Bush Signs RIAA-Backed Intellectual Property Law
October 14, 2008 at 6:24 AM (PT)
President BUSH on MONDAY signed into law an intellectual-property enforcement bill that would consolidate federal efforts to combat copyright infringement under a new WHITE HOUSE cabinet position, reports CNET.COM. The Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act establishes within the executive branch the position of intellectual property enforcement coordinator, who will be appointed by the President.
The law also steepens penalties for intellectual-property infringement, and increases resources for the Department of Justice to coordinate for federal and state efforts against counterfeiting and piracy. The so-called Pro-IP Act passed unanimously in the Senate last month and received strong bipartisan support in the House.
The BUSH administration initially expressed its opposition to the legislation, but one of its more contentious provisions, which would have allowed the Justice Department to pursue civil litigation against copyright infringers, was removed.
The law has received wide-ranging support from within the business community, including from the RECORDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and copyright holders such as NBC UNIVERSAL. Labor groups such as the AFL-CIO have also expressed their support for the new law. Business and labor groups have said strong intellectual-property enforcement is critical for the development of the U.S. economy.