Ashcroft creates task force for copyright violations

The U.S. Justice Department creates a task force to evaluate prosecutions of copyright violations, including Internet piracy.

The U.S. Justice Department said Wednesday that it had created a task force to evaluate prosecutions of copyright violations, including Internet piracy, and make recommendations about how existing efforts can be improved. "The task force will determine how best to meet the evolving challenges that law enforcement faces in the intellectual property arena," said David Israelite, deputy chief of staff to Attorney General John Ashcroft and chairman of the task force.

Although Congress has pressured the department to use the powerful No Electronic Theft Act to jail file-swappers, no such prosecutions have taken place. Wednesday's announcement also comes as proposals are circulating in Congress to give the Justice Department the power to levy additional civil penalties on copyright infringers.

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About the author

Declan McCullagh is the chief political correspondent for CNET. You can e-mail him or follow him on Twitter as declanm. Declan previously was a reporter for Time and the Washington bureau chief for Wired and wrote the Taking Liberties section and Other People's Money column for CBS News' Web site.

 

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