Senate Oversight Of IP Czar... Only Involves Entertainment Industry Execs

from the that's-oversight? dept

The ProIP Act added the role of the IP Enforcement Coordinator, a role that was filled by Victoria Espinel. We have been quite concerned that Espinel has viewed her role as protecting jobs in one particular industry (often at the expense of jobs and progress elsewhere) -- a concern that was not alleviated by Espinel's request for input on what she should focus on. That request made all sorts of assumptions about the impact of intellectual property infringement that were not actually supported by fact. Mike Arrington also reported recently on a meeting with Espinel where she made it clear that her role was to help the entertainment industry.

So, it's unfortunate, but hardly a surprise that the Senate's hearing on "oversight" of Espinel's work involves only people on the entertainment industry's side. The panel who will discuss Espinel's performance includes the CEO of Warner Bros., the CEO of the "Global IP Center" of the Chamber of Commerce (whose views on IP are positively neanderthal, complete with some of the most ridiculous studies), the CEO of Carlin America (a music publisher) and the president of the AFL-CIO, who has already done some horse trading to be an official representative of the RIAA's position.

Talk about regulatory capture. It's as if the Senate is admitting that the role of the IP Enforcement Coordinator is to be the entertainment industry's top cop, and her performance will be reviewed by the industry itself. The Constitution says that copyright and patents are for the purpose of "promoting the progress of science and the useful arts." But that's not what Espinel is doing. She's protecting a particular industry, often at the expense of progress. To then have her review be done by such a one-sided panel of folks -- folks who are receiving extreme benefits from her role -- is just ridiculous.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 10:44am

    remember Americans

    CEO of Warner Bros, is Canadian , so guess whose telling you what to do now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 10:45am

    Re: remember Americans

    A moose?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 10:47am

    Yup

    Regulatory Capture 101. There's only one side of any debate, remember.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Thomas (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: remember Americans

    Trained by Yutte Hermsgervordenbroti?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 10:49am

    YES rocky the moose

    dslreports.com/teksavvy go talk to him you can thank him

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 10:56am

    another question

    why in such an anti communist country as the USA are they using an obvious communist style dictator term....

    FRAKIN COMMIES

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 10:57am

    HEY

    is the USA an oligarchy like communist Russia once was?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 10:59am

    This has been going on forever...

    "To then have her review be done by such a one-sided panel of folks -- folks who are receiving extreme benefits from her role -- is just ridiculous."

    Other examples:

    1. The FAA and American Airlines: the FAA failed to investigate and uncover AA not following production guidelines, which led to an abbreviated string of crashes in the last couple of years.

    2. The Warren Commission: Gee, who should we put in charge of investigating the murder of JFK? How about most of the people he was planning on firing, including Earl Warren? Sound good?

    3. The FDIC convincing Congress to scrap plans to force banks to spin off their derivatives businesses

    Etc. etc. etc.

    Once again, when business and government collude at the expense of the voter, that is corporatocracy, also known as stage 1 of fascism...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 11:12am

    Good thing the war on piracy will be about as successful as the war on drugs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 11:13am

    Awe, how cute. The entertainment industry has their own little czar.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    crade (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 11:14am

    When I read the title, I thought it meant it was an oversight to only include entertainment execs :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 11:29am

    It's amazing, Limewire owes $1 billion yet BP only owes $69 million. "Because sharing music is 14.5x more damaging than catastrophic spills."

    http://www.digital-copyright.ca/node/5154

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 11:34am

    Soundtrack for this news:

    bilk-Phänomenal
    http://www.jamendo.com/en/track/189834

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 11:36am

    East India

    I always wondered how the East India Company became so powerful in British politics back in the day.

    Thanks to the movie industry for the docudrama.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 11:38am

    The headline of your article is terribly misleading. One witness associated with movies, one with music, two (AFL-CIO and USCOC) who touch upon IP issues far broader than merely copyright, and Ms. Espinel.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 11:39am

    Should foreign entities be involved in writing US IP law?

    A majority of entertainment industries are actually foreign-held corporations.

    As an example, in the music industry, Universal Music Group is France-based. Sony/BMG is Japan and Germany based, EMI is UK Based, leaving Warner as the only US-based of the Big 4. Nielsen SoundScan in 2005 reported that 18% of all music sold in 2005 were from so-called independents. It's odd that they seem to have less voice in the whole debate.

    Point is, it's tough to say that they will hold the best interests of the American People and overall Constitutionality in mind.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 11:43am

    Re: Should foreign entities be involved in writing US IP law?

    After a U.S. Senator was apologizing to BP for the shakedown they are enduring I don't believe there is any doubt in no ones mind what will happen regardless of what we the people think.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 11:47am

    Re:

    That's not our lawmakers fault. BP hired the Geico gecko to stand in for them at the Senate hearings. No one can resist his cute stature and cheery accent....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 11:48am

    Might as well admit it

    The United States is a plutocracy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 11:54am

    Re:

    "At present the holder of copyright has the public feeling on his side. Those who invade copyright are regarded as knaves who take the bread out of the mouths of deserving men. Everybody is well pleased to see them restrained by the law, and compelled to refund their ill-gotten gains. No tradesman of good repute will have anything to do with such disgraceful transactions. Pass this law: and that feeling is at an end. Men very different from the present race of piratical booksellers will soon infringe this intolerable monopoly. Great masses of capital will be constantly employed in the violation of the law. Every art will be employed to evade legal pursuit; and the whole nation will be in the plot. On which side indeed should the public sympathy be when the question is whether some book as popular as Robinson Crusoe, or the Pilgrim's Progress, shall be in every cottage, or whether it shall be confined to the libraries of the rich for the advantage of the great-grandson of a bookseller who, a hundred years before, drove a hard bargain for the copyright with the author when in great distress? Remember too that, when once it ceases to be considered as wrong and discreditable to invade literary property, no person can say where the invasion will stop. The public seldom makes nice distinctions. The wholesome copyright which now exists will share in the disgrace and danger of the new copyright which you are about to create. And you will find that, in attempting to impose unreasonable restraints on the reprinting of the works of the dead, you have, to a great extent, annulled those restraints which now prevent men from pillaging and defrauding the living."

    http://www.baen.com/library/palaver4.htm

    The government needs to think twice before making the laws even more ridiculous than they already are. It will only lead to mass disobedience as more people begin to realize that the laws are not intended to serve the public interests.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    icon
    Dementia (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 11:55am

    Re: East India

    To quote a fairly recent movie involving the East India Trading Company: "The coin of the realm is coin."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 11:55am

    Re: Re:

    (well, it pretty much has already led to mass disobedience, but it will only get worse).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 11:59am

    Re: remember Americans

    CEO of Warner Bros, is Canadian , so guess whose telling you what to do now.


    CEO of Warner *Music* is Canadian. CEO of Warner Bros. (totally different company) is not Canadian. He was born in NYC.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 12:01pm

    Re:

    The headline of your article is terribly misleading. One witness associated with movies, one with music, two (AFL-CIO and USCOC) who touch upon IP issues far broader than merely copyright, and Ms. Espinel.

    Not misleading at all. Both the AFL-CIO and the USCoC have put out position statements that side entirely with the entertainment industry.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    TW Burger (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Recording Industry Association of America's $1B court filing

    The Recording Industry Association of America's $1B court filing Monday (Read More: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2010/06/limewire-owes-billion/#ixzz0rEPYu32Q)

    shows that this is all getting out of hand. In the wired article there was a comment from a reader that stated: "The thing is, why pay for something you KNOW you can get for free. It's like a guys selling bottles of water next to a drinking fountain."

    Well, I have seen a vendor in the park that was selling bottled water next to the public drinking fountain and he was making loads of money on that hot day. First, the fountain attracted thirsty people (ever wonder why car dealers always build car lots next to other car dealers?). For the free water you had to stand in line, ignore the inevitable garbage and gum and spit, take a limited time, taste the chemicals used to treat it, bend over uncomfortably due to the low water flow, etcetera.

    The bottled water was convenient, refreshingly chilled, you could walk over to the shade to enjoy it at leisure, and a better quality product. That was what people will pay for.

    I experimented with a few free music downloads. All were very poor quality and it seemed half had viruses within them. I prefer to pay for the music I want, but I do not want a few people dictating how I shop or what I pay. This is becoming a very communist looking business model (central control with fixed rules and very limited options) and nothing like the free enterprise that politicians always claim to be supporting.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re:

    Not misleading at all. Both the AFL-CIO and the USCoC have put out position statements that side entirely with the entertainment industry.

    So have the heads of other industry associations, but that hardly makes them "entertainment industry execs".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Stuart, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 12:04pm

    Re:

    The bad thing about the war on piracy is that it will do about as much damage as the war on drugs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Re: Recording Industry Association of America's $1B court filing

    Anyone who thinks America is a free market capitalist society is deluded.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20070509/055646.shtml

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Stuart, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 12:05pm

    Re:

    How many movie stars live in the Gulf?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Re:

    Look carefully at below the Wikipedia picture link. Steve, the guy with a laptop,is presenting something. He is now at the the Department of Energy.

    Also, it's neat that board meetings at BP involve what appear to include fermented beverages.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:StevenKooninBP20050222_CopyrightKaihsuTai.jpg

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 12:17pm

    Re: Might as well admit it

    SOCIALISM!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    Thomas (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 12:23pm

    Clear sign...

    that the entertainment industry can buy laws from congress and "piracy" is far more of a problem than corporations dumping millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf and facing no real punishment. Probably the oil executives are already sending gifts to the right places.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Recording Industry Association of America's $1B court filing

    Sigh, I can see Milton Friedman right now... looking up at us.. thinking WTF??

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    Free Capitalist (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re:

    he bad thing about the war on piracy is that it will do about as much damage as the war on drugs.


    It's OK, though. The only victims are the little guy and the Bill of Rights. They are soooo passe.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 12:28pm

    When I hear "Senate" and "Entertainment Industry" in the same sentence I automatically think "Palpatine".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 12:38pm

    Re: Re:

    In terms of wasting taxpayer money and other resources to try and fight a failed war, sure. and that is unfortunate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    They are executives that represent the entertainment industry.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    Berenerd (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 12:47pm

    Re: Might as well admit it

    you mean idiocracy....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 12:48pm

    Re: Clear sign...

    They have Hillary Rosen, former RIAA exec, at the helm of BP. You KNOW the presents are gonna be good.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 12:51pm

    Re: another question

    Look up the word Czar and its association with communism. You'll find that they are in no way related.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I think you meant "pate", as in ground into little bits that are of no use to anyone....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So much worse. I mean, right now, my level of involvement is minor, other than standing on the sidelines laughing at all the morons not embracing the present, let alone the future.

    If stupid politicians start passing stupider laws because the general public is too apathetic on these and seemingly every other issue, than I might have to go all in. Full-blown disobedience.

    "Just say no to copies!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    Ccomp5950 (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    My business has beer at it's board meetings. What is your point?

    "Oh lordy, call Sister Claire the boys are drinking again, tell her to fetch her yard stick there are wrists to be slapped"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 1:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Are you accepting applications?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    icon
    SteelWolf (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 1:58pm

    Re: Re: Recording Industry Association of America's $1B court filing

    That's a pretty insightful comment except for that last part. If your free music is poor quality and virus-ridden you're going to the wrong places. The value of paying "for music" has little to do with file quality and everything to do with other intangibles.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    icon
    TW Burger (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 4:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Recording Industry Association of America's $1B court filing

    I looked up a couple of old Deep Purple tracks on a torrent site. I was only experimenting. It didn't seem worth it to put that much effort into something I can get at used record store or often at a moving sales for a couple of dollars. They have the recordings on iPods and laptops and don't want to lug all the CDs to the new place.

    That brings up another question. Do you think the RIAA will try to get second hand recordings banned? When will my possession of a 75 cent thrift store Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass' "Whipped Cream" LP (mint condition!) make me a felon?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    Headbhang (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 4:04pm

    Re: Re: Recording Industry Association of America's $1B court filing

    Dude, if you got those problems, you really are doing it wrong.

    One of the problems with the official, legal channels is that none of them come even close to the convenience the internet has to offer if you go to the right places. Huge selection, perfect quality, great speeds and a helpful and knowledgeable community of music fans.

    Even without factoring in the issue of price, not even iTunes or Spotify can compete with some of the resources the "pirates" have put together. How can they hope to get people to pay if they can't offer something comparable in terms of digital distribution?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 4:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So have the heads of other industry associations, but that hardly makes them "entertainment industry execs".


    They are there solely to represent the entertainment industry.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 4:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The movie and music execs? Yes.

    The others? No.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 6:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    He is referring to the position statements. The others? yes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    icon
    fogbugzd (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 6:31pm

    Re: Re:

    More and more the anti-piracy campaign looks like the Prohibition movement. The biggest difference is that prohibition was motivated by ideology but antipiracy is funded by the profit motive. When the country finally woke up and realized the damage being done by prohibition there was still lingering sympathy for the ideals. This time I doubt the will be much sympathy for the RIAA objectives. So far the industry has managed to make starving musicians the poster children for their movement; I think people are starting to realize that the artists are the biggest victims.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    icon
    Thomas (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 8:37pm

    so who's paying...

    the salary of Espinel? the government or the entertainment industry? Maybe she gets a secret bonus from the entertainment industry?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2010 @ 3:00am

    Re: Re:

    I guess the word you should have used was entertainment industry representatives, not entertainment industry executives. That would be more accurate.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Jun 19th, 2010 @ 7:49pm

    Talk about regulatory capture. It's as if the Senate is admitting that the role of the IP Enforcement Coordinator is to be the entertainment industry's top cop, and her performance will be reviewed by the industry itself.

    Did I miss when they pretended that her role was anything else?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Jun 19th, 2010 @ 7:51pm

    Re: Re: Recording Industry Association of America's $1B court filing

    I experimented with a few free music downloads. All were very poor quality and it seemed half had viruses within them.

    Can you please explain how you get viruses from data files?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2010 @ 7:56pm

    Once they said "Czar", we all knew where this was going...

    In Soviet Russia, file copies you!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2010 @ 9:42am

    Doubtless you will openly and faily consider Ms. Espinel's workproduct, which embraces far more than just the "entertainment" industries:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/asset.aspx?AssetId=2769

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Jun 22nd, 2010 @ 10:41am

    Re: HEY

    The use of the word Czar (or Tsar) would indicate that it's not an oligarchy in the USSR style but in Tsarist Russia style which may have been far worse.

    NB I don't recommend either to thinking, somewhat rational creatures.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    icon
    TtfnJohn (profile), Jun 22nd, 2010 @ 10:52am

    Re: Re: Re: Recording Industry Association of America's $1B court filing

    Please look up "mercantile". That will explain it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2010 @ 3:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Recording Industry Association of America's $1B court filing

    When you try to claim that owning the record allows you to have a digital copy of the music....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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