The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has some strong language for critics of Sen. Patrick Leahy’s (D-Vt.) online piracy bill, the PROTECT IP Act. The group, which represents business interests in the United States (and is considered to be a largely conservative organization), fired back at critics on Friday who painted the bill as an effort backed by Hollywood and not businesses.
The anti-IP crowd is “tripping all over themselves trying to pretend (and convince others) that legislation against rogue sites is just for the benefit of Hollywood,” wrote Steve Tepp, chief intellectual property counsel for the Chamber’s Global Intellectual Property Center, in a blog post on Friday.
The response came after Politico posted a story indicating that both Google and Consumer Electronics Association were thinking of leaving the trade group for making web companies police the Internet. Yahoo left the Chamber in October, largely over its support of Sen. Patrick Leahy’s online piracy bill.
Tepp argued in a blog post that anti-piracy legislation is supported by plenty of companies outside of Hollywood including Caterpillar, Nike and Major League Baseball and smaller companies. He says that plenty of corporations want Congress to crack down on sites that sell counterfeit software, fake pharmaceutical drugs, entertainment content and other American-produced goods.
"The even bigger story is that rogue sites harm businesses and steal jobs across our entire economy," Tepp wrote. "And that is why the support for legislation to tackle rogue sites has incredibly broad support."
The IP protection laws before the House and Senate also have the support of the AFL-CIO, National Fraternal Order of Police, International Association of Firefighters and more than 40 state attorneys general, Tepp wrote.
They face plenty of opposition from online rights groups and internet users who feel that these laws go too far, erode internet freedoms and don't provide a fair amount of due process to accused sites.