THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
VICE PRESIDENT GORE ANNOUNCES NEW EFFORTS TO CRACK DOWN ON SOFTWARE PIRACY WORLD-WIDE
Washington, DC --Vice President Gore announced today that a new Executive Order (EO) will direct federal departments and agencies to prevent and combat computer software piracy, and the President also will direct the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to press foreign governments to enact similar protections.
"Today, we are declaring war on software piracy," Vice President Gore said. "The message is clear: don't copy that floppy. At home or abroad,intellectual property must be protected."
The federal government is the world's largest buyer of computer-related services and equipment, at over $20 billion a year. An estimated $11 billion was lost world-wide to software piracy in 1997, translating into as many as 130,000 lost jobs in the United States.
President Clinton's Executive Order directs agencies to:
Ensure that only authorized computer software is acquired for, and used on, agency computers. Ensure that agency policies and practices related to copyrights on computer software are adequate. Prepare an inventory of the software on their computers. Develop and maintain adequate record-keeping systems for their computer software. Vice President Gore said the President is directing USTR Charlene
Barshefsky to press other governments over the next year to announce programs ensuring that their departments and ministries use only legitimate software in an authorized manner. Working closely with software companies, USTR will seek to persuade other governments to modernize their software management systems, to assess software use through comprehensive audits, and to ensure that procurement practices call for, and budgets provide for, acquisition and use of "legal software."
Finally, the Vice President announced that the Commerce Department will award 79 new Advanced Technology Program (ATP) grants, worth $82 million, to keep America at the cutting-edge of technology and innovation. ATP helps fund higher-risk, higher-payoff investments that can yield enormous economic benefits. By requiring cost-sharing from industry, the ATP leverages federal research dollars and encourages companies to invest in long-term technological breakthroughs.
This year's grants will go for, among other things:
Technology to restore nerve functions to treat victims of spinal cord injuries. Life-saving DNA diagnostics at 1/100th of the current cost. Digital video technologies that will allow businesses to do video-conferencing over ordinary phone lines. Software technologies that will dramatically cut the cost of updating the skills of workers using computer-based training. ###