IP enforcement taken too far?

Today, one of Wired’s top stories is “Senate Introduces IP-Reform Bill Bolstering Enforcement”. The abstract in my RSS feeds caught my attention: “Legislation bolstering intellectual property enforcement by increasing penalties, expanding the power of the attorney general and creating a new FBI piracy unit was proposed Thursday in the Senate.”

An FBI Piracy Unit???

Isn’t that a little extreme? I think that the US Justice Department has forgotten that at the end of the day, “piracy” is just copying a song or moving visual image. That’s all. What’s more, it is traditionally a civil action between two parties – the copyright owner on the one hand and the alleged infringer on the other. The community-at-large is generally not harmed. I think it’s time the Justice Department stop doing the entertainment industries’ legal work for them.

The article quotes Gigi Sohn, President of Public Knowledge and a communications attorney, who said, “This bill would turn the Justice Department into an arm of the legal departments of the entertainment companies by authorizing DOJ to file civil lawsuits for infringement, forcing taxpayers to foot the bill.”

Read the full story here.