US’s new IP law

What surprised me about this new law, just signed by President Bush, is that it creates a Cabinet-level position for intellectual property enforcement coordination, CNET reports. The "Pro-IP Act" also "steepens penalties for intellectual-property infringement [though the penalties against families of P2P file-sharers, who probably will also be affected, seem to have been stiff enough], and increases resources for the Department of Justice to coordinate for federal and state efforts against counterfeiting and piracy." The US Chamber of Commerce told CNET that American intellectual property is worth more than $5 trillion and "accounts for more than half of all US exports." The law was backed by the US Chamber, the Recording Industry Association of America, large media companies, and the AFL-CIO. Opposition came from, among others, the American Library Association, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Public Knowledge.

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