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Justice pursuing intellectual property crimes

Copyright infringement investigations have such colorful names as Gridlock, Copycat and Western Pirates.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation's weekly email blast included a report on the Department of Justice's progress report on intellectual property (PDF), which EFF finds "fasincating reading."

The report mentions several high-profile copyright enforcement actions, including the colorfully named Operations Gridlock, Copycat, and Western Pirates. All of the featured copyright prosecutions involve commercial piracy or large-scale "release groups." (Notably overlooked was the federal indictment in Nashville of two Ryan Adams fans for uploading a few tracks from pre-release promotional CDs.)

According to the report, DOJ is engaged in a number of new international initiatives, including work in treaty negotiations, developing law enforcement contacts for cybercrime, and adding "attaches" in Asia and Eastern Europe.

The report endorses the proposed Intellectual Property Protection Act, which would dramatically expand the scope of criminal copyright infringement, adding attempt liability, conspiracy liability, and asset forfeiture. As we've discussed previously, these proposals are an outrage, effectively allowing the feds to put people in jail without having to prove that any actual copyright infringement ever took place.

Read more at EFF's site.