WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously passed a bill on Thursday that clamps down on Web sites engaging in online piracy and counterfeiting by broadening the authority of the U.S. Justice Department.
The legislation would give new tools to luxury firms and apparel brands that have already spent millions of dollars battling counterfeiters to now go after complicit Web sites.
“While the current PROTECT IP Act is a significant improvement over previous attempts at legislation to shut down rogue Web sites that sell counterfeit goods, the U.S. apparel and footwear industry believes this bill can be made stronger,” said Kevin Burke, president and chief executive officer of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. “We are pleased that language has been included to allow law enforcement the ability to share information with rights holders.”
The bill cracks down on Internet sites engaging in illegal piracy and counterfeiting that are often foreign owned and operated. It would give the Department of Justice authority to file civil action in federal court against sites dedicated to selling infringing goods and services and counterfeits, and provide enhanced tools to clamp down on those sites by cutting them off from the U.S. market.
It also authorizes the U.S. Attorney General and rights holders that are victims of the infringement to bring action against a “rogue site,” whether domestic or foreign. If the court issues a cease-and-desist order, the rights holder and government are authorized to serve that order on payment processors and online advertising networks, to “cut off financial viability of the criminal activity.”
A coalition of apparel brands, retailers and industry trade groups threw their support behind the legislation in a letter sent to senators on Wednesday. In addition, AAFA, the Outdoor Industry Association and International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition are spearheading a lobbying effort for additional provisions in the yet-to-be introduced House bill and are planning to meet with members of the House Judiciary Committee here June 7 and 8.
The bill will advance to the Senate for a vote, but it is unclear whether leadership will take it up. The House is expected to introduce a companion bill in the coming weeks.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast