US Lawmakers Looking To Crack Down On Online Piracy

US lawmakers are planning to pass an act which could force US ISPs to block websites that offer pirated intellectual property.

The sites could host pirated music, movies and TV shows, as both free or paid for downloads.

The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act has been proposed by Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, and Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah. The Bill has so far garnered support from both parties.

The law is designed to give law enforcement agencies the power to crack down on websites, even those operating outside of the US, that promote online media privacy. It would also allow them to curb websites selling fake medicines and consumer products.

Orrin Hatch, said in a statement to the AFP: “In today's global economy the Internet has become the glue of international commerce -- connecting consumers with a wide-array of products and services worldwide.”

“But it's also become a tool for online thieves to sell counterfeit and pirated goods, making hundreds of millions of dollars off of stolen American intellectual property,” he added.

The Bill comes at a time when US internet firms and ISPs are debating on whether or not to offer a net neutral environment.