Controversial Anti-Piracy Bill Signed Into Law

Dennis Faas's picture

President Bush has reportedly signed into law a controversial bill known as the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for intellectual Property (PRO IP) Act to protect American consumer rights that stiffens penalties against counterfeiting and piracy at the federal level.

Under the law, an Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator --- referred to by some as an intellectual property czar --- will be appointed by the Senate who will report directly to the president on how to better protect copyrights both domestically and internationally, over the objections of the Justice Department that the creation of this position would undermine its authority. The person filling the role of IP czar will most likely be appointed under the next president in 2009.

Civil and criminal intellectual property laws are tightened and stricter penalties are imposed on violators, providing the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation with more resources to fight intellectual property crimes.

Critics argue that the law is unnecessary and goes too far, saying it risks punishing people who have not infringed and that the recording and movie industry already had the right to take accused infringers to court.

Under the PRO IP Act statutory awards awarded in civil counterfeiting cases would be increased, tools to prosecute criminal cases involving piracy and counterfeiting are strengthened and resources available for the Department of Justice to combat IP theft are enhanced.

The bill was backed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, counterfeiting and piracy costs the United States nearly $250 Billion annually.

Visit Bill's Links and More for more great tips, just like this one!

Rate this article: 
No votes yet