SIIA Welcomes DHS Secretary Jeh Johson, Urges Continued Leadership in Protecting America’s IP

SIIA is proud to join the Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy in welcoming the appointment of Secretary Jeh Johnson as the Secretary of Homeland Security. We look forward to working with Secretary Johnson and his department, and urge him to continue the Department’s strong position of leadership in protecting America’s intellectual property against online theft.

More than 40 million American jobs depend on intellectual property, and those jobs are threatened by websites offering fake goods under U.S. companies’ brand names. Pirate sites sell copyrighted work, including software, and take advantage of consumers by exposing them to identity theft and financial fraud.

The Department has been effective in its enforcement program administered by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the National IPR Center: Operation in our Sites (OiOS). These efforts have shut down over 2,713 websites, and protected consumers and industries from the threats posed by online piracy and the sale of counterfeit goods.

The problem of IP theft continues to plague our country. Secretary Johnson should continue and expand upon the good work that has been done to date, and use all the resources possible to combat this serious issue. SIIA looks forward to working with the Secretary and his department in support of these efforts.

Join the conversation using #SafeSites.


Laura Greenback is communications director at SIIA. Keep up with the SIIA policy team on Twitter at @SIIAPolicy.

Intellectual Property Roundup

President Calls for Patent Reform in SOTU (The Hill)
President Obama repeated his calls for patent reform during his State of the Union address, calling on Congress to “pass a patent reform bill that allows our businesses to stay focused on innovation, not costly and needless litigation.”

Court: Google Infringed Patents, Must Pay 1.36% of Adwords Revenue (Ars Technica)
Vringo, a tiny company that purchased some patents from Lycos in 2011 and then used those patents to sue Google, has been awarded a 1.36% running royalty on US-based revenue from Google’s Adwords.

U.S. Justice Department Files Lawsuits Over Counterfeit Apps (PCWorld)
The U.S. Department of Justice has filed its first lawsuits over counterfeit smartphone apps, charging four men who now face up to five years each in prison. The defendants are accused of conspiring to copy Android apps and distributing more than a million copies through their online markets.

India Undermining IPR: US Chamber of Commerce (Business Standard)
Unveiling the 2014 global IP index by its Global Intellectual Property Center, the US Chamber of Commerce accused India of allowing the deterioration of the intellectual property climate in the country, and asked the Obama administration to enforce IP rights.

New App Rewards Consumers For Reporting Counterfeits (ABC)
A new app called “uFaker” allows consumers to report counterfeit products and earn rewards like online discounts.

Dutch Court Finds Pirate Bay Block Ineffective, Ends It (Computerworld)
The Court of Appeals in The Hague lifted a block on The Pirate Bay in the Netherlands because the measure was ineffective and disproportionate for two ISPs.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge Set Up Companies to Protect ‘Intellectual Property Rights’ (Metro)
Prince William established the firm APL Anglesey, and Kate set up CE Strathearn, in order to protect their intellectual property rights.

Three-Strikes Laws Don’t Stop Piracy, Researchers Say (Torrent Freak)
New findings published by U.S. and French researchers show that the “strikes” systems designed to warn and punish P2P file-sharers do not stop or even reduce piracy.

Judge Issues Devastating Ruling Against Online Copyright Crusaders (Business Insider)
Washington District Judge Robert Lasnik ruled that IP addresses are not individuals, and that a suspected Internet pirate should not be prosecuted solely because his computer’s IP address was identified.

Teens’ Photo Feed is a Viral Hit- and a Copyright Conundrum (GigaOM)
A popular Twitter account run by two teenagers publishes historical photos and is delighting its nearly million followers, but also raising questions of how to define artistic ownership and attribution in an age of ubiquitous images.


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.

Intellectual Property Roundup: The Latest IP Policy & Enforcement News

Enforcement News

Kim Dotcom’s Mega-Lawsuit Could Make Him a Multi-Millionaire Again (Wired)
MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom filed a seven-figure lawsuit against the New Zealand government over the 2012 raid on his mansion, and the electronic spying that preceded it.

Aereo Claims DC Injunction Doesn’t Affect It (GigaOM)
Broadcasters and upstart streaming TV service Aereo are skirmishing in Boston over whether an injunction issued in DC against another streaming service should affect Aereo. Aereo claims the two companies’ technology are not the same, and that the DC ruling misunderstands copyright law.

Fashion Designers Look to Patents to Fight Knockoffs (Reuters)
Because U.S. copyright and trademark laws often do not apply to new, logo-free designs, fashion designers are applying for design patents — patents that protect the way something looks — to protect clothing and other accessories from being targets for knock-offs.

MPAA Report Says Google, Other Search Engines a Major Gateway to Piracy (Los Angeles Times)
A study released by the Motion Picture Association of America alleges that search engines are making it too easy for consumers to find pirated content online, even when they’re not looking for it. The MPAA says it found no evidence that the change Google made to its algorithm last year to take into account the number of copyright takedown notices a site has received affected search-referred traffic to illegal sites.

IP Policy News

Senate Judiciary Chairman Crafting Bill to Combat ‘Patent Trolls’ (The Hill)
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy plans to introduce legislation in the coming weeks to limit frivolous patent lawsuits.

Expanded Anti-Piracy Bill Hits Russian Parliament (RIA Novosti)
A new bill allowing for websites to be blocked if they contain any copyright-infringing content was introduced in the Russian parliament, expanding an earlier law against film piracy that was met with considerable public outcry.


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.

How Big is the Piracy Problem, Really?

People can disagree about whether anti-piracy laws go too far or not far enough, whether and how the copyright law should be updated, or whether or not piracy can provide any benefits to those being pirated. One thing that cannot be argued, however, is the size of the piracy problem. We know it’s big—really big. But just how big is it?

Turns out, it’s big enough that 327 million people sought out infringing material online in the first month of 2013 alone. That’s an increase of almost 10% in 15 months, and makes up a whopping 26% of the total Internet user population, according to a report published today by NetNames called “Sizing the Piracy Universe.”

The number is even more staggering when you consider what it means for the future of Internet piracy. It’s not likely that these pirates are the AARP card holders who use the Internet mainly for email and web surfing. Consider how many younger, web-savvy Internet users must have a pirating habit to comprise that 26% of total Internet users. Next time you ride the metro, look to your left and right–at least one of you is probably consuming infringing material on a regular basis.

If that seems dismal, there’s at least one hopeful figure in the report. The portion of Internet users who use cyberlocker sites to access infringing material has dropped by almost 8%. This significant drop is largely due to criminal action by the U.S. and other governments against Megaupload in New Zealand.  Shortly after this action many other cyberlockers shuttered and many infringing users migrated elsewhere. This shows the impact that one strategic, well-publicized enforcement action can have on the entire piracy landscape.  We certainly need more of these wins if we are going to make a dent in the piracy problem.


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.

Intellectual Property Roundup

Russia Establishes Specialized Court for Intellectual Property Rights (Intellectual Property Watch)
A specialized court for intellectual property rights has been instituted within the commercial court system of the Russian Federation.  The judiciary is currently being formed and will consist of at least 30 judges.

Google Defeats Publishers Over Web Copyright in German Vote (Bloomberg)
German lawmakers decided in a parliamentary vote that Google and other news aggregators may continue to show short news items on their Internet sites without being required to pay.

France’s Anti-Piracy Watchdog Ponders Evolution, Faces Extinction (ZDNet)
French anti-piracy authority Hadopi recently published a report examining possible models the organization might adopt going forward, and how best to fight the growth of illegal streaming and downloading of copyrighted material.

As Pirates Run Rampant, TV Studios Dial Up Pursuit (The Wall Street Journal)
Piracy of TV shows and movies is increasing because of improved Web technology, and TV studios like NBCUniversal are ramping up efforts and increasing staff to combat the piracy.

 Newspapers Go All-In for Copyright Fight Against Clipping Service (Ars Technica)
The nation’s largest newspapers, including The New York Times, filed an amicus brief in support of The Associated Press in its copyright battle with online news-clipping service Meltwater Group.  AP sued Meltwater last year, arguing that Meltwater is not a search engine but a competitor engaging in copyright infringement of AP’s content.

For regular IP updates subscribe to SIIA’s weekly Intellectual Property Roundup email newsletter.


Keith Kupferschmid is General Counsel and SVP, Intellectual Property Policy & Enforcement at SIIA.

SIIA Teams Up with UK Anti-Piracy Organization to Strengthen Global Campaign Against Software Piracy

SIIA today announced that it has forged a new alliance with the Federation Against Software Theft (FAST). The partnership agreement will strengthen anti-piracy operations throughout Europe and the U.S. as SIIA and FAST work together to shut down software pirates and address global intellectual property concerns.

Software piracy is a worldwide epidemic that requires a coordinated and aggressive global solution. SIIA and FAST will work together not only to shut down copyright infringers, but to promote better intellectual property regulation and enforcement.

SIIA conducts the software industry’s most aggressive campaign against software piracy. In the U.S., our work has led to large settlements, convictions and even jail time. With this partnership, SIIA and FAST will gain new resources for fighting software piracy that extends beyond the borders of each group’s home country. Just as software pirates do not operate within traditional geographic borders, neither should the organizations working to put them out of business.

SIIA and FAST have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formalize their partnership. According to the terms of the agreement, the two organizations will:

• Work together to promote better intellectual property regulation, sharing best practices between the two countries to influence government and policy.
• Support more effective enforcement against those that infringe copyright and IP ownership, with FAST assisting SIIA with corporate and Internet anti-piracy matters taking place within the U.K. or Europe, and SIIA assisting FAST with corporate and Internet anti-piracy matters taking place within the United States.
• Work together with government officials and other policymakers on intellectual property policy matters.
• Collaborate on research and studies that will help identify and shut down software piracy operations worldwide.

The SIIA Anti-Piracy Division conducts a comprehensive, industry-wide campaign to fight software and content piracy. The proactive campaign is premised on the notion that one must balance enforcement with education in order to be effective. The SIIA Internet and Auction Litigation Program aims to educate online buyers and sellers regarding the risks and harm of buying and selling illegal software, while the Corporate Anti-Piracy Program investigates and stops software and content piracy occurring within an organization.

During the last four years, SIIA has filed more than 100 lawsuits in the U.S. against illegal online sellers dealing in counterfeit, OEM, academic, region-specific and other illegal software and publications, as well as organizations illegally using software and content. Defendants have paid millions of dollars in damages, and, in some cases, criminal charges were pursued and defendants sentenced to jail time.

Sources in the U.S. and in Europe can contact SIIA about a company, Web site or online auction seller’s suspicious business practices in three ways:

• E-mail: piracy@siia.net
• Telephone: +1-800-388-7478
• Online: www.siia.net/piracy/report


Ken WaschKen Wasch is President of SIIA.

SIIA Shuts Down Notorious Software Pirate, Gaining Large Financial Sum and Cooperation with Further Investigations

SIIA announced today that it has settled a copyright infringement lawsuit against a major California software pirate. SIIA’s efforts have led to the shutdown of the company’s illegal operations, a five-figure settlement amount, and cooperation from the business to pursue those who supplied the illegal software.

On behalf of SIIA member company Adobe Systems, Inc., SIIA investigated, and filed a lawsuit against, Aldo Secaida of Covina, California, for engaging in copyright and trademark infringement by manufacturing, selling and/or distributing unauthorized copies of Adobe software. Secaida sold the pirated software via the website www.brilliantbuys.co.uk. SIIA filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the North District of California.

The settlement not only eliminates a major illegal online software operation, but it also provides us with information to go after others who are ripping off businesses and consumers. This is an important win for companies such as Adobe that employ thousands of people and contribute millions of dollars to our economy. When American software products are illegally copied and sold, consumers are hurt, workers are hurt and our economy is hurt. SIIA runs the software industry’s most comprehensive anti-piracy campaign to obtain justice for our members and to protect consumers and legitimate businesses.

In addition to paying the five-figure settlement amount, Secaida is now cooperating with SIIA to identify the upstream sources of the illegal products he sold. Secaida told SIIA:

“I thought my online scheme of peddling questionable software was a good way to make some easy money, but it has caused me far more harm than good. Most of the software I acquired was illegal to begin with, and reselling it was just as illegal. I completely regret my actions and look forward to helping SIIA shut down my suppliers.”

During the last three years, SIIA has filed more than 100 lawsuits in the U.S. against illegal eBay sellers as well as sellers on other websites dealing in counterfeit, OEM, academic, region-specific and other illegal software and publications. Defendants have paid millions of dollars in damages, and, in some cases, criminal charges were pursued and defendants sentenced to jail time.

Sources in the U.S. and in Europe can contact SIIA about a company, Web site or online auction seller’s suspicious business practices in three ways:

• E-mail: piracy@siia.net
• Telephone: +1-800-388-7478
• Online: www.siia.net/piracy/report

For more information about the SIIA Internet Anti-Piracy Division, or to read SIIA’s software buying guides, visit the Software Anti-Piracy page.


Scott BainScott Bain is Chief Litigation Counsel & Director, Internet Anti-piracy at SIIA.

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