Meet Victoria Espinel. As the White House’s Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC), she’s tasked with coordinating the many federal agencies that work to stop copyright infringement and counterfeiting. This covers everything from books, movies, and music to software, knockoff designer clothes, and counterfeit toothpaste laced with antifreeze. As you can imagine, it’s a big job.
Now she’s asking for your help. IPEC is seeking public input in the form of written comments to help shape its strategic plan for the federal government’s IP enforcement efforts. This is a unique opportunity for musicians — as some of the people most impacted by IP policy — to advise the White House on which strategies and tactics might be most effective. They’re also looking for information about the economic costs of infringement and enforcement. How does unauthorized distribution affect your bottom line? Do you find yourself spending time and money filing online takedown notices? Can you quantify it? Can you imagine a better way?
In the past, public debates about IP enforcement have been polarized — dominated by copyright “maximalists” like the RIAA and MPAA on one hand and free-culture ideologues who seem to object to any kind of enforcement on the other. But more moderate, solution-focused approaches are possible. Many musicians and independent labels we talk to are more pragmatic: they oppose heavy-handed policies but still think there’s much more that can be done to strategically combat infringement, both domestically and internationally. It’s important that policymakers have access to the views of this “third way” group.
As usual, we’ll be submitting comments on behalf of FMC. But we also would encourage you to submit your own through the regulations.gov portal. Here’s the full call for comments, and here’s a direct link where you can leave your feedback. The commenting period has been extended to 11:59 PM August 10, so get cracking!
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