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Posted at 12:06 PM ET, 02/16/2011

GoDaddy.com's Christine Jones talks about intellectual property

By Hayley Tsukayama

GoDaddy.com may be known for its flashy commercials, but it also has a voice in the debate over how to deal with Web sites that violate intellectual property laws.

Christine Jones, the company's general counsel and corporate secretary, testified Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee as it considered how best to tackle the problem of Web sites that post content that violates intellectual property laws.

Jones spoke with Post Tech on Tuesday about the issues she planned to raise in her testimony and the possibility of federal regulations on handling intellectual property violations.

The Senate is expected to offer legislation similar to the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act of 2010, which unanimously passed the Judiciary Committee last year.

Jones said GoDaddy.com, which operates 46 million domains, aggressively fights intellectual property violations. Although the company does not have the capability to verify all the domain names and hosted content its responsible for, it takes quick action on complaints about false sites, Jones said. What the company would like to see, she said, is more cooperation among the top players: service providers, domain registrars, content hosts, credit card companies and search engines.

"We definitely like that [the committee] is leaping in and calling out card companies, paid advertisers and Internet service providers," she said. Without that support, she said, it's impossible to move on this issue.

"The bad guys keep popping up. We have to cut them down together, particularly when dealing with off-shore companies doing business in the U.S."

Jones and GoDaddy.com want a more hierarchical approach to the way the government shuts down sites. "We'd like to see them go for the perpetrators, then to the people who have the content, then to the registrar," she said. Now the government simply takes down the domain.

Jones said that legislation should also focus on sites that masquerade as legitimate sites and trick customers into purchasing fraudulent goods. "Let's address the ones tricking people into buying, the innocent consumers," she said.

She also wants search engines such as Google, which has come out strongly against this kind of legislation, to join the conversation.

Google declined an invitation to attend Wednesday's hearing, as did Yahoo. At the hearing, Sen. Tom Coburn, (R-Okla.) said he would subpoena Google if the company did not respond to questions on the issue.

By Hayley Tsukayama  | February 16, 2011; 12:06 PM ET
Categories:  Google, Yahoo, intellectual property, internet  
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