Monday, 28 September 2009

Victoria's new station in life

Some say that, with the advent of new technology, copyright has become a matter of purely academic interest. Is this perhaps why President Barack Obama has nominated the unquestionably academic Victoria A. Espinel as the first copyright czar for the United States? If so, cynics may be in for a surprise. According to Threat Level, Victoria's appointment has been applauded by both sides of the econo-political divide.

Congress created this new position last year as part of a legislative package of intellectual property reform. The formal title of the czar “Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator”, which suggests that she may not be equally popular with all sides of the copyright community if she gets the chance to fulfil her job description. According to Threat Level:
"The czar’s position is charged with overseeing government anti-piracy crackdowns and, among other things, training other countries about IP enforcement. The Pro-IP Act also called for the creation of an FBI piracy unit and allows for the forfeiture of equipment used in large pirating operations. The legislation was strongly backed by Hollywood, the recording industry, unions, manufacturers and the Chamber of Commerce".

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