Scary IP Enforcement Legislation Awaits Dubya’s Signature

In his Law of the Game on Joystiq column, legal eagle Mark Methenitis reports on yet another piece of legislation designed to protect IP rights holders at the expense of consumers.

This time around it’s the Intellectual Property Act aka the "PRO-IP Act". According to Methenitis, the proposed law, which has been passed by Congress and awaits President Bush’s signature:

  • increases the penalties for infringement by expanding what is considered a ‘work’
  • broadens the ability of the government to permanently seize goods
  • creates an Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, a new cabinet position whose sole job is to increase intellectual property enforcement.

Terming the bill "a load of bad news for consumers," Methenitis writes:

The impact to the consumer is obvious… more or less anything that has come into contact with that pirated item can be seized by the government. The statute is worded in such a broad manner that it would be theoretically possible to seize all of the computers in a home or office if one pirated MP3 or piece of software was present.


…based on this new definition of ‘works,’ a game with a licensed soundtrack may be multiple works… For example, let’s say someone is pirating Madden 2002. It might not be worth EA’s time or trouble to go after those pirates, since their real concern at this point is Madden 2009, but the piracy of that game could now also potentially be considered the piracy of that music.

Methenitis notes that it is unclear whether Bush will sign the bill or leave it for his successor.

UPDATE: Gizmodo reports that President Bush signed the bill into law today.

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  1. Trencher says:

    Maybe because he is a Dumb **** hick….


    Not to mention an alchoholic, drugy, war monger and the worst president the USA has ever had.





  2. Quarantine says:

    Yeah. Damn the media… them evil dictators of the world. But then again, you gotta admit that bush is one troubled soul.


    "Because this town is under the stranglehold of a few tight eyed Tree Huggers who would rather play Hacky Sack than lock up the homeless" — Birch Barlow

  3. Loudspeaker says:

    Well it’s no longer a questionmark… Dubya signed it into law.  Oh joy.

    "Volume helps to get a point across but sharp teeth are better."

  4. Quarantine says:

    Seems when it comes to politics, people just make shit up for the hell of it. Why not? I guess it is kind of fun. Gossip that influences people!


    "Because this town is under the stranglehold of a few tight eyed Tree Huggers who would rather play Hacky Sack than lock up the homeless" — Birch Barlow

  5. Neo_DrKefka says:

    Great, so basically a Democrat controlled Congress voted for a law limiting your rights and you use a slang insult for Bush like he came up with? Great I wonder how much more biased this site is going to become

  6. Chaltab says:

    Hopefully "Dubya" will excercise his underused veto muscles on this. Or at least pass the buck to someone who will.

  7. Father Time says:

    We really needs someone to draft a consumer rights bill and call it pro consumer rights or something to that effect. This is getting truly reidculous.


     God created alcohol so that the Scottish and the Irish could never take over the world. -Chris ‘Jedi’ Knight

  8. SeanB says:

    from an outsiders perspective, it’s really annoying to see the US waste so much money on laws that will be fought and overturned, wasting even more money yet.

  9. Alex says:

    Oh joy.

    I’m not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I’m not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don’t know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

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