U.S. Government May Take Over Battle Against Copyright Pirates

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U.S. Government May Take Over Battle Against Copyright Pirates

Sat Sep 13, 2008 @ 07:09AM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Riaa The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has approved the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act of 2008. The bill would create a new executive post to coordinate the fight against piracy and give law enforcement officials more resources and options to pursue cases against pirates.

The RIAA has sued some 30,000 individuals for piracy, but now it might not need to undergo the expense and effort. If passed by the full Congress and signed into law, the biggest impact on the piracy wars is that the Department of Justice would be able to bring civil suits against IP infringers, with any damages won to be turned over to content owners.

Several public interest groups have rallied in an effort to kill the bill, saying in a letter that it represents an "enormous gift of federal resources to large copyright owners with no demonstration that the copyright owners are having difficulties enforcing their own rights."

Hollywood and the music industry are fervently behind the bill. "This legislation is a welcome verse in a great song," says the RIAA.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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