IP-PRO copyright bill passes House
Copyright czar, coming up
IDG News Service - A copyright bill that has been criticized for radically increasing fines on copyright infringements — the usefulness of which has been called into question by the Department of Justice officials currently responsible for enforcement — has passed the House of Representatives. The Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act, or PRO-IP Act, would allow law enforcement authorities to seek the forfeiture of property used in copyright infringement.
The PRO-IP Act also creates a new Office of Intellectual Property Enforcement representative, often called a copyright czar, in the White House and expands a U.S. Department of Justice program that gives local law enforcement agencies grants to fight computer crimes, including grants for copyright infringement enforcement.
The extra help isn't necessarily welcome. "The Department of Justice has said more than once that they don't need this [copyright czar] office to exist, that they don't need the help," noted Corynne McSherry, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "If the cops are telling Congress 'no thank you,' I think we should respect that. It's confusing that Congress isn't taking heed before spending these tax dollars that other agencies need."
The bill (download PDF), which provides for both civil and criminal forfeitures of property used to commit copyright infringement, was sponsored by Democratic Reps. John Conyers of Michigan and Howard Berman of California, as well as Republican Lamar Smith of Texas. It passed the House on a 410-11 vote on Thursday.
In March, the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property killed the most controversial section of the bill, which would have increased fines for compilation CDs containing pirated music by 10 times or more. Provisions in that section would have assessed fines for each separate copyright work on a compilation such as a CD, meaning the fines for a 10-song compilation CD would range from $7,500 to $1.5 million, instead of the current $750 to $150,000.
The Recording Industry Association of America praised the House for passing the bill. "Intellectual property industries" create millions of jobs and bring billions of dollars into the economy, RIAA Chairman and CEO Mitch Bainwol said in a statement. The bill is a "strong, common-sense measure" that will provide the tools needed to protect intellectual property, the statement added.
Angela Gunn of Computerworld contributed to this report.
- Improving IT Efficiencies: Four Advantages of Multi-Tenant Data Centers Increasing demands on IT are forcing organizations to rethink their data center options. For many organizations, that means turning to the flexibility afforded...
- Accelerating Cloud Deployment and Operations with Managed Services Companies that do not have sufficient in-house expertise to either deploy or maintain an IaaS cloud should turn to Managed Service Providers .
- Rethinking IT Operations in the Cloud This paper breaks down the challenges that often prevent the cloud from delivering the fast, flexible and affordable infrastructure companies seek - and...
- Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting, North America Cloud-enabled managed hosting brings cloudlike consumption and provisioning attributes to the traditional managed hosting market
- NSS Labs & Cisco Present: Evaluating Leading Breach Detection Systems Today's constantly evolving advanced malware and APTs can evade point-in-time defenses to penetrate networks. Security professionals must evolve their strategy in lockstep to...
- Will the Real Endpoint Threat Detection and Response Please Stand Up? This webinar explores new technologies & process for protecting endpoints from advanced attackers as well as the innovations that are pushing the envelope... All Legal White Papers | Webcasts