News Articles

Judiciary Committee: Out of Bounds

9/19/2008 08:00:00 PM Eastern

Editor: The Senate Judiciary Committee is burdening an already overtaxed Justice Department, and opening the door to significant breaches of privacy, by passing the Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act (“Senate Judiciary Committee Passes IP Act,” www.broadcastingcable.com, Sept. 11).

The bill would give Justice the power to bring civil cases against suspected copyright infringers. But America's top law enforcement agency should be focused exclusively on criminal copyright prosecutions, not matters of civil law. Aggrieved copyright owners, such as Hollywood's music and movie industries, have plenty of resources to file their own suits.

What's worse is that the bill gives Justice the power to seize private property (computers) while investigating these civil cases—a practice sure to snare many innocent people.

Congress should let victims of copyright infringement fight their own battles, and let the Justice Department concentrate on more important crimes, like terrorism.

James G. Lakely

The Heartland Institute

Chicago

March