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Bush signs intellectual property bill

Act toughens both civil and criminal IP laws

President Bush inked into law a major intellectual property protection bill that the entertainment industry has strongly supported.

The Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act toughens both civil and criminal IP laws and pumps money and resources into Justice Dept. efforts to combat piracy. It also establishes the position of Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator – essentially an IP czar appointed by the president and serving in the White House.

“At this critical time for our economy, it’s important to send a message that the jobs created and maintained by the protection of intellectual property is a national priority,” MPAA topper Dan Glickman said in a statement. “The film industry is a major part of the U.S. economic engine, responsible alone for more 1.5 million American jobs.”

The music industry has been hit particularly hard by piracy. “This important law will help ensure America’s intellectual property rights, which support the creativity and innovation that drive our economy and boost job creation, are better enforced on a global scale,” said David Israelite, prexy-chief of the National Music Publishers’ Assn.