Speaking in Nashville, Tennessee yesterday at a symposium on intellectual property enforcement, US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke publicly staked out the Obama administration’s position on piracy and copyright infringement. It involves a quote from Vice-President Joe Biden.
According to Locke, copyright infringement is simply theft and should be dealt with accordingly. He also has a lot of sympathy for songwriters – who are being ripped off when it comes to royalties. First his comments on copyright infringement:
"I think it’s important to lay down a marker about how the Obama administration views this issue," he said of online copyright infringement. "As Vice President Biden has said on more than one occasion, ‘Piracy is flat, unadulterated theft,’ and it should be dealt with accordingly."
Strong medicine. Now his comments on the fate of songwriters:
"Recently, I’ve had a chance to read letters from award winning writers and artists whose livelihoods have been destroyed by music piracy. One letter that stuck out for me was a guy who said the songwriting royalties he had depended on to ‘be a golden parachute to fund his retirement had turned out to be a lead balloon.’ This just isn’t right."
During the conference Locke made a promise to work on "global IP norms," enforcement, and a tougher international copyright system. Naturally some of this is already being worked on thanks to the continued and mostly secret ACTA treaty negotiations, but no one from the administration talked about that during the symposium.
Source: Ars Technica