by Shana Dines
Despite much controversy, President Bush signed into law the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008, affectionately known as the PRO-IP Act, on October 13, 2008.
The usual suspects were characteristically divided over the PRO-IP Act. Big content owners (RIAA, MPAA) in the entertainment industry enthusiastically pushed the bill, while public interest groups (EFF, Public Knowledge) fiercely argued to have some of the most extreme provisions of the bill pulled.
Another supporter of the act was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which reported that 40% of the nation's economic growth, more than $5 trillion, comes from intellectual property. This includes music, movies, pharmaceuticals, fashion, and software, which together represent more than half of U.S. exports.
Particularly in light of the current economic crisis, Congress and the President seemed eager to protect such a large portion of the economy.
Neither side got everything they asked for, however, both were relatively successful in reaching a compromise.