The US Department of Justice (DoJ) wants tough new antipiracy powers according to ZDNet. On Tuesday the DoJ issued a report calling for the power to conduct wiretaps when investigating serious intellectual property offences and the creation of a new offence of importation of pirated material. Most dramatically, the DoJ is also calling for FBI agents to be stationed in Budapest and Hong Kong to help local officers and to provide training on enforcement.

"The department is prepared to build the strongest, most aggressive legal assault against intellectual-property crime in our nation's history," said Attorney General John Ashcroft. Readers will note that he hasn't limited his comments to copyright, and indeed, there are recommendations concerning trademark infringements, trade secret violations and fake pharmaceuticals.

The IPKat is amazed by the lengths to which the DoJ is going to make IP infringement a criminal rather than civil matter but he's even more stunned at the thought of US officials being stationed abroad for the cause of IP. He wonders what the countries that are thought to need such "assistance" will make of the plans.

More American invasions here, here and here.
Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, October 15, 2004 Rating: 5


Anonymous said...

I have heard that the US Embassy in Beijing already has a Mandarin-speaking IP attorney in residence. Perhaps it is only a small step to posting agents. The FBI itself has made 'IP crime' a priority enforcement target since about 1999.

Anonymous said...

There is a need to balance between the need to protect enterprises from losing large amounts of money as a result of such IP violations and the need to restrain from overly infringing on individual rights and more importantly state soveringty. It seems to me that the suggested antipracy powers would overstep the boundaries between regulation and infringement,greatly tipping towards the latter. Hence I do not think this is the best way to go about protecting against violations.

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