The US Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would give US law enforcement more tools to crack down on websites abroad engaged in piracy of movies, television shows and music.
The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, which has the support of the entertainment industry but has been strongly criticised by digital rights and other groups, was approved by a vote of 19-0.
“Few things are more important to the future of the American economy and job creation than protecting our intellectual property,” said Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont who co-sponsored the bill. “That is why the legislation is supported by both labour and industry, and Democrats and Republicans are standing together.”
The bill gives the Justice Department an expedited process for cracking down on websites engaged in piracy or the sale of counterfeit goods including having courts issue shutdown orders against domains based outside the US.