Pirates Beware! Congress After Ye Booty!

A bill cracking down on offshore Internet piracy is up for vote today in the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

The measure would give the Justice Department new power to go after foreign companies who steal and redistribute U.S. copyrighted digital content.  In particular, the bill would crack down on American Internet service providers, advertisers, and others who facilitate the distribution of the pirated material.  Several sports and entertainment companies including Time Warner, Viacom and the Walt Disney Company rallied yesterday in support of the bill. 

However, several electronic and Internet companies say they’re concerned about how the bill will affect them.  A group of companies including Google, eBay, Yahoo and PayPal has sent a letter to the Senate committee urging them to rethink parts of the bill.  They say the brunt of the legislation would fall on domestic companies who are unaware of their association with digital pirates.

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