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Which IP Bill on Capitol Hill

July 29, 2008 - by Donny Shaw

I had been planning to look into the differences between the intellectual property enforcement bill passed by the House last month (H.R.4279) and the one that was just introduced in the Senate (S.3325), but Public Knowledge has already done it.

They conclude that the Senate bill is worse – here’s one of their reasons why:

>First, unlike H.R. 4279, S. 3325 would authorize the Attorney General to bring civil actions for criminal copyright infringement and recover actual and statutory damages. As Alex points out, such a provision would result in an unjustified expenditure of scarce public resources to enforce private rights. It would also be an easy way to get around the higher burdens of proof required by a criminal action. What’s worse, nothing in the provision would prevent a copyright owner from bringing another action against the same infringer and recovering damages a second time around.

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