U.S. Sending Agents Abroad to Monitor Piracy

Rhett Pardon
BURBANK, Calif. — In an effort to thwart international piracy in the mainstream and adult entertainment industries, the Commerce Department plans to send experts to Brazil, India, Russia, Thailand and the Middle East to monitor local intellectual property policing efforts.

It is estimated that the entertainment industry, including adult, lost more than $13 billion in 2003 due to piracy, which included illegal offline copying as well as upwards of 400,000 illegal downloads a day.

Adult distributors Jules Jordon, Titan Media, Evil Angel, Adam & Eve and retailer Adult DVD Empire for years have aggressively pursued counterfeiting operations both domestically and internationally.

Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez said Thursday that the project builds on an experiment during the past year to have U.S. agents help Beijing authorities identify and shut down those operations and pursue criminal investigations.

“We've seen some movement and a great deal of effort on the part of some government officials, but we want to see more results,” Gutierrez said after a briefing in Burbank. “We've found that a lot of countries have made progress in putting laws on the books but not enough progress in enforcing those laws.”

The program might be expanded to other countries depending on its success, Gutierrez said.

“We are building our economy on what we do best, which is creativity, innovation, great brands [and] great patents,” Gutierrez said. “We cannot allow a global economic community to be created where these things don't matter and where they are not respected.”