As recent news reports reveal, the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator for the United States, Victoria Espinel, has stepped down. Appointed by President Obama in September 2009, Espinel coordinated the various federal agencies’ approach to intellectual property (IP) enforcement, serving in this post until August 9, 2013.
FMC is deeply appreciative of Espinel’s service, as we understand how complex this space can be. Digital technology has transformed the marketplace for intellectual property — providing global reach to creators, innovators and entrepreneurs, but also creating real challenges to the enforcement of rights. For the music community, this chiefly means copyright protections, but Espinel’s job also included other aspects of intellectual property, such as patents, trademarks, trade secrets and industrial design.
Earlier today, major companies Conde Nast, AOL, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and others committed to a set of best practices aimed at reducing so-called “ad-supported piracy” online. The White House Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) released best practices guidelines that aim to reduce the flow of advertising revenue to operators of sites that are principally dedicated to selling counterfeit goods or engaging in copyright infringement.
The Federal Government is starting the process of developing a new Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement. By committing to common goals, the U.S. Government will more effectively and efficiently combat intellectual property infringement. In this request for comments, the U.S. Government, through the Office of the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (“IPEC”), invited public input and participation in shaping the Administration’s intellectual property enforcement strategy.
Future of Music Coalition’s comments highlight the importance of oversight and data assessment within existing enforcement policies, the need for consultation with a broader set of stakeholders and a proactive approach to licensing as a means to address persistent issues in the digital music ecosystem.
The Future of Music Coalition (FMC) is pleased to submit these comments to the Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC) in its efforts to achieve a Joint Strategic Plan for Intellectual Property Enforcement. read more
Op-Ed in The Hill by FMC Deputy Director Casey Rae-Hunter.
The music industry has a long history of telling artists to “shut up and sing.” Which is why the internet has been so important in amplifying the voices of musicians of every conceivable background. It’s also why artists should be wary when powerful entertainment conglomerates push for polices that could undermine free expression, all the while claiming to speak for creators.
Congress is currently considering a pair of well-intentioned but deeply flawed pieces of legislation that threaten to fundamentally change how the internet works. Hollywood and the labels back these bills, which are rightfully being questioned by the broader arts community, from artists and managers to writers and performers. read more
We have censored the following, in protest of a bill that gives any corporation and the US government the power to censor the internet — a bill that could pass in the House of Representatives THISWEEK. To see the uncensored text, and to stop this well-intentioned but overreaching bill, visit: http://americancensorship.org/posts/7227/uncensor
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Today, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) presented to the public draft legislation that presents an alternative to earlier bills aimed at combatting “rogue websites.”
While the goal of the new legislation — to combat foreign websites that traffic in counterfeit or unauthorized US intellectual property — is similar to earlier proposals, it offers an entirely different mechanism for dealing with these infringing sites. The new bill is called the Online Protection & ENforcement of Digital Trade Act, or OPEN. These names are really something else, aren’t they? read more
While some groups representing content creators feel they need to hold their nose and stay lockstep with folks like the RIAA and MPAA in support of such obviously bad proposals as E-PARASITE/SOPA, at least some musicians groups are intellectually honest enough to admit that this is a bad, bad bill for creators. The Future of Music Coalition, whom no one can ever claim as being “anti-IP,” “pro-piracy” or (most ridiculous of all) “anti-artist,” has come out with a thoughtful rejection of E-PARASITE/SOPA. The group notes that while it quite frequently agrees with the RIAA/A2IM/AFM and other such groups, on this bill it simply cannot go along. The bill is that bad: read more
In October 2011, members of the US House of Representatives introduced a piece of legislation called the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” or SOPA. The stated goal of the bill is pretty much what its name implies. Specifically, it deals with US access to foreign websites that traffic in the unauthorized distribution of intellectual property. read more
Future of Music Coalition respects intellectual property and copyright. We believe that musicians and songwriters must have the ability to be compensated for their work, regardless of where or how that work is used or accessed.
We also recognize that creators are not a monolithic group, and may have a variety of perspectives on issues at the intersection of copyright and technology. That’s why we think it is so important that the artist perspective is represented in debates about intellectual property in the information age. read more
You are a musician who has released music across a variety of legal digital platforms. Your fans can purchase your latest album on your own online store or at their favorite digital retailer for a reasonable price. Increasingly, though, you’re hearing that your fans are picking up copies from third party sites that aren’t licensed to carry your content. You blast off an angry email to that site telling them to cease and desist; they ignore your emails and continue selling your music, handling the payments through major payment processors. read more