Leahy: Senate Should Debate How To Fight Online Infringement

“If there is one thing upon which there is consensus in the United States Senate it is that we need to consider ways in which American law enforcement can protect American consumers and defend American intellectual property rights against foreign criminals who are stealing American creative products and the jobs that go with them.  When introducing the PROTECT IP Act in May 2011, the bill’s leading cosponsors called this a ‘common-sense bill,’ stating that it would ‘add another tool to the toolbox for going after these criminals and protecting the American public.’

“All Senators should want to debate this important issue.  And let us be clear: the vote scheduled for January 24 is a vote to begin an open debate on how to address this issue, which is crippling the American economy and threatening thousands of American jobs.  As one leading Republican sponsor of this legislation said when the PROTECT IP Act was introduced, ‘doing nothing is not an option.’ 

“Saying no to debating the PROTECT IP Act hurts the economy.  It says no to the American workers whose livelihoods depend on intellectual property-reliant businesses.  And it says yes to the criminals hiding overseas stealing American intellectual property and selling it back to American consumers.  All Senators should agree that this is a debate we must have, and we should have, and should support cloture on the motion to proceed on January 24.”

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