House likes 'copyright czar' idea

Approves new PRO-IP legislation

WASHINGTON -- Legislation that would create "a copyright czar" in the White House and streamline law enforcement efforts to catch intellectual property pirates won approval by the full House on Thursday.

The PRO-IP bill is a priority for the Hollywood studios, record labels, other copyright industries and the manufacturing sector. American industries have been hit hard by piracy, and hope that consolidating the government's various anti-piracy programs will ease the problem.

"Given the difficult economic times we face, the PRO-IP Act is welcome by both the business and labor communities because it can improve our nation's economic outlook," MPAA president and CEO Dan Glickman said. "I hope the Senate will move quickly to pass similar legislation."

The Senate is expected to move a companion bill, but time is becoming the enemy of any legislative effort. Even bills with broad backing face a time crunch in a presidential election year when lawmakers have to defend their own electoral chances.