A new bill introduced in the Senate on September 20th by Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy and Utah Republican Orrin Hatch will provide the government with new weapons to use against Websites offering pirated content whether it is movies, music, or manga.  The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act includes the ability to “issue a temporary restraining order, a preliminary injunction, or an injunction against the domain name used by an Internet site dedicated to infringing activities to cease and desist.”


The bill targets both foreign and domestic Websites that provide pirated material.  Since most of the major sites are based outside the U.S., enforcement could become a real sticking point, but the new law, if enacted, would provide tools that could be very useful in acting quickly against Internet pirates.


With its bipartisan support, prospects for passage of the bill are good, though not much is likely to happen in the current lame duck session.


As digital delivery of comic books and other printed matter (including games) increases this material is also in serious danger from Internet piracy, which has already had a huge negative effect on the music industry and has also been seen by many analysts as primarily responsible for the crash of the American anime market.