Hill Tees Up Online Property Protection In New Congress

Legislators to meet with business and labor on Monday
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Legislators are getting together with business and labor
Monday afternoon to talk about protecting intellectual property online.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
introduced a bipartisan bill last September that would give the Justice
Department more power to shut down Web sites that illegally stream or sell TV

A spokesperson for Leahy said not new legislation is being
introduced Monday, but that the plan remains to introduce a bill. The Leahy
bill passed out of committee unanimously last fall, but ran out of time for a
floor vote before the end of the session.

The press conference will essentially tee up the issue in
the new Congress. A lineup of heavy hitters is getting together to talk about
the cost to the U.S.
of online intellectual property theft--more than $100 billion a year and
thousands of jobs. Representatives of Columbia Sportswear and the AFL-CIO
are scheduled to talk about that cost.

Also speaking are Leahy, and House Judiciary Committee
Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) and ranking member John Conyers (D-Mich.), and
Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.).

A studio source says to look for new legislation in
both House and Senate on the issue in the next few weeks. Smith and Conyers are
working on a bill, and have a hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

There will be a hefty union presence, including
representatives of The Directors Guild, Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA.