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US industry welcomes latest report from IP enforcement chief

By | Published on Monday 24 June 2013

Victoria Espinel

Reps for the US record and music publishing sectors last week issued statements supporting ongoing efforts by the country’s Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, Victoria Espinel, to crack down on IP crimes at home and abroad.

The statements of support came as Espinel’s office published a report providing an update on the ways in which the American government is trying to crack down on copyright and other intellectual property violations, sometimes using controversial methods.

The new report notes that seven of the recommendations made in an earlier white paper in 2011 have led to new laws in America. Actually none of these new laws really relate to the entertainment industry and its battle against online piracy, mainly because efforts to introduce new anti-piracy laws in Washington collapsed in early 2012 when web-blocking proposals went toxic amidst high profile protests from the tech sector.

However, the music industry says that Espinel’s efforts have played a key part in persuading the American internet service provider sector to voluntarily collaborate in a ‘lite’ version of the three-strikes system, sending warning letters out to suspected file-sharers alerting them to copyright rules. Pressure from the IPEC has also led to credit card companies stepping up their efforts to cut off the revenue streams of copyright infringing websites.

Responding to last week’s report, the boss of the Recording Industry Association Of America Cary Sherman told reporters: “The White House has laid out a sensible and practical approach to protecting the Constitutional rights of America’s creative community. Our voluntary, marketplace efforts with various partners in the internet ecosystem – such as ISPs, payment processors and advertisers – have shown such pacts are possible and can make a real difference”.

Meanwhile David Israelite, CEO of the National Music Publishers Association, said: “We applaud Ms Espinel’s ongoing effort to strengthen American copyright and ensure created works from music to software is valued and treated with respect consistently within our borders and beyond. Her belief that copyright policies and protections be inclusive and developed collaboratively benefits industries, businesses and ultimately our economy”.