After two decades operating one of the industry’s most aggressive and successful anti-piracy programs, the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal trade association for the software and digital content industries, announced today that it is significantly expanding its enforcement efforts. SIIA will now target a broad range of intellectual property violations, on behalf of both software and content publishers. As part of the new program, now called the Intellectual Property Protection Division or IPP Division, SIIA also announced that more companies will be able participate in the group’s intellectual property enforcement efforts.
Recognizing the changing anti-piracy landscape, the SIIA IPP Division will continue its anti-piracy efforts but will now investigate and resolve many more types of nefarious activities that can adversely affect a participating company’s brand, intellectual property or reputation, such as: counterfeiting, fraud, unauthorized access, fraudulent use of domain names, and more. In addition to these enforcement activities, SIIA will, for the first time, assist participating publishers with the protection of their intellectual property. These protection services will include such things as assisting publishers with registering their valuable IP with the U.S. Copyright Office and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, registering their brands with the new domain name Trademark Clearinghouse, and more.
Additionally, as content publishers have grown more concerned about the illegal use of their content within and by organizations and online, the IPP Division will place a renewed emphasis on content piracy and offer a range of specialized services that address the varying needs of participating content publishers.
Our dramatically expanded program recognizes that companies’ intellectual property needs no longer begin and end with piracy. The move to the cloud is significantly changing the nature of IP violations. While software and content piracy remains commonplace, new infractions – like illegal access to software and content in the cloud and misuse of popular brands online to defraud consumers – are becoming far more prevalent. With these changes, SIIA is launching a much broader intellectual property enforcement and protection program that will be open to more companies and offer a range of specialized services.
There are many unique violations that do not fall under the “anti-piracy umbrella” that SIIA will now address. For example, SIIA will take on scam artists who are using Craigslist and other sites to post fake job openings for well-known software and content companies. In “applying” for what seems like a great job with a world-renowned company, these unsuspecting job applicants provide personal information, including social security numbers, which is then stolen by the fraudster. Another example, of the sort of enforcement SIIA will conduct on behalf of software and information companies, is going after individuals who use the Internet to publicize rebate or discount codes that are not meant for general distribution. More examples of the type of enforcement efforts SIIA will undertake are available in this blog post [link] by Kupferschmid.
More information about the new SIIA IPP Division is available here.
Our anti-piracy program has led to millions of dollars in fines and jail time for violators. In broadening our work, we are leveraging our 20 years of experience in piracy investigations and enforcement, and we’ll take the same aggressive approach that has made our previous efforts so successful. The fact is, when the intellectual property of software and digital content companies is violated, there are significant costs for these businesses, for consumers, and for the U.S. economy. With an expanded mission, the SIIA IPP Division will help strengthen the software and content industries and maintain American leadership in the innovation economy.
The specialized services offered under the new program include:
- Internet Monitoring: Through a combination of automated and manual processes, SIIA monitors online marketplaces, P2P, and cyberlockers sites for participating companies.
- Internet Investigation: SIIA offers several services relating to the collection of information about an infringement and the infringer. These include: doing a website “workup”, conducting test buys, and gathering information about the infringer.
- Internet Countermeasure: SIIA will take numerous non-legal steps to ensure that a participating company’s intellectual property rights are adequately protected and that infringing products are not being made available online.
- Internet Legal Protection: SIIA will take numerous legal actions to stop the infringing activity and/or pursue the infringer for damages. SIIA can also help protect a company’s IP by registering their copyrighted works and brand.
- Corporate End-User Legal Protection: SIIA pursues cases of software and content piracy taking place within and by an organization.
SIIA’s IPP Division will now allow participation by software and digital content companies that are not full SIIA members. These companies will be able to purchase an IPP Division-only membership, or purchase IP protection services a la carte.
Keith Kupferschmid is General Counsel and SVP, Intellectual Property Policy & Enforcement at SIIA. Follow Keith on Twitter at @keithkup and sign up for the Intellectual Property Roundup weekly newsletter here.