Senate Oversight Of IP Czar… Only Involves Entertainment Industry Execs
from the that's-oversight? dept
The ProIP Act added the role of the IP Enforcement Coordinator, a role that was filled by Victoria Espinel. We have been quite concerned that Espinel has viewed her role as protecting jobs in one particular industry (often at the expense of jobs and progress elsewhere) — a concern that was not alleviated by Espinel’s request for input on what she should focus on. That request made all sorts of assumptions about the impact of intellectual property infringement that were not actually supported by fact. Mike Arrington also reported recently on a meeting with Espinel where she made it clear that her role was to help the entertainment industry.
So, it’s unfortunate, but hardly a surprise that the Senate’s hearing on “oversight” of Espinel’s work involves only people on the entertainment industry’s side. The panel who will discuss Espinel’s performance includes the CEO of Warner Bros., the CEO of the “Global IP Center” of the Chamber of Commerce (whose views on IP are positively neanderthal, complete with some of the most ridiculous studies), the CEO of Carlin America (a music publisher) and the president of the AFL-CIO, who has already done some horse trading to be an official representative of the RIAA’s position.
Talk about regulatory capture. It’s as if the Senate is admitting that the role of the IP Enforcement Coordinator is to be the entertainment industry’s top cop, and her performance will be reviewed by the industry itself. The Constitution says that copyright and patents are for the purpose of “promoting the progress of science and the useful arts.” But that’s not what Espinel is doing. She’s protecting a particular industry, often at the expense of progress. To then have her review be done by such a one-sided panel of folks — folks who are receiving extreme benefits from her role — is just ridiculous.