QUOTE said:WASHINGTON, Nov 18 (Reuters) - U.S. agencies and officials would get new powers to go after foreign websites that sell counterfeit goods and pirated music, movies and books under a bill passed on Thursday by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The bill, which supporters hope will set the stage for action next year, targets "rogue websites" in countries such as China that are outside the reach of U.S. law.
The measure, approved by the Senate panel in a 19-0 vote, has the backing of companies including Disney (DIS.N), Nike (NKE.N), Merck (MRK.N) and Time Warner (TWX.N) and groups such as the Screen Actors Guild, the Motion Picture Association of America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Critics like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group, have attacked it as "Internet censorship" that could harm the credibility of the United States as a steward of the global domain name system.
The panel approved the "Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act" with little time left this year for it to be passed by Congress and signed into law.
The bill allows the Justice Department to seek a court order against the domain name of websites offering illegal music or movie downloads or ones that sell counterfeit goods ranging from fake tennis shoes to pharmaceutical products.
Once the Justice Department has the order, it could shut down the site by requiring the U.S. registrar to suspend the domain name.
If the registry is located outside the United States, the U.S. Attorney General could go after the website by requiring U.S.-based Internet service providers, payment processors and advertising networks to stop doing business with it.
Committee aides said they worked with companies like MasterCard (MA.N), PayPal (PAPXX.O) and AT&T (T.N) to develop the legislation.
The bill was modified to address some concerns that critics raised. One provision was struck out that would have allowed the Justice Department to publish a "blacklist" of domain names that provide access to websites touting counterfeit or pirated goods, even if it did not seek a court order against them.
Is this the end of Dealextreme, shoptemp, and other websites we have all come to know and love??