Sunday, October 19, 2008

'Copyright Czar' Bill Approved

PC Magazine is the only place I noticed this news, President Bush Approves 'Copyright Czar' Bill:

"President Bush on Monday approved a controversial bill that will effectively create a 'copyright czar' within the White House.

Bush signed the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (PRO-IP) Act, a measure that will create several new government enforcement positions.

The Senate approved the bill on Sept. 30 after Sen. Ron Wyden successfully requested that Congress remove a provision requiring the Department of Justice to enforce copyright provision"


The bill does, however, create an Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) who will serve within the Office of the President. The IPEC will chair a committee made up of representatives from the Office of Management and Budget, the DOJ, the U.S. Trade Representative, the Patent and Trademark Office, the Department of Homeland Security, the FDA, and others.

As written, the IPEC "may not control or direct any law enforcement agency in the exercise of its investigative or prosecutorial authority". But its primary function is to develop a "joint strategic plan" to wage war on those who infringe copyrights, which include facilitating the sharing of information across law-enforcement agencies and between other countries. The bill also increases the penalties for copyright infringement