U.S. federal authorities on Tuesday launched a new public education campaign to combat the purchase and sale of counterfeit and pirated products.
The campaign, launched at the White House by the Justice Department and other federal agencies, is aimed at educating the public on various forms of intellectual property (IP) theft, from counterfeit consumer goods and pharmaceuticals to illegal downloads and other pirated materials, according to a statement by the Justice Department.
"As our country continues to recover from once-in-a-generation economic challenges, the need to safeguard intellectual property rights -- and to protect Americans from intellectual property crimes -- has never been more urgent," Attorney General Eric Holder said at the campaign launch.
"Through this new public education campaign, we are encouraging the American people to become vigilant partners in identifying and disrupting intellectual property crimes," he added.
The campaign includes "Premonition," a television public service announcement (PSA) created in partnership with MTV Networks that illustrates how IP thefts link to gangs and other criminal activities and "It Hurts," an online video that demonstrates how IP theft is stealing. It also includes radio and print ads as well as campaign materials delivered via social media tools -- videos, podcasts and web banners.
The move came a day after authorities shut down 150 websites engaged in the illegal sale and distribution of counterfeit goods and copyrighted works on the so-called "Cyber Monday," the biggest online shopping day of the year.