U.S. Departments of Commerce and Justice Oppose Title I of "Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act"

The U.S. Departments of Commerce and Justice have sent a joint letter to Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, opposing Title I of the "Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act."

Here's an excerpt:

We strongly oppose Title I of the bill, which not only authorizes the Attorney General to pursue civil remedies for copyright infringement, but to secure "restitution" damages and remit them to the private owners of infringed copyrights. First, civil copyright enforcement has always been the responsibility and prerogative of private copyright holders, and U.S. law already provides them with effective legal tools to protect their rights. . . .

Second, Title 1's departure from the settled framework above could result in Department of Justice prosecutors serving as pro bono lawyers for private copyright holders regardless of their resources. . . .

Third, the Department of Justice has limited resources to dedicate to particular issues, and civil enforcement actions would occur at the expense of criminal actions, which only the Department of Justice may bring.

Read more about it at "DoJ Agrees: IP Enforcement Bill is a Bad Idea" and "DoJ to Senate: Don't Make Us Be Big Content's Copyright Cops."