Obama tries to kill off internet piracy

Obama has vowed to kill off piracy with an extensive action system designed to protect the intellectual property of US citizens, reports DailyTech.

After some extensive lobbying from the RIAA and MPAA and a report on net piracy the Obama administration is now making efforts to eliminate illegal file-sharing online.

The administration claims it received over 1,600 public comments detailing the problems that piracy cause, and that it has identified 33 “action items” to combat intellectual property theft, which fall into six categories: leading by example by not using infringing products, being transparent, improving co-ordination to improve efficiency and effectiveness, working with foreign governments to enforce rights overseas, securing the domestic supply chain and collecting better data.

Victoria Espinel, who drafted the report, gave a stark warning to illegal downloaders: “We are committed to putting you out of business.”

In a hyperbolic address, the US Vice President Joe Biden compared downloading a song online to stealing jewellery from an expensive New York jeweler: “This is theft, clear and simple. It’s smash and grab, no different than a guy walking down Fifth Avenue and smashing the window at Tiffany’s and reaching in and grabbing what’s in the window.” We suppose he believes that an illegal download of a 99 cent song should warrant the same punishment as the robbery of millions worth of jewellery.

He added that piracy hurts the economy, saying that there are tens of billions of dollars of lost private sector profits. However, a study from the Government Accountability Office earlier this year revealed that there was no evidence to support millions of lost revenue that the entertainment industry claims, suggesting that the Obama administration may be using the recession to garner support for its new proposals.

He also said it hurts our health and safety, which is an unusual concept that has not been broached before. To explain his point he talked about the broader scope of fake products, including car parts, semiconductors, and counterfeit pharmaceuticals. That is a whole other problem compared to downloading music or movies, we reckon.

The US government was not very clear on how it plans to enforce its proposals, but there was mention of increased monitoring of file-sharing websites and pressuring foreign nations, particularly China, into taking down infringing websites and prosecuting the people behind them.