The U.S. Conference of Mayors


WHEREAS, intellectual property (music, movies, TV programs, home video, books, computer software) brings in more international revenues than agriculture, aircraft, automobiles and auto parts and it is responsible for over five percent of the GDP. Intellectual property is creating new jobs at three times the rate of the rest of the economy; and

WHEREAS, conservative estimates place the impact on the United States economy of global piracy and the counterfeiting goods at nearly $250 billion a year and nearly 4.6 million jobs lost; and,

WHEREAS, local governments are impacted in three ways by the counterfeiting of intellectual property and goods, a loss of tax revenue, money spent on enforcement and the relationship between counterfeit goods and gang activity; and

WHEREAS, most fraudulent products are bought in the black market where the transactions go unrecorded and untaxed, thereby nullifying tax dollars that should be spent on vital city services, local governments also lose tax revenue - income tax, sales tax, payroll taxes - when workers are laid off by firms that face competition from fraudulent goods; and

WHEREAS, local government pay for police who investigate piracy, the court time to prosecute counterfeiters, and the jail space to house convicted counterfeiters, which depletes resources to fund vital city services; and

WHEREAS, under current law counterfeiters can earn more money, with a lower risk of capture and lighter sentences if they are prosecuted than bank robbers, which has led to an increase in the involvement of organized crime in counterfeiting, and often serves as a gateway to gang activity; and

WHEREAS, there is no legitimate purpose for a person taking copyrighted material not legally available to the public in any form, and putting it on the Internet or duplicating it for free distribution without authorization;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the members of the US Conference of Mayors commit to making the enforcement of all relevant laws against the illegal manufacturing and distribution of pirated movies, music, software and other intellectual property a municipal priority;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the members of the US Conference of Mayors commit to adopt and implement policies, procedures and ordinances incorporating an Acceptable Use Policy on all city owned computer networks, governing procurement policies and practices ensuring that the purchase of hardware and software incorporates the latest content protection and anti-piracy components, and blocking illegal Peer-to-Peer applications and access to pirate sites from city-owned computers;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the US Conference of Mayors calls upon Congress and State Governments to increase piracy enforcement resources and make piracy enforcement a priority at all levels of law enforcement; develop programs and raise awareness among judges about the critical threat posed by intellectual property piracy to the local, state and national economies.

2007 The U.S. Conference of Mayors
Tom Cochran, Executive Director
1620 Eye Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. 202.293.7330 ~ Fax 202.293.2352