The Czar Is Coming

Next time you make an illegal download, the czar may be on your tail.

The U.S. House of Representatives has just passed a bill called the Pro-IP Act with a whopping 410 to 10 vote. The bill would create a new “copyright enforcement division” at the Department of Justice, which would serve as the lair for our impressively titled “copyright enforcement czar.” He and his band of new-age cops would be empowered with tracking down illegal file-sharers and even seizing their property if they see fit.

“Intellectual property protection is among the key issues that will determine America’s competitiveness in the 21st century,” Rep. John Conyers, one of the bill’s authors, released in a statement.

“We feel it’s more important to spend millions of taxpayer dollars finding people who steal 99-cent songs rather than focusing on stopping actual dangerous, violent crime,” he forgot to add.

The Senate still has to sign off on the idea, then it’d go to the president’s desk for approval.

In other file sharing news, Napster guru Shawn Fanning is finally closing in on his long-awaited pay day, according to our friends over at TechCrunch. Fanning’s social network startup Rupture is said to be on the brink of a $30 million buyout by Electronic Arts. It’d be Fanning’s first big success since a five-foot-seven Danish drummer helped put his brainchild into the ground back at the turn of the century.

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