Tuesday, December 23, 2008


There’s a new sheriff in America named Barack Obama, who has a powerful deputy in Joe Biden. Most people in the entertainment industry don’t remember that Joe Biden sits on the highly influential Senate Judiciary Committee, through which all intellectual property-related bills pass, and he's the founder/co-chair of the Anti-Piracy Caucus, his election could help influence how the entertainment industry promotes its interests in Washington.

In 2002 Joe Biden wrote "To borrow a phrase, a mind is a terrible thing to steal, but that is precisely what criminals do when they pirate the products of American innovators and artists. When they reproduce the work of musicians, actors, writers and directors, they not only steal thousands of U.S. jobs and billions of dollars in profits, they steal the product of American imagination and creativity." This was the same year that he became the first member of Congress to hold a full committee hearing on piracy issues, which drew criticism for not including Internet companies, and recommended that the Department Of Justice get involved in prosecuting users of P2P file-sharing systems trading pirated content.

In 2007, Biden sponsored the RIAA-backed Perform Act, which sought to limit devices from recording and saving individual songs streamed from satellite and Internet radio services. And in April he proposed spending $1 billion to help federal and local law enforcement implement technology to monitor peer-to-peer networks for illegal activity, such as child pornography, that could also be used to target music files. Biden's most current past proposals to consolidate federal efforts to combat copyright infringement under a new "Copyright Czar" cabinet position found new life in the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act, which was signed into law earlier this month. Provisions to have the Department of Justice prosecute pirates were not included in the final version making it a bit toothless.

President Obama sees another side of this subject, he supports Net Neutrality laws, which would make it harder for access providers to block P2P networks, and he has talked about updating copyright law. His choice for chief technology officer may be Lawrence Lessig. Mr. Lessig is a professor of law at Stanford Law School and founder of its Center for Internet and Society. Lessig is a founding board member of Creative Commons, a board member of the Software Freedom Law Center and a former board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. He is best known as a proponent of reduced legal restrictions on copyright, trademark and radio frequency spectrum, particularly in technology applications.

As you know I am an advocate for Net Neutrality and I believe that the future of the entertainment industry is partly based on Internet communications. I look forward to the CHANGE.

No comments: