[Wired] Bush Signs Law Creating Copyright Czar

Oxy President Bush on Monday signed into law legislation creating a copyright czar, a cabinet-level position on par with the nation's drug czar.

Two weeks ago, the House sent the president the "Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights Act" (.pdf), a measure the Senate approved days before creating a cabinet-level copyright czar charged with implementing a nationwide plan to combat piracy and "report directly to the president and Congress regarding domestic international intellectual property enforcement programs."

The White House successfully lobbied the Senate to remove language tasking the Department of Justice with suing copyright and trademark infringers on behalf of Hollywood (.pdf), the recording industry, manufacturers and software makers. But the Bush administration also said it didn't want (.pdf) a copyright czar, a position on par with the nation's drug czar Congress created in 1982 to wage the war on drugs. Lawmakers, however, sent him the package anyway and the president signed.

The czar is not likely to be appointed until after the elections.