MPAA Urges Legislation Against 'Rogue' Sites

Congressional action would "go a long way towards shutting down the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted works," executive vp, government affairs Michael O’Leary said.

NEW YORK - The MPAA has renewed its call for legislative action against what it has called "rogue" Web sites, which offer pirated video content instead of properly licensing content.

Legislation combined with other efforts "will go a long way towards shutting down the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted works and close a gap in the intellectual property law,” said Michael O’Leary, executive vp, government affairs in testimony submitted for the record to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet Subcommittee,

The committee on Wednesday held a hearing on the negative impact of online theft entitled “Promoting Investment and Protecting Commerce Online: Legitimate Sites v. Parasites.”

New MPAA head Chris Dodd in his recent inaugural speech also mentioned rogue sites as a key threat.

A group of politicians from both parties in October unveiled a proposal for the "Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act," designed to help combat the theft and distribution of illegal digital movies and TV shows on the Internet.

The MPAA has said that rogue sites include sites that offer streaming or downloadable copyrighted content or link to "a torrent or other metadate file that initiates piracy."

They are often based offshore and are increasingly sophisticated, offering advertising, payment via credit cards and even rewards programs, the organization said last year.

“The key foundation of American industry – the expectation that hard work and innovation is rewarded – is imperiled when thieves, whether online or on the street, are allowed to steal America’s creative products and enrich themselves along the way," said O’Leary.

Read his full statement here.