Piracy of Intellectual Property (it will be webcast) — with a “well balanced” list of presenters
Marybeth Peters; Register of Copyrights and Associate Librarian for Copyright Services; United States Copyright Office
Stephen M. Pinkos; Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office
James E. Mendenhall; Acting General Counsel; Office of the United States Trade Representative
Eric Smith; President; International Intellectual Property Alliance
Taylor Hackford; Board Member; Directors Guild of America
Robert W. Holleyman II; President and Chief Executive Officer; Business Software Alliance
Later: Is it possible that MaryBeth Peters’ testimony raises questions about the consequences of overheated rhetoric in the copyright debate? What do you think about this?
IV. Not all Piracy is Alike
Before I conclude, Mr. Chairman, I would like to distinguish the type of piracy we see in the United States and what we see in many other countries. To be sure, piracy anywhere is serious and cause for concern. I have testified extensively on the very real dangers of domestic piracy, particularly the massive amount of piracy that dominates many peer-to-peer networks. As you know, these issues have given rise to the type of vigorous public debate on which the United States prides itself. But all too often, what we see abroad bears no resemblance to college students downloading their favorite songs and movies.
Much of the foreign piracy about which we are speaking today is done by for-profit, criminal syndicates. Factories throughout China, southeast Asia, Russia, and elsewhere are churning out millions of copies of copyrighted works, sometimes before they are even released by the right holders. These operations are almost certainly involved in other criminal activities. Several industry reports in recent years suggest that dueling pirate operations have carried out mob-style “hits” against their criminal competitors. And, although the information is sketchy at best, there have been a series of rumored ties between pirating operations and terrorist organizations.
What is problematic is that some American commentators who are prone to hyperbole about what they see as an imbalance in the U.S. Copyright Act are providing arguments and rationalizations that foreign governments use to defend their failure to address this type of organized crime. [...]
Maybe she’s got her own opinion about which side is causing the problem, but one has to wonder about the consequences of rhetorical overreach by the copyright cabal in the P2P debate (e.g., “downloading==theft/criminal acts”) when it comes to negotiating with governments about real piracy.
Later yet: Ernest heard the whole thing, and relates far more extensive thoughts on all the testimony - Senate Judiciary IP Subcommitee Hearing On Int’l Copyright InfringementEmail This Entry
Later: Related ArsTechnica piece, Kids, when you buy a bootleg DVD, you may be supporting people who might sympathize with a terrorist group that hasn’t actually attacked us, via GoldSounds