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Archived updates for Thursday, June 24, 2004

DOJ I/P Enforcement Update

According to a June 23, 2004 article from, "The five working groups of the IP Task Force are examining issues related to criminal law, civil law, international treaties, legislative proposals, and public education, plan to make policy recommendations to the attorney general. The task force, which includes DOJ Criminal Division chief Christopher Wray, FBI General Counsel Valerie Caprioni, Civil Division head Peter Keisler, and Deputy Solicitor General Paul Clement, held its first meeting last month. Task force members will consider whether the Justice Department should take the lead role in going after online file-swappers -- individuals who share copyrighted material across the Internet. Tactics being considered include ramping up criminal prosecutions and filing civil lawsuits similar to those now being brought by the recording industry.
"Not surprisingly, the DOJ task force has been applauded by industry groups, many of which have spent millions to deter online file swapping. But critics complain that the Justice Department may be overstepping its appropriate role by championing the interests of a powerful industry that some think can take care of itself.
"Under Ashcroft's watch, the Justice Department conducted its first major investigations involving international online piracy. In April 2004, the Justice Department led a massive sting operation targeting organized hacking rings around the globe, known as 'warez' groups. The takedown, which involved 120 searches in 27 states and 11 countries, marked the DOJ's second major operation related to online file sharing. A similar effort in 2001, known as Operation Buccaneer, yielded 27 U.S. convictions and prison sentences ranging from 33 to 50 months. 'Generally, the people we go after are the people engaged in pretty serious conduct,' says prosecutor Michael O'Leary, head of the DOJ's 11-lawyer intellectual property section. 'There are statutory thresholds. Most of the people we are dealing with are so clearly past the threshold, there is no question as to whether it constitutes criminal activity.' "
For more about the U.S. Department of Justice, Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, click here.
Courtesy of William F. Heinze*
Thomas, Kayden, Horstemeyer & Risley, L.L.P.
100 Galleria Parkway, N.W., Suite 1750
Atlanta, GA 30339-5948  (USA)
Tel.:  (770) 738-2382
Fax:  (770) 951-0933
Mobile:  (404) 729-0729
E-Mail (business)
E-Mail: (personal) 
E-Mail: (mobile)

*Admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Not admitted in Georgia.
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