White House: we “win the future” by making ISPs into copyright cops
The White House likes the newly announced “six strikes” voluntary agreement announced today between major copyright holders and Internet access providers. That’s no surprise—the US administration helped to broker the deal.
“The joining of Internet service providers and entertainment companies in a cooperative effort to combat online infringement can further this goal [of supporting jobs and exports] and we commend them for reaching this agreement,” said Victoria Espinel, US Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, in a statement today. “We believe it will have a significant impact on reducing online piracy.”
Espinel is professionally interested in copyright online; Vice President Joe Biden is more of a copyright hobbyist (“piracy is flat, unadulterated theft”) who has convened White House meetings to talk about infringement. It was therefore no real surprise to learn a few weeks ago that the White House had played a behind-the-scenes role (along with New York’s Andrew Cuomo) in bringing together the content owners and ISPs to hash out a voluntary agreement.
While ISPs were for years seen more like the “common carriers” of yore, who ran a network and were generally not responsible for policing the uses of that network, government sentiment in key quarters is changing. And not just in the US—at the recent high level OECD Internet conference in Paris, the concluding document stressed ISPs’ duty to halt bad behavior.
“Sound Internet policy should