The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), a U.S. trade association representing U.S. video game publishers, applauded Congress and the U.S. president for signing into law the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008, or the PRO-IP Act.
Backed by the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America, the law is designed to protect U.S. intellectual property, setting up an "IP czar" who reports to the president and is charged with protecting copyrights domestically and internationally.
The PRO-IP Act also provides specific directives for U.S. law enforcement to address IP crimes, directs the U.S. attorney general to develop and implement a long-range plan targeting crime syndicates, and gives additional funding to the FBI and Department of Justice to bolster their programs targeting computer crime and hacking.
Several organizations, however, have spoken against the law, such as advocacy group Public Knowledge, which argues that fair use rights of copyrighted material is already decreasing.
"It would've been nice to have something to benefit the public and artists instead of big media companies," says the group's communications director Art Brodsky, according to a report
from technology site CNET.
But the ESA sees a great deal of value in attacking criminal organizations profiting from piracy. "Disabling those organizations requires a coordinated and cross-border approach to enforcement, which this legislation clearly promotes," says ESA president and CEO Michael Gallagher.
He continues: "In uncertain economic times, the video game industry continues to show strength. Our year-to-date U.S. sales are up over 30 percent from last year. Effective enforcement of IP laws helps protect this engine of economic growth. More legitimate game sales mean more game-related jobs up and down the value chain."