But Does It Have Teeth? Obama Administration Delivers IP Protection Plan

  • Save

The Obama Administration reaffirmed its commitment to global IP protection on Tuesday, but it remains unclear whether this dog will actually bite.

The tough-sounding “2010 Joint Strategic Plan On Intellectual Property Enforcement” calls for coordination between federal agencies and reductions in copyright theft in the US and abroad.  That means that information on IP-related investigations will be shared, government contractors will be required to check for IP-compromising software, and foreign countries will be pressured to crack down on piracy centers, among other mandates.

The plan is required under the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act (PRO-IP).  “All those whose jobs rely on music – from aspiring musicians to songwriters to retailers and countless others – welcome the commitment of President Obama and Vice President Biden to sustaining music’s economic and cultural contributions to America,” stated RIAA chairman and CEO Mitch Bainwol.

The plan also calls for intellectual property protection under the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), a multinational dossier that has largely hatched in secrecy. Leaks of ACTA have been poured over, though discussions remain in-process.

The central question is whether IP protection suddenly becomes a priority, or if more pressing issues like terrorism and energy win out.  White House intellectual property enforcement coordinator Victoria Espinel was certainly growling at the announcement. “To those who have, for too long, abused the rights of American creators, I have a warning for you,” Espinel said. “We are committed to putting you out of business.”