GWEN IFILL (Newshour): We look now at the government crackdown on the online sale of counterfeit goods. The Justice Department used Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year, to shut down 150 websites that were allegedly peddling fake shoes, sporting goods and handbags. But was this the right approach?
Joining us to discuss that are Steve Tepp, chief intellectual property counsel at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Larry Downes, author of "The Laws of Disruption," a book about law and innovation in the digital age.
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STEVE TEPP, U.S. Chamber of Commerce: It's a massive problem that's growing every day, because many of these sites are located outside the United States, where there is no remedy.
For the sites located in the U.S., or at least where their domain name is registered in the U.S., dot-com, dot-net, then our enforcement agencies, like the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Justice, who are both doing fantastic work on this, protecting the American people, can go to court and seize those domains with a court order.
That's what happened yesterday, and that's 150 domain names that will not be used to steal American jobs, to harm American consumers today.
LARRY DOWNES, "The Laws of Disruption": Well, first, it should be noted that, you know, what we're seizing here is not the website itself, just the domain name. It's a largely symbolic act.
What happens is, the site is still there. It can be accessed directly from the I.P. address. Or what often happens is the site comes back a little bit later under another domain name. So whether that is effective or not, it doesn't matter.