Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Future IP Czar

A hearing will take place tomorrow at 2:00 PM to confirm the appointment of Victoria Espinel, nominated to nobody's surprise by President Obama to be his IP "Czar". This is a position created by the Bush administration under intense content industry pressure. Her job is to deal with "enforcement."

The question is not whether she is qualified. She is and will almost certainly be confirmed. The question is what she will be able to do, with all of those folks out there from USTR, Commerce, the Copyright Office, DOJ, etc. with huge resources and turf with very deep roots. Not to mention Congress, where the real power lies and most of the action really takes place on IP.

BTW, those who think that Canada is alone or unfortunate in having more than one source of power in government IP policy making should look carefully at how the US system works (or sometimes doesn't work).

And even though she may be nearer to the President than others in terms of proximity, she will not have much in the way of resources and he has a few other more pressing things on his mind than incessant whining by the usual sources about piracy and counterfeiting everywhere in the world it seems other than in mid-town Manhattan.

This hearing will be webcast and may be worth watching to see if she talks about what her job will entail.


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