The director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (search) is leaving his post next month to lead the recording industry's efforts to stop music piracy.
Bradley A. Buckles, who served ATF for 30 years and was named director in 1999, will come head of the Anti-Piracy Unit of the Recording Industry Association of America (search), the trade group announced Tuesday.
"Brad's appointment should signal to everyone that we continue to take piracy (search), here and throughout the world, very seriously," said Mitch Bainwol, RIAA's chairman and chief executive officer.
Over the past six months, RIAA has filed more than 380 copyright lawsuits (search) against computer users its says are illegally distributing songs over the Internet. The RIAA also says music copyrights are increasingly threatened by easy-to-produce counterfeit compact disks.
Attorney General John Ashcroft praised Buckles for "the seamless transfer" of ATF from the Treasury Department to the Justice Department, which was part of the law creating the Homeland Security Department.
Buckles' retirement is effective Jan. 3. No replacement was immediately named.