Ashcroft OKs Major IP Crime Crackdown

DOJ to bow 'most aggessive' efforts ever.

Artists and labels can look forward to ramped up efforts by the Department of Justice (DOJ) to go after major copyright infringers.

Attorney General John Ashcroft announced today (Oct. 12) that he has approved the recommendations of DOJ's new Intellectual Property Task Force and "will launch the most agressive and comprehensive crackdown on intellectual property crime in our nation's history."

In addition to entertainment products, the crackdown will focus on luxury items, prescription drugs and other goods.

"Let me give you a sneak preview of just a few of the things we will be announcing," Ashcroft says in a statement. "You are going to have new investigative resources to pursue intellectual property thieves. You are going to get new prosecutorial tools to ensure the cases you bring carry the tough sentences that not only punish the perpetrators of intellectual property theft, but also deter others from committing similar crimes."

Ashcroft gave no time frame or expected cost for the implementation of the measures.

RIAA chairman Mitch Bainwol comments that the "commitment of focus, energy and resources outlined in this report is music to our ears."