"The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been of tremendous help, seizing over 100 U.S.-based rogue websites in the past 10 months alone," said Steve Tepp, senior director for Internet piracy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Global Intellectual Property Center.
"However, today’s Notorious Market list demonstrates that many rogue websites are outside the United States. That is why Congress needs to enact legislation that will authorize the courts to protect our consumers and jobs by cutting off foreign rogue websites from the U.S. market.”
Leahy's bill has drawn bipartisan support, but also criticism from advocates who fear it could give the Justice Department the authority to shut down websites without adequate judicial review. The chairman has shown a willingness to reach a compromise that would satisfy some of those concerns.
But advocates of the bill say the government needs more expedited powers to combat pirates, who are nimble in avoiding attempts to shut down illegal video sites. Gary Gertzog, NFL senior vice president of legal and business affairs, recently compared the problem to a game of "Whac-a-mole."
The issue of unauthorized Internet webcasts is of particular concern to sports such as boxing and mixed martial arts, which rely on pay-per-view customers as a major source of revenue. UFC general counsel Lawrence Epstein told Bloomberg BusinessWeek that piracy keeps him up at night.
"If we have an Achilles' heel, this is it," he said.