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White House Gets Applause for IP Action Plan

The Administration's latest plan for protecting intellectual property was a getting good review from the studio community and others Thursday (June 20).

That was in response to the release of the second Joint Strategic Plan for Intellectual Property Enforcement.

"We applaud the strong leadership coming out of the White House to assure that American ingenuity and innovation generate jobs in the U.S., not profits for organized criminal activities stealing our intellectual property," said Rick Cotton, executive VP and general counsel, for NBCUniversal, which has long been an industry-leading voice for content protection. "With this new plan, the White House IP Czar continues to provide impressive leadership for ensuring that this country's creativity, technical invention and innovation benefit the U.S. economy and U.S. workers."

"I welcome the administration's 2013 Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement and its reinforcement of intellectual property as one of our country's most valuable competitive tools," said Motion Picture Association of America chairman Chris Dodd. "As today's IPEC report reminds us, in 2010, intellectual property industries accounted for $5.06 trillion in value added -- or 34.8 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. Put simply, the creativity of America's workers is the bedrock of our economic success -- it must be protected, and we must use all of the tools at our disposal to do so.

"As the Administration points out repeatedly throughout the report, all involved parties -- from ISPs to payment processors to ad networks to search engines -- share a responsibility to ensure the protection of creative work," he said.

Intellectual Property Enforcement coordinator Victoria Espinel said on a conference call with reporters that the new plan was explicitly reaching beyond the ISPs and ad networks to include search engines and others. "We believe there are additional sectors in the tech world that we should be reaching out to. We have over the last three years been talking to ISPs, payment processors, online advertisers. As part of this next three-year plan, we've said that we are going to be looking at other tech sectors to reach out to, including search."

Jill Lesser, executive director of the Center for Copyright Information (CCI), was pleased the administration credited the Copyright Alert System (the so-called "Six Strikes" program launched by cable ops and studios) in the report.

"In the report, Ms. Espinel emphasizes, as she has before, that voluntary initiatives must be a key element of any successful effort to reduce intellectual property infringement in the digital world and to educate the public about the importance of the protection of intellectual property rights," said Lesser. "[W]e are pleased that the Copyright Alert System (CAS) was highlighted as an important example of voluntary efforts in the private sector to protect intellectual property. Indeed, the CAS, which launched earlier this year, marks the first major initiative between the content industry and large Internet Service Providers to both provide consumers the tools they need to find movies, TV shows and music legally and to reduce piracy. We look forward to working with the Administration on this important issue."

"Online theft profoundly impacts the creative community," said Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), co-chair of the Congressional Creative Rights Caucus. "As the House Judiciary Committee continues its copyright review, I welcome the Administration's proposals for stronger copyright protections and heightened enforcement efforts to stop the most serious online infringements. The U.S. economy loses $58 billion in total output annually due to copyright piracy. As Co-Chair of the Congressional Creative Rights Caucus, I commend the Obama Administration for recognizing the threat that it poses to our economy and American innovation and ingenuity. Creative works are one of our most precious exports, and cannot be duplicated anywhere else in the world. We must do everything we can to protect them."

"SAG-AFTRA commends the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator and the Administration for their continued support of innovation, ingenuity and creativity, for their focus on the importance of American intellectual property as an economic force, and for their continued efforts to combat intellectual property infringement," the union said in a statement.

"We are encouraged by the release of the 2013 Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement and we look forward to working with all intellectual property stakeholders to ensure America's continued leadership in this pivotal area of growth."