White House Intellectual Property Report Calls for Increased Protection20 Jun, 2013 By: Chris Tribbey
The Obama Administration released its 2013 Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement June 20, calling for increased protection of American intellectual property and improved coordination among law enforcement agencies responsible for enforcing IP laws.
“Intellectual property is a key driver of our economy,” said Victoria Espinel, U.S. intellectual property enforcement coordinator. “So it matters that we have the right approach to intellectual property enforcement; one that is thoughtful, dedicated and effective, and that makes good and efficient use of our resources.”
The report calls for increased pressure on foreign trading partners to do more to improve their intellectual property enforcement; encourages the private sector to do more online enforcement on a voluntary basis; and calls on Congress to continue improvement on the legislative front.
“We will continue to encourage companies to take voluntary steps to reduce the profit incentive from online infringement, consistent with due process, free speech, privacy interests and competition law, and we will also encourage right holders to agree to a set of best practices to reduce infringement online,” Espinel said.
Sen. Chris Dodd, CEO and chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, praised the report.
“We share with this Administration a commitment to promoting and protecting American intellectual property by opening new markets to U.S. products, educating the public about both the value of IP industries and the damage done by theft from those industries and encouraging voluntary best practices among private sector companies that have key responsibilities in the internet landscape,” he said in a statement.
The report also details progress that’s been made in the enforcement of intellectual property laws since the administration’s first Joint Strategic Plan was released in 2010. Seizures of infringing, counterfeit imports have increased 53% in the past three years, with illegal consumer electronics among the top categories of items seized.
The report also praises pay-TV providers — including AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, and the major studios — for their efforts in reducing online piracy.
“With respect to the online environment, the Administration believes that when Americans and people around the world are given real choices between legal and illegal options, the vast majority will want to choose the legal option,” the report reads. “Accordingly, we encourage the further development and use of legitimate online services as an important part of an effective approach to reducing infringing activity.”
The report maintains that legal, digital goods “offer clear advantages over infringing ones regardless of price,” by compensating artists and content creators, and providing incentives for future creation and distribution. “In addition, legitimate goods are often of higher quality, come with express or implied warranties or guarantees of quality, offer customer services, and do not pose the same risk of viruses or malware,” the report reads. “They may also include extra features not available with infringing content.”
The report says that in 2010 intellectual property industries accounted for $5.06 trillion of the economy (34.8% of U.S. gross domestic product), creating 27.1 million jobs and indirectly supporting another 12.9 million.