Jan 4, 2012

Outdoor Companies Erroneously Targeted by SOPA Opponents

In late December, opponents of H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), launched an aggressive phone, email, and social media campaign against the legislation and targeted companies and organizations they believed to be supportive of the bill.

The campaign erroneously targeted several outdoor industry companies, including Outdoor Industry Association (OIA), due to our listing on fightonlinetheft.com, a U.S. Chamber of Commerce website supporting legislation to shut down rogue websites that were selling illegal counterfeit products.

The list actually reflects OIA and outdoor company participation in a letter to Congress sent on February 15, 2011 that encouraged lawmakers to “make it a priority to enact legislation that will provide the government with enhanced tools to disrupt the efforts of those who use websites to make illegal profits by stealing the intellectual property (IP) of America’s innovative and creative industries.” The letter does not mention support for any specific legislative proposals. An accurate list of SOPA supporters is available on the U.S. House of Representative’s Judiciary Committee website.

To date, OIA has not taken a position in favor of or opposed to SOPA. OIA does support outdoor industry companies in their fight against counterfeiters and operators of rogue websites who sell illegal products to unsuspecting customers. These companies and law enforcement must have tools available to expeditiously and effectively shut down these websites and prosecute the criminals that operate them.

OIA will continue to monitor federal legislation that addresses this important issue and offer our recommendations to make these bills as useful as possible for outdoor industry companies.

For questions or comments, please contact Alex Boian – aboian@outdoorindustry.org or 303.327.3509.