Obama administration cracking down on IP violators

Wednesday - 12/8/2010, 6:23pm EST

From "Internet Policymaking: New Guiding Principles" on Brookings.edu:

"Since formalization of the 1997 'Framework for Global Electronic Commerce,' the federal government has not systematically re-examined the core principles for Internet policy. With the emergence of new policy domains - such as privacy, cybersecurity, online copyright infringement, and accessibility to digital video content - policymakers see greater urgency in evaluating, and possibly adapting, existing guidelines to meet the demands of today's Internet environment. The Obama administration recently established a new panel of the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on Technology to examine privacy and Internet policy principles.

"On December 6, the Center for Technology Innovation at Brookings hosted a forum convening academics, policy practitioners and government officials to discuss the question of which principles should guide policymakers as they address questions raised by the current Internet environment. What role do transparency requirements play? How can governments facilitate better adherence to best practice and engagement with multi-stakeholder bodies? What roles does user education play and how can notions of Net citizenship and digital literacy be developed?"


I played highlights of this event on the show today. The lineup in the first hour included: Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra; Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt; and Victoria Espinel, U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator. The second hour today featured highlights of the panel "Users As Regulators: The Role of Transparency and Crowd Sourcing As A Form of Oversight," moderated by National Economic Council Senior Advisor to the Director for Technology and Innovation Phil Weiser. The panelists included Consumer Federation of America Research Director Mark Cooper; New York University Law School professor Cynthia Estlund; and Verizon Senior Vice President for Public Policy Development and Corporate Responsibility Kathy Brown.

Politico reported about this event:

"The Obama administration is ramping up its mission to shut down websites that illegally share copyrighted content, such as movies and music.

"White House intellectual property czar Victoria Espinel said Monday that the Internet community should 'expect more' pre-emptive action as the administration combats online copyright infringement - especially the illegal copying and sale of pharmaceutical drugs.

"'We are going after the piraters and counterfeiters,' Espinel said at a Brookings Institution conference on Internet policy, adding that intellectual property infringement poses a "direct threat" to consumers and costs jobs.

"Espinel's remarks come just after the Justice Department shuttered more than 80 websites believed to be facilitating the sale of counterfeit goods and the sharing of illegally obtained movies, music and TV shows. That effort, timed for 'Cyber Monday,' was the second leg of the agency's Operation In Our Sites II campaign.

"The Justice Department's announcement won praise from the entertainment industry and renewed interest on Capitol Hill for legislation that would grant the administration additional power to close down suspected rogue websites.

"Espinel hinted that the administration's copyright protection push could extend to target counterfeit drugs sold on the Web. Espinel said she and others had held a 'series of meetings with Google, GoDaddy, American Express, Microsoft and others to see what we can do about online pharmacies.'"


Click here to read transcripts, see video highlights, and download audio of the entire event.