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Hill Tees Up Online Property Protection In New Congress

Legislators are getting together with business and labor
Monday afternoon to talk about protecting intellectual property online.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
introduced a bipartisan bill last September that would give the Justice
Department more power to shut down Web sites that illegally stream or sell TV
shows.

A spokesperson for Leahy said not new legislation is being
introduced Monday, but that the plan remains to introduce a bill. The Leahy
bill passed out of committee unanimously last fall, but ran out of time for a
floor vote before the end of the session.

The press conference will essentially tee up the issue in
the new Congress. A lineup of heavy hitters is getting together to talk about
the cost to the U.S.
of online intellectual property theft--more than $100 billion a year and
thousands of jobs. Representatives of Columbia Sportswear and the AFL-CIO
are scheduled to talk about that cost.

Also speaking are Leahy, and House Judiciary Committee
Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) and ranking member John Conyers (D-Mich.), and
Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.).

A studio source says to look for new legislation in
both House and Senate on the issue in the next few weeks. Smith and Conyers are
working on a bill, and have a hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

There will be a hefty union presence, including
representatives of The Directors Guild, Screen Actors Guild and AFTRA.