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Statement On The Introduction Of The INFORM Consumers Act

Washington, DC – Internet Association’s President and CEO K. Dane Snowden issued the following statement on the reintroduction of the INFORM Consumers Act:

“IA members take protecting consumers from counterfeit goods seriously. Our companies have proactively implemented clear policies, partnered with enforcement entities, and created transparent and innovative counterfeit reporting and prevention tools that allow third parties to identify and remove counterfeit items listed for sale on their platforms in a timely manner. As Congress looks at ways to combat the sale of counterfeit goods, it is important that any legislation achieves the intended outcome and does not create additional problems for small sellers. Internet companies stand ready to engage with Congress on achieving its intended goal.” Snowden continued, “No one benefits when counterfeit goods are sold online: not consumers, not online services or their users, and not brand owners. IA’s member companies depend on consumers’ trust. People who receive fake goods through a particular service are less likely to continue using that service in the future. Internet companies have a strong incentive and shared interest with brand owners in stopping counterfeiting.”

Internet companies have proactively created close relationships with law enforcement to combat counterfeit goods, including active engagement with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the National Intellectual Property Rights Center, under the Department of Homeland Security, and other federal and state enforcement agencies. Services regularly report misconduct and help in supporting ongoing investigations, and several have proactively created training programs to ensure that law enforcement officials understand how the services work, and to provide information about evolving internet-based investigative techniques, and other emerging trends. IA member companies encourage users to report illegal activities to appropriate authorities and have created links to facilitate such reporting. 

In addition, internet companies have established clear and aggressive anti-counterfeit policies including:

Notice-And-Takedown Services

  • Clear Terms of Service and policies prohibiting IP infringement (including counterfeits)
  • Publicly accessible and easy-to-use reporting forms
  • Global notice-and-takedown teams
  • Prompt removal of reported listings
  • Robust repeat infringer policies

Partnership with Rightsholders

  • Mechanisms available to rightsholders to flag and remove problematic sellers and listings
  • Specialized tools or dashboards for rightsholders to more effectively identify and remove infringing content
  • Dedicated channels for rightsholders to report infringement
  • Sharing trends and insights to help inform anti-counterfeiting measures

Proactive Efforts

  • Machine review of listings before they are posted
  • Blocking suspected infringing listings from being published
  • Banning sellers with multiple violations
  • Shutting down related sellers and preventing banned users or sellers from returning to the platform
  • Tools for users and customers to flag problematic sellers and listings
  • Removing suspected fake reviews

Learn more about how IA members are working to combat counterfeit goods.