward."

ABOUT THE COPYRIGHT ALLIANCE

The Copyright Alliance is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest and educational organization representing artists and creators across the spectrum of copyright disciplines, including more than 40 trade association, companies and guilds, and 8,000 individual artists and creators. For more information, please visit www.copyrightalliance.org.