I asked State Rep. Rosita Youngblood, D-Germantown, why she's the one pushing the General Assembly for a tighter copyright-violations law (HB 727) that she says would fill a gap in Pennsylvania's current trademark legislation by separating the "possession" of phony copies from the "intent to sell."
"It was brought to my attention by Mary Wilson. Of the Supremes," Youngblood told me.
Youngblood is a leader in the National Foundation of Women Legislators. Wilson lobbied the lady solons on behalf of the recorded-music industry, which has been losing zillions to Internet pirates and Chinese copyists. Youngblood invited her to Philadelphia and Harrisburg last summer, where Wilson testified on behalf of her sister and brother artists.
"We're trying to stop counterfeiters," Youngblood told me. She recited examples (mostly not in Pennsylvania) of cheap extension cords sparking fires, phony Similac baby formula, fake aircraft parts, and other threats "to the health and safety and welfare of our consumers in Pennsylvania. A lot of consumers don't understand what's going on. Its' hurting a lot of people."
Youngblood's bill has passed the House and moves for final approval in the Senate next week.