WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, in collaboration with the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), today announced a new public education campaign to combat the purchase and sale of counterfeit and pirated products. The campaign, launched at the White House, will educate the public on various forms of intellectual property theft, from counterfeit consumer goods and pharmaceuticals to illegal downloads and other pirated materials. The campaign will highlight the potential health, safety and economic consequences for American citizens.
Intellectual property (IP) crime refers to the violation of criminal laws that protect copyrights, patents, trademarks, other forms of intellectual property and trade secrets, both in the United States and abroad. IP crimes can destroy jobs, suppress innovation in the United States and jeopardize the health and safety of consumers. In some cases, these activities are used to fund dangerous or even violent criminal enterprises and organized crime networks.
"As our country continues to recover from once-in-a-generation economic challenges, the need to safeguard intellectual property rights – and to protect Americans from intellectual property crimes – has never been more urgent,” said Attorney General Holder. “Through this new public education campaign, we are encouraging the American people to become vigilant partners in identifying and disrupting intellectual property crimes. With their help, I am confident that we can build upon our recent successes in combating intellectual property theft, bringing criminals to justice and protecting consumers and innovators.”
“Intellectual property theft is not a victimless crime – it affects everyone and damages our economy,” said Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs Laurie O. Robinson. “We are proud to work with the White House and NCPC toward reducing the demand for counterfeit products through educating the public about intellectual property crime.”
The campaign includes “Premonition,” a television public service announcement (PSA) created in partnership with MTV Networks that illustrates how IP thefts link to gangs and other criminal activities and “It Hurts,” an online video that demonstrates how IP theft is stealing. The campaign also includes radio and print ads as well as campaign materials delivered via social media tools – videos, podcasts and web banners. The public service announcements and other IP theft public education campaign materials can be found at www.ncpc.org/getreal.
Attorney General Holder and Assistant Attorney General Robinson were joined at today’s campaign launch by Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator in the Executive Office of the President Victoria Espinel, Director of Immigration and Customs at the Department of Homeland Security John Morton, Acting Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca M. Blank, and President and CEO of the National Crime Prevention Council Ann M. Harkins.
More information about the Bureau of Justice Assistance and its programs is available at www.bja.gov.
The Office of Justice Programs (OJP), headed by Assistant Attorney General Laurie O. Robinson, provides federal leadership in developing the nation’s capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP has six bureaus and offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; the Office for Victims of Crime; and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART). More information about OJP and its components can be found at www.ojp.gov .