David Kirkpatrick

October 17, 2008

With the PRO-IP Anti-Piracy Law …

… not only did Bush sign a bad piece of legislation, he added to government bloat with yet another “czar.” Nice.

From the link:

U.S. President George W. Bush Monday signed into law a bill designed to increase protection of intellectual property (IP) such as software, films and music by raising penalties for infringement and creating a national “IP czar.”

The Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2007, or PRO-IP Act, creates a high-ranking IP protection overseer, appointed by the Senate and reporting directly to the president. The position’s first appointee will likely come from the next U.S. administration. The U.S. Department of Justice will also form a new division dedicated to enforcing intellectual property protection.

Some public advocacy groups had opposed the bill, stating that its penalties were far too harsh and that it didn’t balance users’ rights and concerns over those of major software, media and pharmaceutical companies. “The bill only adds more imbalance to a copyright law that favors large media companies. At a time when the entire digital world is going to less restrictive distribution models, and when the courts are aghast at the outlandish damages being inflicted on consumers in copyright cases, this bill goes entirely in the wrong direction,” said Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge, a Washington, D.C.-based digital rights group, after the passage of the Senate version of PRO-IP in late September.