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Background: The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property today approved HR 4279, the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2007. The following is the comment of Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge:
“We are pleased that the Subcommittee deleted from the bill the section (Section 104) that would have allowed multiplied damages for infringement of a compilation far beyond any reasonable levels. We are also pleased that the Subcommittee amended the bill to require that the Justice Department show a ‘substantial connection’ between the property it seeks to have forfeited and the infringing activity. This change would protect against a defendant having property taken by the government, such as a car or a home, which has only the most tangential relationship to infringing activity.
“We look forward to working with the Subcommittee on what we believe is its next priority, reforming copyright law pertaining to orphan works. Such legislation would protect users of copyrighted works from large damage awards when they have made a good faith but unsuccessful effort to find the owner of a particular work.”