Thursday, December 29, 2011

D'Addario does not support the proposed SOPA Act (Stop Online Piracy Act)

Recently, our name has appeared on a list with many other respectable companies and brand names regarding support of the proposed SOPA legislation that was recently introduced in the House of Representatives. D'Addario has been asking our elected representatives in Washington, as well as various business and trade associations, to help our company and others protect their universally recognized intellectual property rights from being stolen and profited upon by foreign counterfeiters. (FYI - 7 out of 10 sets of D'Addario strings sold in Chinese music stores are fakes!). However, this desire for legislative action with regard to our battle against counterfeiters should not be misconstrued as support for the proposed SOPA legislation. For this reason, we have formally asked the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to remove us from the list indicating that D'Addario & Company supports this bill and will ask any other website listing us as a supporter to do the same.

We have been waging a battle against counterfeiters who sell fake D'Addario strings for over a decade. Today, the packaging on fake D'Addario strings appears authentic but the strings are horrific. These predators have not only stolen our name but are damaging our brand equity and reputation with our valued customers in markets all over the world. As a result, we have asked our elected representatives to pass fair and responsible legislation to help us and other manufacturers combat this problem.

We are hopeful that through the process of legislative compromise Congress will pass a law that preserves constitutionally protected free speech and allows D'Addario and others to fairly compete on a level playing field in the global marketplace. In addition we will be reaching out to all the Congressional representatives in areas where D'Addario has a presence to inform them that we do not support SOPA in its present form.

In the last few days, we have seen countless comments on various forms of social media and received many email messages, both pro and con on this issue. While the D'Addario family is committed to protecting its trademarks and family name, that commitment does not take priority over our respect for the U.S. Constitution and our right to free speech under the First Amendment.

I am available to answer anyone's questions on this topic personally. Please post any questions or comments on my personal Facebook page. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely - Jim D'Addario


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