by Adam B. Vary (EW.COM)
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee announced today it had unanimously approved a bill giving the Justice Department new powers to combat websites that illegally offer copyrighted content for sale, download, or streaming. The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, sponsored by Senators Patrick Leahy (D, Vt.) and Orrin Hatch (R, Utah), would allow federal law enforcement to effectively shut down websites that demonstrably participate in the regular unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material. Several Hollywood guild organizations, including SAG and the DGA, issued a joint-statement in support of the bill, saying, "We believe today’s committee action is the first step in making it much more difficult for rogue site operators to run their sites with impunity."