SEMA Joins Effort to Combat Online Piracy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Media Contact:
Della Domingo, dellad@sema.org
SEMA 909/978-6723

SEMA Joins Effort to Combat Online Piracy

Diamond Bar, Calif. (May 19, 2011) - The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) is working with the Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy (CACP), U.S. Chamber of Commerce, labor organizations, large employers, and small businesses to support legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate to help shut down rogue websites that sell counterfeit goods.   Entitled the "Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act" (PROTECT IP), the bill would authorize the Justice Department to obtain court orders requiring search engines in the United States to stop displaying links to domain names. 

"Theft is theft, whether a product is stolen from the store shelf or sold as counterfeit goods over the Internet," said Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO.  "The PROTECT IP BILL will provide law enforcement with more tools to combat crime involving intellectual property.  Several years ago, the business community worked with Congress to update U.S. trademark law by allowing counterfeit goods to be destroyed along with the equipment used to produce the fake goods.  SEMA now welcomes the opportunity to strengthen U.S. copyright law by shielding American consumers from websites that peddle pirated goods."  

The legislation is needed to address the growing problem of online sales of counterfeit and pirated goods, whether specialty auto parts, pharmaceuticals or movies.  These products cost thousands of American jobs, expose consumers to health and safety threats, and tarnish business reputations. 

Companies can already pursue trademark infringement actions against people trafficking in counterfeit goods.  However, the PROTECT IP Act would allow companies to ask the federal government to help combat infringement by blocking access to the website, search engine references and consumer payments.  The legislation is especially important in combating foreign-operated sites or domain names that are not registered through a U.S. based registry.  The PROTECT IP Act would nevertheless provide the domain operator full due process protections, including the right to argue its case in court and prove that its site is not engaged in IP theft. 

For more information on the PROTECT IP Act and the campaign against online theft, please visit www.fightonlinetheft.com or contact the SEMA Government Affairs Office at 202.783.6007.


About SEMA
SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association founded in 1963, represents the $27.9 billion specialty automotive industry of 6,461 member-companies. It is the authoritative source for research, data, trends and market growth information for the specialty auto parts industry. The industry provides appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and technology products for passenger and recreational vehicles. For more information, contact SEMA at 1575 S. Valley Vista Dr., Diamond Bar, CA 91765, tel: 909/396-0289, or visit www.sema.org or www.enjoythedrive.com.