U.S. IP Chief Offers Update, ESA & Gordon Freeman Also Weigh In

United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Czar Coordinator Victoria Espinel authored a blog on the White House website to outline some of the public feedback she has received in regards to assembling an IP enforcement strategy.

Espinel, the first to serve in the newly created position, indicated that she discussed the matter with parties from all walks of life:

I sat down with book publishers, movie studios, music companies, and videogame companies, all of whom are faced with widespread problems resulting from internet piracy.  I heard concerns from many other sectors as well: our airplane industry, small manufacturers, automobile industry, steelworkers, textile manufacturers, and biotech, software, and telecommunication companies.

I also sat down with those who want strong defenses and exceptions to intellectual property liability, including academics across the country, or consumer rights organizations.  I met with Internet companies that organize information and help our citizens find out what they want to know about the world today and connect people around the globe, and Internet auction sites that allow consumers to buy what they want at the price they want, all of which are affected by our enforcement efforts.

Espinel also indicated that the public comment process resulted in some “excellent recommendations” on improving the enforcement of intellectual property, “with some of the best ideas coming from the smallest companies. “

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) sent in its opinion (PDF), in which it labeled online piracy as a “leading concern of our industry,” and urged granting the U.S. Custom and Border Protection (CBP) more power to inspect and seize “circumvention devices” (products that exist to disable or work around protections).

The ESA also vowed to continue to help CBP as much as possible and asked for the ability to donate “hardware, software, equipment and other technologies and support services in order to assist it to identify suspect devices.”

Meanwhile, another public comment on U.S. IP enforcement, sent in by none other than Gordon Freeman (PDF), stated that, “The copyright laws in this country are already outrageous and I will not support any law that wishes to add additional enforcement, or expansion of copyright laws until the current system is fixed.”

Freeman added:

I feel that the government should update its objectives and start looking for ways to work with businesses to adopt a better model that includes the free sharing of ideas (which is what this country is founded on). If that is not possible, then I request that you look for forms of enforcement that do not go against the consumer, and the rights of consumers, such as, but not only, the ability to backup media that you already own.

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