In a House Judiciary Committee hearing on a bill proposed by committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), a bipartisan group of lawmakers said new laws are needed to help media outlets, software makers and retailers fight the illegal distribution of movies, songs and software.
Smith’s Stop Online Piracy Act is aimed at foreign sites dedicated to pirated material, but Web giants such as Google and Facebook and telecommunications firms say his proposal goes too far, making them responsible for shutting down bad actors.
“The problem of rogue Web sites is real, immediate and widespread. It harms all sectors of the economy,” Smith said during the hearing.
Several lawmakers expressed concern that the illegal exchange of copyrighted movies, software and music is draining U.S. media companies and that current laws don’t give law enforcement enough power to stop bad actors.