The US Senate passed The Enforcement of Intellectual Property Act of 2008 (S3325) on Friday, which calls for heightened enforcement measures on intellectual property infringement. The anti-piracy Act mirrors a similar measure recently passed in the House of Representatives, with important modifications. According to Digital Music News, the measure calls for the placement of a cabinet-level, piracy “czar,” though it stops short of authorizing governmental involvement in civil infringement matters.
That was strongly opposed by the US Department of Justice, which protested the use of government attorneys for essentially private disputes. The DOJ refused to supply “pro bono lawyers for private copyright holders regardless of their resources,” and subsequently won removal of the provision. Despite the pushback, the recording industry expressed enthusiasm. “At a critical economic juncture, this bipartisan legislation provides enhanced protection for an important asset that helps lead our global competitiveness,” said RIAA chairman and chief executive Mitch Bainwol. The bill now heads back to the House for expected approval.