WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Chris Coons (D-DE), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, sent letters to the Department of Justice (DOJ), Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and the United States Copyright Office seeking additional information on their ongoing efforts to combat intellectual property infringement that harms American businesses and consumers, as well as our nation’s larger innovation economy.
The letters follow testimony Senators Tillis and Coons heard from multiple witnesses at a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property hearing on the role of intellectual property in sports and public safety. Specifically, witnesses testified about the significant economic losses caused by rampant copyright infringement through illicit streaming and the significant public safety risks posed by counterfeit goods flowing into the United States from China.
In their letter to the CBP, the Senators stressed the importance of government cooperation with industry partners to address the public safety risks posed by counterfeit goods and the economic harm counterfeit goods cause to the American economy. The Senators also expressed concerns about counterfeit goods shipped into the country that infringe design patents and asked the CBP to provide input on how best to close this loophole in the current law and protect American consumers.
“We encourage CBP to maximize the partnership with industry rights holders by sharing as much information as possible,” wrote the Senators to the CBP.
In the letters to the DOJ and the U.S. Copyright Office, the Senators highlighted the proliferation and economic impact illegal online streaming of copyrighted content has on the American economy. The Senators called on the DOJ to prioritize enforcement against entities that provide copyrighted content to stream without authorization.
“The Department should consider all tools currently available to effectively deter illicit streaming. Failing to prioritize enforcement could cost the American economy millions of dollars a year,” wrote the Senators to the DOJ.
The Senators also asked the U.S. Copyright Office to provide input on the interpretation of current laws and how they apply to illegal streaming.
“Ambiguity about when the unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content infringes the distribution right emboldens infringers and harms America’s innovation economy,” wrote the Senators to the U.S. Copyright Office.
Read the letter to DOJ HERE.
Read the letter to CBP HERE.
Read the letter to the U.S. Copyright Office HERE.