The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (PROTECT IP Act), sending the legislation to the floor for a full vote. The unanimous bipartisan action today drew swift praise from the Hollywood creative community, which has lobbied for the bill, which would target foreign-based websites that are pirating American content for profit and close loopholes that shield them from U.S. laws. The Independent Film & Television Alliance, the National Association of Theatre Owners and the MPAA released statements in support of the vote, as did a group comprised of the American Federation of Musicians, AFTRA, the DGA, IATSE, SAG and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT). “The Judiciary Committee took an important step today to stop theft and save jobs,” said Michael O’Leary, the MPAA’s EVP Government Affairs. “By helping shut down rogue websites that profit from stolen films, television shows, and other counterfeit goods, this legislation will protect wages and benefits for the millions of middle class workers who bring America’s creativity to life.” Said the unions’ joint statement: “Let us be very clear: online theft is stealing. It results in thousands of lost jobs and millions of dollars in lost wages for our members. … Today’s passage of the PROTECT IP Act is a significant step toward ending the ‘looting’ of the creative and artistic entertainment works that constitute our members’ hard work, and are an invaluable part of our collective cultural heritage.”
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