The Week Online Archive
Bush Signs Bill Creating 'Intellectual Property Czar'
October 14, 2008: President Bush has signed the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act, which establishes a cabinet-level post for an intellectual property enforcement coordinator, to be appointed by the president.
The Bush administration originally opposed the bill, when it contained a provision that would have allowed the Department of Justice to pursue civil cases (not criminal enforcement) against suspected copyright infringers, handing any damages awarded over to the rights owners. The bill was ultimately passed by the House and Senate without that controversial provision.
The Pro-IP bill also increases penalties for infringement, and adds funding for the DOJ to coordinate federal and state anti-piracy efforts.
The RIAA has strongly supported the bill; RIAA Chairman/CEO Mitch Bainwol said when the Senate passed the legislation, "This bill truly is music to the ears of all those who care about strengthening American creativity and jobs. At a critical economic juncture, this bipartisan legislation provides enhanced protection for an important asset that helps lead our global competitiveness."