Baltimore to sue Google over copyright definition

The Maryland General Assembly passed a bill Monday that will allow the state’s Attorney General to sue companies that infringe on intellectual property.

The bill also prohibits any person from using or publishing the copyright term or the trademark term or other identifying information without the written consent of the person who has the copyright.

The legislation, introduced by State Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Baltimore, would also ban the use of “Google” or “Google+” to “distribute or transmit” pirated material without the owner’s consent.

In addition, McGovern said, the bill would prevent the use or distribution of pirated content to “intimidate or threaten the privacy or economic security of a person.”

McGovern’s bill was co-sponsored by State Sen. Kevin Mullin, D, Baltimore.

The legislation is the latest in a string of attempts by lawmakers to crack down on online piracy.

The state’s attorney general is tasked with enforcing copyright law and the law does not require the state to pay damages to copyright holders.

The General Assembly also approved a similar bill in January that would give the state attorney general the power to sue anyone who illegally files a file that contains material infringing on the copyright of another person.

That bill would require the person or entity to take steps to prevent copyright infringement in the future.