FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jackson, Miss. - A top initiative of Attorney General Jim Hood to protect consumers from potentially harmful counterfeit goods and products has now been signed into law.
HB 874, an anti-piracy law sponsored by Reps. Bobby Moak, George Flaggs, Jr., and Willie Bailey, now provides for felony charges against those who deal in counterfeit products. The bill also updates the law by deleting obsolete language regarding music recordings that prevented prosecution of bootleg material produced after 1972.
The Attorney General’s Office worked closely with chambers of commerce and the business community to clarify the laws and revise the penalties for piracy.
“Many of these bogus products are made in China and are sold via the internet to unsuspecting Mississippi consumers. Our office is working with pharmaceutical manufacturers to help us identify counterfeit drugs that may harm our citizens,” said General Hood. “Recently people in China have died as a result of counterfeit drugs, and it is now a felony to possess over $1,000 worth of counterfeit goods such as, medications, brake pads, contact lenses, compact discs of music or videos.”
“As chairman of the Intellectual Property Committee of the National Association of Attorneys General, theft of intellectual property is one of my major initiatives for the next three years.” The committee is charged with stopping counterfeiters nationwide through tougher laws and restrictions, and by working more closely with the business community.
“Business and industry across this country work hard every day to produce safe products. They are helping the law enforcement community to identify counterfeit products that both harm consumers and cause these businesses to suffer financially,” said Attorney General Jim Hood.
The Attorney General’s Office is currently pursuing several counterfeit products cases in Mississippi and urges anyone with information about counterfeit goods to contact the office at 1-800-281-4418.