Hollywood Wants DC To Get Tougher on Pirates


Hollywood film, video, and record producers, drug manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are calling on the U.S. government to get tougher on piracy, counterfeiting and other intellectual property theft.

At a Capitol Hill press conference scheduled for Thursday morning, the producers, via their Coaltion Against Counterfeiting and Piracy (CACP), and the Chamber, planned to call for a half dozen specific actions the government could take to foil what they called the hijackers of "American innovation, jobs and consumer health and safety."

They are: Boost the participation of the departments of Justice and Homeland Security, toughen border enforcement, levy bigger fines and penalties, improve intergovernmental communication and coordination, reform laws, and better educate consumers.

The group is looking to raise the issue's profile at the White House and to get Congress to weigh in as well.

"We must escalate leadership on IP protection into the White House," says NBCU VP and General Counsel and CACP Chairman Rick Cotton. NBCU has been a leading voice for intellectual property protection under Chairman Bob Wright. Wright has been the CAE (chief anti-piracy evangelist) for the industry , arguing that the TV and movie production industries are on the front lines of a battle for our economic security that he likens to the one the nation is currently fighting for its physical security.

Echoing that theme, Cotton calls IP theft "a pernicious epidemic of global crime that threatens to undermine our future economic growth and security," saying the country needs a dramatic overhaul of its protection regime.

"We hope these proposals will be well received by the Congress and will be the building blocks for bold and decisive action on Capitol Hill," says Cotton.

Just last month, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales pledged to get tougher on pirates, but the studios want to make sure the effort is broad and deep.