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House Introduces Bipartisan Legislation To Protect American IP Jobs

WASHINGTON - The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) today welcomed the introduction in the U.S. House of Representatives of bipartisan legislation, the Stop Online Piracy Act, designed to provide the Department of Justice with meaningful tools to prevent offshore "rogue" sites from offering access to illicit and counterfeit American products. The legislation was introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, Ranking Democratic Member John Conyers, Intellectual Property Subcommittee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and former Subcommittee Chairman Howard Berman. The House Judiciary Committee announced a hearing on the Stop Online Piracy Act on November 16, 2011.


The bill serves as the chamber’s counterpart to similar legislation in the Senate known as the PROTECT IP bill. The PROTECT IP legislation was introduced by Sen. Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and currently has 34 bipartisan co-sponsors.


Upon the introduction of the Stop Online Piracy Act, Cary Sherman, Chairman and CEO, RIAA, offered the following statement:


“Whether you’re in a taxicab in Paris, a hotel in Calcutta or a restaurant in Tokyo, American music can be heard the world over. The global appeal of American music is also a prime reason that rogue operators set up shop overseas and offer easy access to illegal downloads that pay nothing to creators and result in thousands of lost jobs and fewer opportunities for aspiring musicians.


“This legislation is a first step towards a brighter day when these rogue offshore websites can no longer duck accountability under U.S. laws, all the while providing a critical boost to the marketplace for legal digital music services. The Smith bill sensibly requires relevant parties to work together to address the collateral damage caused to everyone involved in legitimate online commerce and appropriately complements other voluntary efforts already underway. Notably, the bill also allows reasonable flexibility for ISPs in determining the most appropriate technological manner for blocking illegal sites and provides ample legal safeguards for sites accused of infringement.


“This bipartisan effort serves as another example of the broad and borderless role that intermediaries can play in discouraging digital theft. If the extensive and growing support for its companion Senate bill is any indication, policymakers, labor unions and American businesses across every industrial sector have all embraced the sensible approach of holding rogue websites accountable. We commend Chairmen Smith and Goodlatte, Ranking Members Conyers, Congressman Berman, and the co-sponsors for their leadership and we look forward to working with both House and Senate leaders on a cohesive and common sense way forward that most meaningfully tackles the problems caused by rogue sites.”


CONTACTS: Jonathan Lamy (jlamy@riaa.com), Cara Duckworth (cduckworth@riaa.com) or Liz Kennedy (lkennedy@riaa.com): 202-775-0101


The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is the trade organization that supports and promotes the creative and financial vitality of the major music companies. Its members comprise the most vibrant record industry in the world. RIAA® members create, manufacture and/or distribute approximately 85% of all legitimate recorded music produced and sold in the United States.

In support of this mission, the RIAA works to protect the intellectual property and First Amendment rights of artists and music labels; conduct consumer, industry and technical research; and monitor and review state and federal laws, regulations and policies. The RIAA® also certifies Gold®, Platinum®, Multi-Platinum™ and Diamond sales awards as well as Los Premios De Oro y Platino™, an award celebrating Latin music sales.

Jonathan Lamy
Cara Duckworth
Liz Kennedy