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August 18, 2004
Head of DoJ Task Force on I/P Speaks
David Israelite, chairman of the US Dept. of Justice's Intellectual Property Task Force, has been out and about discussing how the DoJ will be taking a much more active role in intellectual property enforcement. From an AP story published in the Williamson County Review Appeal, the agenda of the task force is clear (Federal government takes aim at music piracy):
The federal government plans to more aggressively attack intellectual property theft, a near "epidemic" that has hit the music industry harder than any other, a federal official said Monday.
"The music industry deserves special attention from the Department of Justice because as an industry you have done more to help yourself more than any other industry that is experiencing theft of property right now," David Israelite, chairman of the U.S. Justice Department's Intellectual Property Task Force, told a group of songwriters at Belmont University.
The industry has battled music piracy, or illegal downloading of music on the Internet, through lawsuits, advertising and "any means necessary," Israelite said.
Except, perhaps, changing their business model like other industries do when faced when changing economic circumstances. Heck, even Israelite acknowledges that the music industry was slow to permit legitimate downloading, according to an article in the Tennessean
(Ashcroft aide attacks copyright infringement
Israelite was also somewhat critical of the music industry, saying the industry should have offered legal downloading more quickly.
Of course, getting back to the task force, which is supposed to make suggestions to Ashcroft come October, they may be looking at getting local law enforcement involved:
Part of the problem with enforcement is that copyright violations are a federal crime only, so the states and local law enforcement are not involved, he [Israelite] said.
"That makes it very difficult to go after mass copyright theft," he said. "If you had shoplifting at the rate you had digital theft from copyright violations, you'd have about 800,000 total police helping you."
Like local police have the resources and expertise to handle copyright infringement cases. Great.
via I/P Updates
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