This post was updated at 4:25 p.m. PDT with more details.
The U.S. Senate on Friday unanimously passed a bipartisan bill backed by groups like the recording industry and the labor movement that would increase federal protections over intellectual property.
Introduced in July by Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Arlen Specter, R-Pa., the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act now moves to the House of Representatives, where it will be taken up either Friday or Saturday, before Congress adjourns.
The bill was stripped of a controversial measure that would have given federal prosecutors the power to file civil lawsuits against peer-to-peer users who violate copyright laws. The Commerce Department and Justice Department voiced their opposition to the provision in a letter this week, saying it would create "unnecessary bureaucracy."
The legislation still provides increased resources for the Justice Department to combat intellectual property theft and provide coordination for federal and state efforts against counterfeiting and piracy. It also increases penalties for intellectual property infringements. … Read more