US copyright 'enforcer' to tackle pirates

Watch out IP pirates, the US is launching a new copyright czar

The US Senate today passed a bill to create an 'Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator' who will be tasked with launching anti-piracy initiatives, plus a seperate FBI unit to deal with copyright theft.

The War on Piracy is following in the footsteps of such crusades as the War on Drugs, the War on Terror and the War in Iraq, and promises to be about as successful.

Pirates targeted

The Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act gives authorities sweeping powers to confiscate computers and other equipment used to illegally copy copyrighted material, increases the financial penalties for getting caught and boosts funding for federal and local anti-piracy operations.

One of the Act's more extreme provisions - allowing the Justice Department to sue individuals on behalf of copyright holders - was removed at the insistence of the White House.

The new copyright czar role requires Senate confirmation and will then report directly to the President and Congress.