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Senators explore new website seizure options

Grant Gross | Feb. 16, 2011
U.S senators will introduce legislation this year targeting websites that traffic in digital piracy or counterfeited goods, said the primary sponsor of a controversial bill proposed in 2010 that would give government agencies more authority to shut down those sites.

Several other groups have raised other concerns, Dailey told senators. "We also note that the new approaches to combating online piracy in the legislation raise complex issues, and that government-sanctioned website blocking represents a major shift in U.S. policy that requires careful consideration and input from a wide variety and group of stakeholders," he said.

Witnesses at the hearing questioned why search engines were delivering search results and selling advertising to websites that sell counterfeit or pirated goods. "You've got to stop selling your product to the bad guys," Jones said. "There's no reason for that."

Representatives of Google (GOOG) and Yahoo (YHOO) did not respond to a request for comment.

Author Scott Turow and Tom Adams, president and CEO of language-learning software maker Rosetta Stone, both urged senators to take bold new steps to protect U.S. intellectual property. People using search engines can find dozens of websites selling fake Rosetta Stone software, Adams said.

"Over the past several years, we've frankly been under attack, by pirates and counterfeiters," Adams said. "American companies today are losing the battle against these counterfeiters."

 

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