The Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008 was passed by Congress in 2008 meant to protect intellectual property rights. The basis of the Act was to increase civil and criminal penalties for people who commit copyright and trademark infringement. Previously no criminal action could be taken against someone who commits copyright infringement.
The Intellectual Property act of 2008 added a provision that called for civil suits to be filed on behalf of those whose copyrights were infringed upon. The Senate originally voted against the civil suit provision but a later vote led to the passing of the provision allowing civil suits.
The Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008 also called for a new executive branch to help enforce provisions to the Intellectual Property Act. The new executive branch is known as the Office of the United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Representative. In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed intellectual property scholar Victoria A. Espinel to be the first Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator. This position is sometimes referred to as the Copyright Czar.
The Intellectual Property Act of 2008 was needed because improved communication and new technologies have made piracy regarding copyrighted materials easier for criminals and harder for Government officials to stop. Intellectual property rights were being violated at alarming rates, and thus, stricter penalties were created to deter criminals from attempting to enter into the world of copyright infringement.
Committees have been formed to go overseas and work with foreign nations to combat copyright infringement of United States works that have made their way overseas illegally. Copyright infringement has reached an all-time high, especially concerning digital media.
The agencies formed in the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008 will attempt to fight criminals looking to steal copyrighted work in ways it could not legally do so prior to the passing of this Act in 2008. The Act is a strong attempt to protect the intellectual property right of original creators.