New Bill Seeks To Let DHS Agents Coordinate More With Private Companies In Seizing Property (Like Domains)
from the this-again dept
The federal government seems to have a real blindness for the fact that companies given government-granted monopoly privileges in the form of trademarks, copyrights and patents might seek to abuse those rights beyond what is reasonably allowed. Instead, they seem to assume that private companies will always properly limit any efforts to use those laws against true violators. Of course, we know that’s not true, and that such monopoly holders regularly abuse the laws to block or shut down competitive activity or activity that the IP holder just doesn’t like. And yet, the government continues to ignore that this happens. Last year, the White House put forth a bunch of suggested changes to IP law, some of which showed up in SOPA.
One of the ones that didn’t show up in SOPA has now made its way into a new legislative proposal, H.R. 4216: Foreign Counterfeit Prevention Act, introduced by Reps. Ted Poe and Steve Chabot. The text of the bill seems simple enough. It changes 18 USC 1905, which currently forbids federal officials from revealing to private parties’ information that they come across during investigations. The new bill seeks to make an exception to that: allowing Homeland Security/Customs & Border Patrol agents to share pre-seizure info or products with trademark and copyright holders.