Good news for those pushed out of job by the recent economic downturn. President Bush has just signed into law a bill affording greater protection for holders of patents, trademarks and copyrights, and in the process has created at least one new job. The Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2007 (PRO-IP Act), creates the position of intellectual property Czar, controlling a new Justice Department division charged with enforcing intellectual property rights. The new intellectual property Czar will report directly to the President. Barring martial law being declared before the elections, however, the new Czar will likely be appointed by the next administration.
The new rules regarding enforcement of patents and trademarks in the PRO-IP Act appear to be generally accepted. The new copyright enforcement provisions in the PRO-IP Act however, leave digital rights advocates up in arms. While the RIAA/MPAA contingent fell just short of mandating file sharers be publicly beheaded, under the new Draconian penalties, consumers caught in the act of copyright infringement could find themselves penniless and/or imprisoned.
Stated Chairman of the RIAA Mitch Bainwol, said of the new PRO-IP Act “The bill is truly music to the ears of all those who care about strengthening American creativity and jobs.” I guess a law shifting tax dollars toward enforcing the copyrights of mega-media companies against taxpayers can’t be ALL bad. Well, unless of course you happen to be a taxpayer.