SUMMARY OF STATEMENT OF KEVIN V. DI GREGORY
DEPUTY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON
COURTS AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
SEPTEMBER 11, 1997
The increasing prevalence of copyright theft through
electronic means is creating new challenges for law enforcement.
Computer pirates organized in gangs illegally distribute
copyrighted software and other works at rapid speed, causing
untold harm to the producers of such works.
The Department of Justice has responded to this challenge by
creating a new Section in its Criminal Division devoted to
protecting against computer crime and intellectual property
theft. That Section is training federal and state prosecutors
and agents on the techniques of combating this type of crime, and
training foreign officials to help ensure that copyright is
protected world-wide. The Department and the law enforcement
agencies that protect copyright the Federal Bureau of
Investigation and the U.S. Customs Service are placing
increasing emphasis on investigating and prosecuting thefts of
intellectual property, whether by physical or electronic means.
The Department is highly supportive of the goals of H.R.
2265. The bill would allow the Department to prosecute large-scale theft of copyright, even when the perpetrator was not
acting out of a profit motive. The bill would also accomplish a
number of other important objectives, including establishing a
recidivist provision; extending the statute of limitations;
clarifying that "financial gain" includes the receipt of other
copyright works; clarifying that "reproduction or distribution"
includes electronic as well as tangible means; extending victims'
rights by permitting victim impact statements in intellectual
property cases; and directing the Sentencing Commission to
reflect more accurately the harms caused by copyright piracy by
imposing sentence based on the retail value of the good infringed
upon, rather than the value of the infringing product.
We look forward to working with the Committee on this
important piece of legislation.