In an era where the Rand Corporation claims links between IP theft and terrorist activity (ignoring a 2011 major international study that found “‘no evidence’ of systematic links between piracy and serious organized crime”), your tax dollars are being used to put cops in chat rooms to track down the degenerate digerati.
In a speech before an assembled crowd of law enforcement officials in Maryland this week, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the winners of a new federal grant that will send hundreds of thousands of dollars to 13 agencies in an effort to step up enforcement of copyright and trademark laws.
The Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Grant Award, which became available in January 2012, was given to a wide variety of local law enforcement groups, including the City of Austin, the City of Orlando, the County of Sacramento, the Virginia State Police, and most oddly, the City of Central Point, Oregon (population: 13,000).
“Although these awards will be utilized in a variety of ways, they will help to achieve our common goals: to advance prosecutions—as well as prevention and education activities—related to IP theft,” Holder said in a speech at the event on Wednesday.
“Without question, these new investments are coming at a critical time. As our country continues to recover from once-in-a-generation economic challenges, the need to defend IP rights—and to protect Americans from IP theft—has never been more urgent. We have seen—far too often—that IP crimes are not victimless. Not only can they devastate individual lives and legitimate businesses, they also undermine our nation’s financial stability, can jeopardize the health of our citizens, and even threaten our national security.”
The announcement marked the latest step in a series of moves that the Department of Justice (DoJ) has taken to clamp down on piracy and counterfeit goods. The DoJ has made no secret of its unilateral approach to seizing domain names and other digital property through “Operation in our Sites,” illustrated most notably in the takedown and indictment of Megaupload in early January 2012.
Read more at Ars Technica’s Law & Disorder blog.