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DOJ proposes stiffer penalties for copyright violators

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [JURIST news archive] submitted the Intellectual Property Protection Act of 2007 [DOJ backgrounder] to Congress on Monday, legislation meant to strengthen current copyright laws and provide harsher penalties for counterfeiters. The new measure would increase the maximum penalty for willful counterfeiting infringement to up to 20 years. At a speech [prepared statement] to the US Chamber of Commerce Coalition Against Counterfeiting and Piracy [advocacy website], Gonzales said that the new initiative "is a comprehensive and coordinated plan for federal agencies to work together to crack down on the growing trade in counterfeit and pirated goods."

In a conference call [transcript] concerning the new legislation on Monday, senior DOJ officials also said that obtaining international cooperation on the area of copyright law is of great importance to the department. The US has listed 12 countries as failing to provide adequate protection, including Russia, China, and Israel. AFP has more.

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