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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 9, 1999


Today I have signed into law H.R. 3456, the "Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act of 1999." This legislation will increase for the first time since 1988 the statutory damages that a copyright holder may recover for certain copyright infringements. This increase in penalties should be an effective deterrent to would-be pirates of copyrighted works. This Act also directs the United States Sentencing Commission to issue sentencing guidelines to ensure that sentences for criminal offenses against intellectual property are sufficiently severe to deter such offenses. I fully support efforts to make sentences in criminal cases involving intellectual property offenses true deterrents against the commission of those offenses and am pleased that H.R. 3456 will require the Sentencing Commission to address this matter on an expedited basis.

                                   WILLIAM J. CLINTON
                                   THE WHITE HOUSE,
                                   December 9, 1999.

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