Justice Dept. gives itself a piracy hug
WASHINGTON — When it comes to fighting intellectual piracy, the Justice Dept. is locked and loaded.Or so the agency claims in a report that maintains the feds have gone above and beyond their own recommendations on how to crack down on intellectual-property thieves. “Progress Report of the Dept. of Justice’s Task Force on Intellectual Property,” to be released today, is a follow-up to a DOJ study issued in 2004. That study, the agency’s first on intellectual-property issues, concluded with extensive recommendations for improving Justice’s intellectual-property enforcement, protection and education programs. Recommendations, both short- and long-term, focused on criminal enforcement, international cooperation, civil enforcement, antitrust enforcement, legislation and prevention. “The Dept. of Justice is proud to announce that it has implemented all of the recommendations contained in the 2004 (study),” the new report states. Indeed, Justice “went well beyond the recommendations by taking … additional steps.” For instance, the 2004 study recommended establishing five more Computer Hacking & Intellectual Property units, which include federal prosecutors. Report says five CHIP units have been set up, in D.C., Orlando, Fla.; Nashville; Pittsburgh; and Sacramento. But DOJ then created an additional seven CHIP units — in Austin, Texas; Baltimore; Denver; Detroit; Newark, N.J.; New Haven, Conn.; and Philadelphia. Other 2004 recommendations the new report says have been carried out:
- Deploying an experienced federal prosecutor as an intellectual-property law enforcement coordinator to Southeast Asia and obtaining funding for a similar post in Eastern Europe;
- Expanding international training and technical assistance efforts;
- Increasing the number of extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties that include intellectual property offenses;
- Organizing victims’ conferences on intellectual property awareness;
- Creating intellectual-property educational programs for minors.