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FBI, DoJ Add 35 Positions For Intellectual Property Battle 140

Posted by Soulskill
from the brought-to-you-by-the-**aa dept.
coondoggie writes "The FBI and Department of Justice said they were going to go hard after intellectual property crimes this year and so far they seem to be keeping their word, as today the agencies appointed 15 new Assistant US Attorney (AUSA) positions and 20 FBI Special Agents dedicated to fighting domestic and international IP crimes. The 15 new AUSAs will work closely with the Criminal Division's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section to aggressively pursue high tech crime, including computer crime and intellectual property offenses. The new positions will be located in California, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. The 20 FBI Special Agents will be deployed to specifically boost four geographic areas with intellectual property squads, and increase investigative capacity in other locations around the country where intellectual property crimes are of particular concern. The four squads will be located in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and the District of Columbia."
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FBI, DoJ Add 35 Positions For Intellectual Property Battle

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 26, 2010 @02:36PM (#31988096)

    There's always fair use [boingboing.net].

  • by stimpleton (732392) on Monday April 26, 2010 @02:50PM (#31988258)
    This 1 minute scene from the British comedy, The IT Crowd.

    Relevantly, the assasin at the end is an FBI agent. FBI as copyright police [youtube.com]

    I point of thought, he is on foreign soil enforcing US DMCA. As a side note the makers of this series have strong opinions in this area.
  • While what you say is true, there's a tremendous difference between making counterfeit medicine (which could easily injure or kill someone), making a counterfeit watch (which is defrauding the customer by making them think it's something it's not), and sharing an MP3. Ultimately, the law is going to need to realize these distinctions. I think our tax money would be much better spent on bringing copyright and patent laws in line with the digital age, rather than trying to bring the digital age in line with copyright and patent law that was never designed with it in mind.

    Hey, I can dream, can't I? But look at the fights the lawsuits caused. If Joe/Jane Average actually starts getting arrested for MP3 sharing, I think we'll see hell raised on a scale that'll make that look tame. It's just a shame that it would probably take that to get people to care.

  • Re:I have to admit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by biryokumaru (822262) <biryokumaru@gmail.com> on Monday April 26, 2010 @02:56PM (#31988348)

    I believe Nerdfest was arguing that the continuation of copyright in perpetuity ought to be considered a criminal infringement of the rights of society at large, and that intellectual property laws should be rewritten to prevent the present situation from being possible, wherein art is institutionalized and can never become part of the public domain.

    At least, that's an estimated translation in layman's term. His thick legalese can certainly be hard to digest.

  • by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday April 26, 2010 @03:00PM (#31988384)

    I wish that movies/music/software "sharing" was separated from movie/music/software counterfeiting and fake medicine and goods of course, but either way the American public needs to be protected from those threats.

    They used to be. It used to be that the entire point of a trademark is to make sure customers got what they ordered. And such things make sense and are -beneficial- to customers. Imagine the confusion if we had 5 different products known as the "Nintendo Wii" and a parent heard their kid wanting a Nintendo Wii so they go in and ask for a Nintendo Wii and they get http://technabob.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/miwi_wii_knock_off.jpg [technabob.com] instead. With trademarks if it says Nintendo Wii it (should) be a Nintendo Wii.

    Patents also used to be beneficial to the public. It used to be that guilds would control trade and monopolize the market effectively with "trade secrets" that would stay in the guild. Patents helped change this because the guild would disclose information while granted a temporary monopoly to use it (after all, someone who left one shop could have taken the trade secret to another and it would have been legal) and the public would get valuable information. Unfortunately, we've gone beyond that to theoretical, common-knowledge patents that prevent work-arounds. It used to be that if Joe Inc. had a patent on, say, a black and white CRT monitor, you could create a color CRT monitor and compete with Joe Inc. However, now, Joe Inc. would hold a patent on the ability to make CRT displays work, thus cutting out access to any work-arounds.

    Copyright was also seen as a compromise, especially when it was sane. The author would be compensated for his work, the public wasn't offended (after all, no one was stopping hand-written copies, it was only if you owned a printing press that it mattered) and it gave the work to the public in a timely manner. However, ironically the company who depends the most on the public domain (Disney) has lobbied for effectively infinite copyright that harms the artist and the public.

    Counterfeit goods should not be judged on IP issues (after all, if there was an iPhone clone that -really was- just like an iPhone no one is being harmed it simply increases competition for Apple) but rather for fraud. Quite honestly, I'd like to see a few of the Chinese knockoff phones and MP3 players appear in stores for disposable, feature-filled items.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 26, 2010 @04:27PM (#31989386)
    "seems to have outlawed parodies" is a little harsh. decided to err on the side of taking down parodies not likely to stand up to suit under a fair use defense, sure. the downfall vids would likely not be able to muster a strong fair use defense, as their commentary was not about The Downfall, but usually either in comparing some other social figure or movement to hitler, or making fun of hitler. legally a parody must be in some way a parody of the original, not just the ideas. Artistically, i think this is really stupid, but its how the courts have been interpreting the law.
  • Patents also used to be beneficial to the public. It used to be that guilds would control trade and monopolize the market effectively with "trade secrets" that would stay in the guild. Patents helped change this because the guild would disclose information while granted a temporary monopoly to use it [...]

    The technology for reverse engineering stuff has also moved on greatly since the Middle Ages. It's very hard to keep something a trade secret if you don't physically control it. Which means that as soon as you release a drug, software, or a technical gizmo, someone will start working on reverse engineering it. This is an argument against patents on these things because if they can be easily reverse engineered then there's no public benefit to granting a patent on it.

    Rich.

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