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[FYI] (Fwd) FC: Janet Reno says music piracy is theft, links to organized crime
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- Subject: [FYI] (Fwd) FC: Janet Reno says music piracy is theft, links to organized crime
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Date sent: Tue, 2 Jan 2001 18:26:57 -0500
From: Declan McCullagh <email@example.com>
Subject: FC: Janet Reno says music piracy is theft, links to organized crime
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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
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
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.
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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