FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2004
TDD (202) 514-1888
ATTORNEY GENERAL JOHN ASHCROFT HOSTED STUDENT SUMMIT TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY THEFT
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Attorney General John Ashcroft today hosted more than 100 Washington, D.C.-area students in an educational forum addressing intellectual property theft. Partnering with Court-TV, Street Law, and i-SAFE-and with entertainment contributions from the Recording Industry Association of America and Motion Picture Association of America-the Department of Justice encouraged students to pursue their dreams through creation and innovation while respecting the creative property of others.
“Intellectual property is a valuable economic resource for our nation. Yet everyday, this resource is stolen when millions of people on the Internet illegally download software, music, movies, and computer games,” said Attorney General John Ashcroft. “At the foundation of the Department’s aggressive intellectual property enforcement efforts is a commitment to educating students not only on the consequences of intellectual property theft, but also on the crucial role of ideas in shaping our nation. This program will provide a valuable model for future education efforts intended to inform youth about the importance of intellectual property.”
By hearing from speakers such as Attorney General Ashcroft, Deputy Attorney General James Comey, well-known singers and songwriters Mark Selby and Tia Sillers, and a convicted copyright felon, the students were challenged to understand the long-term consequences of illegal file sharing and downloading. Following performances by Selby and Sillers, the students participated in brainstorming sessions to develop strategies for an intellectual property education campaign aimed at their peers and presented their ideas to Deputy Attorney General Comey.
Intellectual property industries play a significant role in the American economy. They make up approximately six percent of the gross domestic product, employ more than five million people, and contribute $626 billion to the U.S. economy. The increasing value of intellectual property, coupled with the ease and low cost of copyright infringement, has significantly increased the destructive consequences of intellectual property theft.
This event will launch a broader Department of Justice educational initiative on intellectual property, outlined in the Department of Justice’s Intellectual Property Task Force Report that was made public on October 13, 2004. A copy of the report can be found at www.usdoj.gov.