Assn. of American Publishers supports Protect IP Act of 2011, but says federal legislation does not address problem of cyberlocker file-sharing services, which it says accounts for 80% of traffic in infringing books, journals

WASHINGTON , May 13, 2011 (press release) – The following statement regarding the introduction of the PROTECT IP Act of 2011 from the Association of American Publishers acknowledges the hard work of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and his staff. It also notes the absence of language on cyberlockers, which account for more than 80 percent of the traffic in infringing books and journals.

Editors Note: A publishing house senior executive representing the 300 members of AAP is available for comment; contact asporkin@publishers.org to schedule.

“The publishing industry thanks Senator Leahy, his staff and others who have moved quickly to introduce critical legislation addressing the problem of rogue online sites, particularly those in foreign jurisdictions. They understand the importance of copyright protection to the American economy and the PROTECT IP Act would expand tools available to law enforcement,” said Tom Allen, President and Chief Executive Officer, Association of American Publishers.

“While this legislation is a great step forward, it currently does not address the problem of cyberlocker file-sharing services. For our industry, cyberlockers dominate the piracy landscape. We look forward to working with Senator Leahy, his colleagues in the Senate and Members of the House to broaden the scope and effectiveness of this legislation.”

Background

Cyberlockers are internet services or sites designed and used primarily to provide storage of and remote access to digital files. While most were created for legitimate purposes, certain cyberlocker services are engaged in, enable or facilitate purposeful infringements of copyrighted works.

The U.S. book and journal publishing industry actively monitors and pursues illegal cyberlocker services as part of its comprehensive ongoing effort against global digital piracy. Efforts have included sending demand notices to take down hundreds of thousands of individual infringements and securing a court-ordered injunction overseas against one of the major cyberlockers.

While the PROTECT IP Act addresses a number of substantial issues related to publishing, the industry believes that strong enforcement legislation is essential.

Three hundred book and journal publishers are members of AAP, the national trade association. They represent the country’s major commercial, educational and professional publishing houses as well as scholarly societies, university presses and smaller and non-profit publishers. More information is available at www.publishers.org

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