APRIL 12, 2012
In an apparent effort to justify the Department of Homeland Security’s bizarre crackdown on websites that provide free copyrighted music and movies, the Obama Administration has published a report outlining the importance of protecting the industry’s profits.
Could this have something to do with the entertainment industry’s generous campaign contributions to the president and other prominent Democrats over the years? Hollywood shows its love for Obama with fat checks and still considers Bill Clinton a hero of sorts.
That might help explain the U.S. Commerce Department’s “first of its kind report” making a case for government intervention in yet another private enterprise. It reveals that intellectual property-intensive industries contribute 40 million jobs and $5 trillion to the nation’s economy. That’s nearly 35% of the U.S. gross domestic product, according to the report titled “Intellectual Property and the U.S. Economy: Industries in Focus.”
This shows that “IP-intensive industries” have a “direct and significant impact on our nation’s economy and the creation of American jobs,” Obama Commerce Secretary John Bryson said in a statement announcing the report. That means strong intellectual property protections are vital to the nation’s competitive edge and overall prosperity, Bryson says. “The IP protections we put in place today are helping support economic security for America’s middle class now and in the years to come.”
The administration started cracking down on intellectual piracy a few years ago with a special Homeland Security unit operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Though its primary duties are shielding the country from foreign threats and removing dangerous illegal immigrants, under the Obama initiative ICE is busy confiscating internet websites that help users download copyrighted music and movies.
Under the plan the feds are seizing domains seemingly at will, according to industry insiders who claim that many don’t even host copyrighted material. Some see it as a government effort to regulate the internet and control its content. More than 120 file-sharing music and movie websites have been shut down by ICE and the feds remind those seeking out pirate music or movies that copyright infringement is a federal crime that carries penalties of up to five in years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
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