White House Seeks Public Input on Future IP Enforcement Policies

U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel is seeking public comment on the administration's future policy related to intellectual property law and the enforcement of it in the future. Espinel is smart to avoid using any language that would likely get her thousands of emails filled with disdain and anger such as SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, etc.

You can read her full statement from the White House blog, but the gist of it is that the Administration wants to formulate a cohesive enforcement strategy. One of the troubling things about her post is that she never mentions balancing IP enforcement with a free, open Internet and enforcement that takes into account things that are important to Internet users including due process under the U.S. Constitution, the right to privacy, the right to appeal a decision or the right for someone accused of copyright infringement to defend themselves.

Here's the heart of what she says in her blog post:

I believe that essential to the development of an effective enforcement strategy, is ensuring that any approaches that are considered to be particularly effective as well as any concerns with the present approach to intellectual property enforcement are understood by policymakers. Recommendations may include, but need not be limited to: legislation, regulation, guidance, executive order, Presidential memoranda, or other executive action, including, but not limited to, changes to agency policies, practices or methods.

Beyond recommendations for government action as part of the next Strategy, we are looking for information on and recommendations for combating emerging or future threats to American innovation and economic competitiveness posed by violations of intellectual property rights. Additionally, it would be useful to the development of the Strategy to receive submissions from the public identifying threats to public health and safety posed by intellectual property infringement, in the U.S. and internationally as well as information relating to the costs to the U.S. economy resulting from infringement of intellectual property rights.

The one saving grace is that the general public and other interested parties can have a say on this matter. Check out www.regulations.gov and this PDF from the OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET for more details.

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