During the week of SXSW in 2011, the White House’s Intellectual Property Coordinator, Victoria Espinel, released a whitepaper calling for increased government crack-down on copyright infringement. Espinel’s paper called for: Stronger criminal laws related to online copyright infringement; increased surveillance of foreign websites marketing to US consumers; enabling law enforcement to wiretap purported “infringers” and share the results of those wiretaps with private “rightsholders.” Law makers and big media rightsholders have concerns that piracy causes “economic harm and threaten the health and safety of American consumers.” The legislature is reviewing the PROTECT IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act to address these concerns.Are the proposals commensurate with the purported threat? Will they even address the threat? Are the invasions on consumers’ rights necessary and do such privacy concerns outweigh the supposed threat to the “health and safety” of American consumers?
9th–13th March 2012