House passes “PRO-IP Act”
May 8, 2008
According to Grant Gross at PC World, the U.S. House of Representatives has just passed H.R. 4279, the so-called “PRO-IP Act” sponsored by John Conyers (D-MI) and funded by the copyright and telecommunications industries.
There are a number of big problems with H.R. 4279. Among other things, the bill mandates:
- The creation of a cabinet-level “IP czar” position
- 10 or so new IPR enforcement positions in the DOJ (think of them as corporate welfare cops)
- Language that could justify the forfeiture of personal property used to commit copyright violations (h/t to Grant Gross’ article for pointing this out)
All of these provisions promise to be expensive, controversial, and intrusive for consumers and citizens.
As I have written earlier, the USHOR’s endorsement of this sort of pro-industry pap would appear to stem from campaign donations as opposed to sound legal reasoning and evidence-based policy-making
Another story on the bill includes the following quote:
“We applaud the members of the House of Representatives for passing the PRO-IP Act, H.R. 4279,” said Dan Glickman, president of the Motion Picture Association of America, in response to its passage. “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.”
He added, “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.”
Excuse me Dan, but please clarify for me exactly how the PRO-IP Act will translate into an improved American economy? If the so-called mortgage crisis has taught me something it’s that the US Govt should not be propping up flawed business models through lenient legislation and friendly enforcement practices – that way lies economic perdition.
Hopefully, the Senate will have the sense to busy themselves with more important matters.