Bush Signs New Intellectual Property Law

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Yesterday, President Bush signed the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Properties Act into law. A new cabinet level position – essentially an intellectual property czar – assumes the responsibility of keeping the President informed regarding the protection of U.S. intellectual property…

Yesterday, President Bush signed the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Properties Act into law. A new cabinet level position – essentially an intellectual property czar – assumes the responsibility of keeping the President informed regarding the protection of U.S. intellectual property domestically and abroad. This czar will oversee and coordinate the efforts of all the government agencies currently fighting violations of IP rights; those are the Departments of Commerce, Justice, Homeland Security, and State, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. The new law has provisions to increase personnel, training and equipment for Department of Justice programs already in place to deal with IP infringement. Also increasing will be fines levied in criminal cases and statutory damages awarded in civil cases.


Though strongly supported by the RIAA, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and owners of multiple profitable copyrights such as NBC Universal, the act is not without its critics. Its detractors have called the law unnecessary, as copyright laws already in place give copyright owners all the legal backing they need to pursue infringers. The inclusion of a measure requiring forfeiture of devices used in piracy is upsetting to those who think the new measures will persecute the wrong people, meaning that innocent teenager would lose his homework computer because grandma used it to steal music. The Bush administration itself initially opposed the PRO-IP Act, wanting neither the creation of the czar position nor a provision that would have allowed the Justice Department to pursue civil litigation against copyright infringers. The latter, a contentious point for many, was cut from the bill before it passed.


According the the White House, the law “protects the work of American innovators, strengthens the rule of law, and will help keep American families safe.” The U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates the value of U.S. intellectual properties to be over $5 trillion, and accounting for over half of our exports. It estimates annual losses from piracy to be approximately $250 billion, reiterating that the focus of the new programs is on large-scale – particularly international – counterfeiting operations. The appointment of the IP czar is not expected to happen before the end of President Bush’s term.


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  1. This next quote really made me laugh …

    “The inclusion of a measure requiring forfeiture of devices used in piracy is upsetting to those who think the new measures will persecute the wrong people, meaning that innocent teenager would lose his homework computer because grandma used it to steal music.”

    My answer to that is this. Is that computer is in a home where someone uses it for illegal downloads and file sharing it should be confiscated. Period. The “innocent teenager” has witnessed what happens when you steal from the owners of intellectual property… he should curse grandma and get a new ISP. In the process he learned and clearly understands that copyright laws exist and should be abided by like any other laws. No exceptions.

    The temporary and desperate feeding frenzy of those who can’t live without music but refuse to pay for it is failing… and with that the death of the Napster generation with their collective and wrong idea that “Art” (as I read a moron write in some forum) in general, not to mention music… “should be free”.

    Well… guess what, it’s not and it should have never been. Only losers wanted it to be so because they got a loser’s taste of it for free. If this pisses you off, meaning paying for the work and efforts of all those involved in making that music you can’t live without… just don’t buy it. Or get it from the loser amateur hobbysts wannabee “musicians” who are not self respecting enough men and who feel pressured to give it away for free.

    Please let’s not confuse them untalented wimps (who can’t sell their crap anyway) with us professionals.

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