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[FYI] (Fwd) FC: Janet Reno says music piracy is theft, links to organized crime

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Tue, 2 Jan 2001 18:26:57 -0500
From:           	Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
To:             	politech@politechbot.com
Subject:        	FC: Janet Reno says music piracy is theft, links to organized crime
Send reply to:  	declan@well.com

Some background -- DoJ files amicus brief opposing Napster: 
Clinton signs No Electronic Theft act:
NET act sentencing guidelines:


The Industry Standard 
December 25, 2000 

The Threat of Digital Theft

Intellectual property theft is faster, costlier and more dangerous
than ever.

   By Janet Reno

   In December, the White House released an interagency International
   Crime Threat Assessment, a big report with some stark conclusions:
   Intellectual property theft today is faster, costlier and more
   dangerous than ever. These trends will continue unless law
   enforcement and rights holders recognize that the threat crosses
   national borders - and resolve to work collectively to defeat the
   increasingly more organized efforts of the perpetrators.

   Products and methods protected by intellectual property laws are
   critical to our national defense and economic security.
   Intellectual property laws provide core protections for this
   economic engine. Anti-counterfeiting laws also safeguard the
   reliability of products that affect public health and safety,
   covering everything from aircraft parts to infant formula.

   But economic espionage - unlawful practices engaged in by private
   companies and sometimes by foreign governments aimed at stealing
   assets such as formulas, blueprints or marketing strategies - is on
   the rise. The FBI estimates that a significant number of countries
   are targeting U.S. firms, with high-tech companies the most
   frequent targets. For developing nations, the stakes are higher
   still. Countries that fail to protect intellectual property will
   witness the exodus of their best talent, a loss of jobs and tax
   revenues, a nutrient environment for official corruption and an
   increase in crimes financed by intellectual property theft. With so
   much at stake, law enforcement officials are deeply disturbed by an
   explosion in piracy and counterfeiting.

   Among our concerns are the following:

     Criminal organizations appear to be using the proceeds of
   IP-infringing products to facilitate a variety of enterprises,
   including guns, drugs, pornography and even terrorism. Invariably,
   when there is intellectual property crime, there is tax evasion and
   money laundering.

     The Internet, while promoting knowledge-based industries and
   commerce, also makes it easier to steal, produce and distribute
   merchandise such as software, music, films, books and games. With
   the click of a mouse, identical copies can be reproduced and
   transferred immediately, cheaply, surreptitiously and repeatedly.
   (See www.cybercrime.gov.)

     Small businesses - the lifeblood of modern economies - can be
   devastated by organized, commercial-scale piracy. In one Latin
   American country, local music producers were nearly wiped out
   recently by music pirates using well-organized transborder
   operations to saturate the country with illegal domestic and
   foreign music products.

   To meet this challenge, in July 1999 the Justice Department, FBI
   and Customs Service announced the first interagency effort to boost
   domestic enforcement of our IP laws. Officials in Boston, Los
   Angeles, Miami, New Jersey, New York and San Francisco/San Jose
   agreed to make such cases a priority, share information and work
   closely with industry to encourage quality referrals.

   As a result, we are beginning to see more promising prosecutions,
   including the first convictions under the No Electronic Theft Act,
   a 1997 law that punishes the latest wave of piracy on the Internet.
   Further, we are pleased the U.S. Sentencing Commission toughened
   the guideline range for criminal counterfeiting and piracy

   To combat transborder intellectual-property crime, law enforcement
   in the U.S. and around the world must be trained and equipped, and
   our efforts linked across national and virtual borders, to meet the
   challenge of highly organized groups trafficking in these products.
   We need to continue efforts within the G8, the EU and countries in
   Asia and Latin America to elevate these crimes on their agendas.

   Our citizens, policymakers and law enforcement experts must
   understand that stealing intellectual property will be prosecuted
   for what it is: not an exotic, hard-to-prosecute diversion or
   hobby, but theft, pure and simple.

   Janet Reno is the attorney general of the United States. See the
   full report at


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