aba-ipThe Intellectual Property section of the American Bar Association has called on Congress to craft new legislation to fight infringement by “Predatory Foreign Websites” (PFW). In a white paper titled A Call for Action for Online Piracy and Counterfeiting Legislation, the group makes a number of recommendations, including the creation of a private right of action allowing rightholders to seek civil remedies. Specific civil remedies should include: “(1) injunctions directing financial payment processors to freeze the assets of PFWs and to cease doing business with such websites; (2) injunctions preventing online advertisers from paying PFWs or from displaying further ads on those websites; (3) injunctions requiring search engines to remove PFWs from paid, sponsored links; (4) injunctions requiring website hosts to cease hosting PFWs; (5) injunctions permitting the seizure and destruction of counterfeit or pirated goods, or their delivery to rightsholders who are willing to bear the shipping and handling costs; (6) injunctions requiring the immediate removal of pirated works and/or content, counterfeit marks, logos, insignia, or trade dress that have been made available, displayed, or otherwise promoted by PFWs; and (7) monetary damages in the form of disgorgement of profits of the PFWs achieved as a result of the illegal activity, which shall be paid to the rightsholder from the assets frozen or advertising/sponsored links revenue that had been withheld by the intermediaries, as described in points 1-3 above.”

As noted by Ed Silverstein in Inside Counsel “ABA does not want to see expansion or contraction of current third-party copyright liability.” However, the report recommends that Congress investigate “additional incentives… to encourage a broader adoption by U.S.-based Internet businesses”

The full report is available here, and a brief summary of its recommendations can be found on pages 89-91.