PRO-IP Act passes US Congress

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The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the PRO-IP Act (HR.4279) by a vote of 410 to 11. The act would strengthen Intellectual Property protection and enforcement. Before being passed in the House, the act passed in the Judiciary Committee unanimously. It now has to pass through the US senate.

Dan Glickman, chair of the MPAA, praised the move by congress. He wrote, in part:
It is a comprehensive, bipartisan measure that will strengthen our nation's economy and generate more jobs for American workers by bolstering protections for intellectual property. Given the difficult economic times we face, the PRO-IP Act is welcome by both the business and labor communities because it can improve our nation's economic outlook. I hope the Senate will move quickly to pass similar legislation.
Richard Esguerra of the Electronic Frontier Foundation wrote a critique of the legislation. Here's a piece:
The most outrageous provisions would create new and unnecessary federal bureaucracies devoted to intellectual property enforcement. None seems more ridiculous than language creating a Cabinet-level 'IP enforcement czar' that would report to the President and coordinate enforcement efforts across government, a proposal that has been loudly opposed by the Department of Justice.
The most controversial piece of the proposed legislation would have allowed for the collect of damages for each track copied from a CD, which is a page directly from the RIAA's playbook. But that provision was removed after coming under widespread criticism.


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