Monday, September 28, 2009

Victoria A. Espinel nominated to be first White House Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator

According to this report in IP Watch, Victoria A. Espinel will be nominated to be the first White House Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator.

[Ed. note. I have no information, one way or the other, on whether this is a good appointment. The fact that the RIAA and MPAA praised the appointment sounds ominous, but what are they supposed to do? Attack the appointment? So if anyone has information on Ms. Espinel's background, let me know about it in the comments to this post. Thanks. -R.B.]

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Kevin R. Guidry said...

While it is unsettling that the RIAA and MPAA have offered praise, Public Knowledge is also pleased with the appointment ( and that's a good sign.

Anonymous said...

It looks like at one time she was ready to go after the Canadian Government with trade sanctions for not falling in with the MPAA and RIAA when it comes to copyright rules being implemented here in the US. A good source of history is available at

Oldphart in Kansas

Matt Fitzpatrick said...

Here's the report from Wired:

"Obama Appoints Scholar as New Copyright Czar"

The article briefly summarizes Espinel's background in intellectual property teaching and advisement.

As for both sides being happy with the appointment, my hunch is the Copyright Alliance (RIAA, ASCAP, MPAA, BSA, etc.) is glad to see anyone fill the post created by their PRO-IP Act. More federal officers charged with IP enforcement means more taxpayer dollars budgeted for IP enforcement.

On the other side, Public Knowledge is probably glad Obama didn't pick someone with a clear conflict of interest--i.e. someone straight out of the Copyright Alliance. Of course, we still have to watch out for regulatory capture, which is a near-certainty given that the office's very existence is tantamount to corporate welfare. Can an IP czar, regardless of his or her background, really be expected to ask for fewer projects and less taxpayer money budgeted for IP enforcement, even if it's in the public interest to do so? Fat chance.

Darrell said...

Definitely not a consumer advocate. :-)

"Ms. Espinel is the chief policy advisor to the United States Trade Representative and the Administration agencies on intellectual property and trade issues, and is responsible for developing and implementing United States trade policy on intellectual property. Ms. Espinel’s office also coordinates innovation policy issues, such as those related to pharmaceuticals and medical technology, and the intersection between intellectual property trade rules and competition policy.

Among her responsibilities, Ms. Espinel is the lead U.S. trade negotiator on intellectual property and innovation, including in the WTO TRIPS Council and the U.S. free trade agreements.


SteelWolf said...

Mike on TechDirt said she was formerly the IP "czar" for the historically pro-industry US Trade Representative.

SteelWolf said...

Whoops, Darrell beat me to it.