27 July 1999
Source: http://www.usia.gov/cgi-bin/washfile/display.pl?p=/products/washfile/latest&f=99072601.clt&t=/products/washfile/newsitem.shtml

USIS Washington File

26 July 1999

Justice Initiative to Combat Intellectual Property Piracy

(Justice pledges increased investigations, training) (1190)

The U.S. Justice Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and
Customs Service have established a new law enforcement initiative
aimed at battling the growing challenge of piracy and counterfeiting
of intellectual property, according to a Justice Department

The initiative will include enhanced enforcement efforts nationwide,
and greater support for training, technical assistance and greater
intelligence gathering worldwide, the department said July 23. The
initiative was announced by Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder in San
Jose, California, but a text was made available in Washington.

The intellectual property rights initiative will include greater
assistance to U.S. agencies from the Justice Department, FBI and
Customs Service, the department said. It will also include efforts to
assist "U.S. trading partners that have robust intellectual property
laws, face serious piracy and counterfeiting problems and are
committed to dedicating resources to tackle the problem."

"We are here to send the message that those who steal our intellectual
property will be prosecuted," Holder said.

Following are terms and acronyms used in the text:

-- IP: intellectual property.

-- billion: 1,000 million.

Following is the text of the Justice Department announcement:

(begin text)

[U.S. Departments of Justice and the Treasury

Washington, D.C.

July 23, 1999]


U.S. Law Enforcement Will Target High Tech Corridors
to Fight Piracy and Counterfeiting Surge

San Jose, Calif. -- The Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of
Investigation, and the U.S. Customs service today announced the
establishment of a law enforcement initiative aimed at combating the
growing challenge of piracy and counterfeiting of intellectual
property, both domestically and internationally. The initiative
initially will target the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area, South
Florida, the high tech corridors of California and the Boston
metropolitan area. Each of the targeted areas have port cities, where
piracy and counterfeiting problems are most serious.

Domestically, United States Attorneys, the FBI, and the U.S. Customs
Service have agreed to increase their enforcement efforts nationwide,
with particular emphasis in seven target districts. Internationally,
the initiative pledges support from the Justice, Department, including
the FBI, for existing efforts of the State Department, Customs
Service, and trade agencies with specialized expertise in intellectual
property issues -- the (Office of the) U.S. Trade Representative,
Department of Commerce's Patent & Trademark Office, and the Copyright
Office -- to enhance their technical assistance capabilities and
training priorities. The initiative also pledges the key federal law
enforcement agencies to assist U.S. trading partners that have robust
intellectual property laws, face serious piracy and counterfeiting
problems, and are committed to dedicating resources to tackle the

Deputy Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., announced the initiative
today in San Jose, along with FBI Assistant Director, Criminal
Investigative Division, Thomas J. Pickard; Sam Banks, Deputy
Commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service; United States Attorney
Robert S. Mueller, III from the Northern District of California; and
United States Attorney Alejandro Mayorkas from the Central District of

"At the same time that our information economy is scaring, so is
intellectual property theft," said Holder. "We are here to send the
message that those who steal our intellectual property will be
prosecuted. This is theft, pure and simple."

Key components of the Intellectual Property Rights Initiative include:

-- Increasing the priority of criminal IP investigations and
prosecutions in the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, the
District of New Jersey, the Northern and Central Districts of
California (including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Jose, and
Silicon Valley), the Southern District of Florida (including Miami),
and the District of Massachusetts (including the Boston metropolitan

-- Increasing specialized training courses for investigators and
prosecutors at the National Advocacy Center in Columbia, S.C., the FBI
Academy in Quantico, Va., the Customs Service Academy at the Federal
Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Ga., the International Law
Enforcement Academies in Budapest, Hungary, and Bangkok, Thailand, and
developing training programs for state and local officials in
conjunction with the National Cybercrime Training Partnership;

-- Seeking referrals from industry through a streamlined system;

-- Utilizing procedures for forfeiture of infringing merchandise as an
additional tool to get illegal product off the streets;

-- Continuing support for increased criminal penalties for
infringement through efforts directed at amending the Sentencing

-- Highlighting U.S. trade priorities in international law enforcement
anti-piracy efforts, including the prioritization of key countries for
U.S. training and technical assistance.

The FBI has elevated intellectual property crime to one of its white
collar crime priorities. "Intellectual property criminals are
organized, well-funded, and use the tools of the Internet and modern
telecommunications to steal the product of our labors," Pickard said.
"To effectively protect the creativity and ingenuity of our citizens,
and the trade secrets they develop through research and development,
we need to outmatch the criminals. That means integrating our federal
resources with the resources of domestic industries that enjoy legal
protection under intellectual property laws."

The U.S. Customs Service has asked Congress to fund an effort to
collect, analyze and disseminate domestic and world-wide intelligence
on the new patterns in intellectual property crime.

"The Customs Service and other law enforcement and intelligence
sources are concerned about the increasing involvement of organized
criminal gangs in high-volume counterfeiting," said Sam Banks, Deputy
Commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service. "We are seizing record
amounts of counterfeit products such as software, music, videos, and
clothing. This is why a more focused, coordinated approach is
necessary to enhance our ability to identify and apprehend those
engaging in criminal activity which cuts at the core of American
business and ingenuity."

The U.S. Customs Service protects American industry and ingenuity by
vigorous enforcement of intellectual property laws and interdicting of
illegally-copied goods. FY-1998 was a record-breaking year for the
U.S. Customs Service in enforcing intellectual property rights laws,
with seizures of nearly $76 million.

The combined copyright and trademark industries, according to figures
released by the Department of Commerce in June, represent the second
fastest growing sector of the U. S. economy behind Internet-related
electronic commerce. An economic study released last month by the
Business Software Alliance (BSA) reported that, in 1998, the software
industry alone generated employment for 2.7 million Americans,
generating $28.2 billion in income tax revenue. Both the copyright and
trademark industries have cited increased infringement both
domestically and abroad, particularly Internet-facilitated piracy and
the online distribution of counterfeit products, as presenting a
significant threat to increased growth in this vital economic area.
The BSA study also concluded that software piracy cost the U.S.
109,000 jobs and $991 million in tax revenue in 1998.

The initiative will also call upon U.S. industry to reaffirm its
support for law enforcement efforts in the IP area by referring
matters for investigation and prosecution, particularly those which
involve threats to public health and safety, offenses believed to be
committed by organized criminal syndicates, and other high volume or
consequential intellectual property crimes.

For more information about efforts to fight computer and intellectual
property crime, see www.usdoj.gov/criminal/cybercrime.

(end text)

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