U.S. DOJ Launches IP Task Force

In order to address copyright piracy, Attorney General Eric Holder (pictured) has launched a Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property.

Reuters reports that the new initiative came about following a meeting last December of Vice President Joe Biden, Holder and a veritable “who’s who” of members from the entertainment media, including representatives from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Time Warner, NBC Universal, Universal Music and Walt Disney Co.

A full list of those who attended the summit can be found here.

The task force will work with state, local and international law enforcement to battle IP theft. Holder, in a statement added, “The rise in intellectual property crime in the United States and abroad threatens not only our public safety but also our economic well-being.”

Biden added, "Theft of intellectual property does significant harm to our economy and endangers the health and safety of our citizens."

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) came out in favor of the task force, with President and CEO Michael Gallagher, who attended the meeting, stating, “Intellectual property is the lifeblood and backbone of entertainment software. Consumers benefit with the lower cost, high-quality and more diverse title offerings that are made possible by strong measures protecting the creative works of our industry’s artists.”

TechDirt labeled the original meeting (which led to the task force being formed) a “one-sided, piracy summit,” and questioned the relationship between Biden and Hollywood.

Public Knowledge also took umbrage with the original meeting, saying, “It is unclear why three cabinet officers, several subcabinet officers, the directors of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Secret Service are needed to tend to the worries of the big media companies, particularly the motion picture industry which is completing a year in which it will set box-office records.”

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  1. Furluge says:

    What’s so incredibly awful about this is that if you ever look at what law enforcement focuses on it’s whatever makes them the most money. That means traffic violations, drug violations, and now copyright infrignement. And last I checked I cases solved for my area’s largest metro was 50%, and other "real" crimes such as theft, rape, etc. had a lower rate of solved cases from there.

    But at least they’re stoping people from downloading Dexter off the torrentz.

  2. sharpshooterbabe says:

    I have never heard of "Intellectual Property". What is that? Can someone explain please.



    "It’s better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." – Montgomery Gentry

  3. Neo_DrKefka says:

    Eric Holder only goes after things that benefits him, Obama and the Black Community.

    He won’t take up cases that the Justice Department have cases on people who have full confessions like the Black Panthers who on Election Day stood in front of Voting Buildings with weapons and would not allow anyone who acknowledged Obama as Messiah and God or white people to vote.



  4. MechaTama31 says:

    I knew we shouldn’t have elected Biden.  That guy is so deep in the media conglomerates’ pockets, I don’t know how he even comes up for air.  Then again, I still get a little vomit taste in my mouth thinking about what would happen with Palin anywhere near an office of importance, so…  I don’t know what my point is.  Our two-party system sucks, there we go.

  5. Furluge says:

    What he means is that according to the incredibly strict and draconian terms of copyright law every single person here has probably broken it at one point or another.

    Take a screen shoot of a DVD you bought with a cute cat on it? Congradulations! Welcome to copyright infringement hell!

    Show a DVD to a large group of friends or at a club? Congradulations! Welcome to copyright infringement hell!

    Do some fanart or make a mode? Congradulations! Welcome to copyright infringement hell!

    See that lovely image of a logitech gamepad with red white and blue on it in the upper-right hand corner? Congradulations! Welcome to copyright infringement hell!

    If you had the level of lockdown that these companies seem to want you’d have a very baren, empty internet.

    Incidentally I went to a Deli recently. Their menu was a giant college of corporate logos and mascots from products they sell and things they remember from childhood. It was good, but if that was on a website it’d have been CDed ages ago.

  6. jedidethfreak says:

    Well, I don’t know about anyone else, but I want to know what’s wrong with buying media and using the bought copy.  You have never addressed this.

    You KILL Vampires. You don’t DATE them.

  7. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Not even close, practically speaking you can not steal a copy right unless you make money off it even then thats considered infringement the same as allowing a friend to borrow or have your copy.


    The problem is almost everything we do(aside from buying it and using that bought copy) with copy right and IP on the layman’s end of the septum is "stealing"(your words).So do we make everyone criminals or realize that there are circumstances of infringement that consumers and fans do that should be protected as much as the CP/IPs creators right to make money off what they created.

    Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! CP/IP laws should not effect the daily life of common people! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

  8. jedidethfreak says:

    It’s par for the course for DarkSaber, and a majority of GP members, when pointing out that Obama didn’t come anywhere near delivering "change we can believe in."

    You KILL Vampires. You don’t DATE them.

  9. MechaTama31 says:

    Seriously?  That’s the best rebuttal you could come up with?  Just "BUSH SUCKS!!!", as if having a shitty predecessor excuses one’s own mistakes.  Bush wasn’t even mentioned.  How is this relevant?

  10. ZippyDSMlee says:

    The only IP theft of note is the profit making kind and whats really sad bunisess that make milloins get off with a slap on the wrists….

    Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! CP/IP laws should not effect the daily life of common people! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

  11. Sajomir says:

    First, let me say I agree with you – I don’t like limited installs and I don’t like the extra software often included with games. (I usually never resell games so that’s not so much of an issue for me, but I can see why people want it)


    However, they’re allowed to do whatever the fuck they want with their games, and sell them on whatever terms they want. They are in no ways pirates, despite whatever names you want to call them. Do I want to see them change and see producers and consumers get along? Yes I do. Piracy will never make that happen.

  12. Bennett Beeny says:

    They sell us what are in effect rentals (limited installs) of games at full price; they try to make it impossible for us to resell the games on the second hand market; they sneak in malware that causes all sorts of problems and which doesn’t enhance gameplay or serve the customer in any way – and they complain that THEY’RE the victims of piracy?

    When do we get OUR meeting to get the DOJ to investigate THEIR piracy?

  13. CyberSkull says:

    How does infringement affect public safety? The only threat I see to public safety is MPAA/RIAA storm troopers rushing in to seize your allegedly copied stuff.

  14. ZippyDSMlee says:

    You do realize what you are posting right now could be considered copy right violation?
    Almost everything we do in the digital age involves some form of CP/IP infringement…..

    Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! CP/IP laws should not effect the daily life of common people! http://zippydsmlee.wordpress.com/

  15. djnforce9 says:

    It’s not just DRM that causes it. There are other factors:

    – Lackluster demo (or none at all). Same with music. You either get an inadequate low quality preview or nothing at all. Why would I buy something I can’t sample first? Would you buy a car you can’t test drive? Didn’t think so.

    – Release dates. Certain countries don’t get a particular movie, TV show, or game until much later than the rest of the world. Nobody wants to wait so they turn to an "alternate means" to get what they want, when they want.

    -Pricing. That’s probably a big one. Students and other people with low income want to fill their desire to be entertained in the cheapest way possible. You can’t get much better than "free". In addition, some things are just clearly overpriced (A DVD movie or game that’s been out for several years yet STILL close to its original price at release? Give me a break).

    -Out of spite (although I somtimes feel people just "say that" and have other reasons in mind).


    So the solution? Stop wasting funds on fighting piracy (and netting a ton of negative PR in the process) and try to make BETTER legal alternatives available and more attractive than the pirated copies. Right now, it’s the other way around because Pirates often get their material:

    – On Demand (i.e. not at the mercy of arbritrary release schedules)
    – Free of charge (albiet their ISP/VPN/etc expenses)
    – No DRM or similar restrictions (in the case of games, sometimes the DRM is broken and the pirated version works BETTER than what paying customers get. I’ve experienced that one first hand when something I bought didn’t work correctly due to DRM). Also, let’s not forget the notrious sony rookit debacle: What a deal. One free PC infection with every purchased copy.

  16. killatia says:

    On one hand we do need somebody to stop illegal downloads of software from the pirates. On the other hans some of the people wouldn’r even condisering theif if it wasen’t for pc killing DRMs like securom.



  17. hellfire7885 says:

    Neither is the income of the families who will be spending two or three generations payign that off.

  18. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    "Wait, wait, wait, downloading something you didn’t buy threatens public safety?"



    "A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

  19. Dejiko says:

    "threatens not only our public safety"

    Wait, wait, wait, downloading something you didn’t buy threatens public safety? I mean, sure, there’s always the chance that the IP holders will go bat**** crazy and shoot anyone with a computer, but come on, that’s not very likely.

  20. DarkSaber says:

    Oh yeah, because Bush NEVER bent over backwards to accomodate demands from Big Business.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  21. Austin_Lewis says:

    This is what Eric Holder needs to be doing with his time, obviously.  I’m glad to see the Obama Administration is such a big fan of the entertainment industry and likes to spend their time bowing to them, instead of maybe getting some work done on an important topic; maybe those terror trials Holder wants held in NYC (at a whopping 200 million dollars a year), or maybe going after those new black panthers that Holder let go for their voter intimidation, or maybe looking into actually cutting the buget instead of just proposing a gimmick ‘discretionary spending freeze’ after raising the budget so much that it makes no fucking difference.

    That’s some good governance there.

  22. Dejiko says:

    "yet ive only seen just a couple stories about large scale piracy operations being shut down. it makes me seriously ponder where this country is really going."

    If they go after the little people with no way to defend themselves they can get more money from settlements (come on, 20 songs are NOT worth $1,000,000)

  23. tallimar says:

    this worries me.  instead of tackling issues such as the record-breaking deficits, the increasing disparity between the rich and the poor, our under-funded education system, or even attempting to close long-running ‘wars’, the federal government is going to throw millions of dollars at making sure that little jimmy doesnt "copy that floppy".

    i keep reading stories about how these bigwigs keep screaming that piracy is going to cause the world to implode, yet ive only seen just a couple stories about large scale piracy operations being shut down. it makes me seriously ponder where this country is really going.

  24. Thad says:

    Can somebody tell me where I can find these lower-cost, higher-quality, and more diverse title offerings that I’m benefitting from?

  25. DarkSaber says:

    Wonder much in bribes/lobbying it took to get this result.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

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