IP Enforcer Leaves White House, Joins Anti-Piracy Trade Group

IP Enforcer Leaves White House, Joins Anti-Piracy Trade Group

Known as the "copyright czar," Victoria Espinel has left the White House to lobby government for the software industry.

In 2008 US Congress created a position to aid intellectual property reform legislation. With that position, Victoria Espinel became the US government's top intellectual property enforcer, now empty in Espinel's leave as she joins the Software Alliance, whose three-letter acronym tacks on an extra letter at the beginning. The BSA works with governments around the world to lobby on behalf of companies' interests, some of which include Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle.

Espinel was at the forefront of legislation such as the six-strikes plan, pushed by Hollywood and major record labels, which called for ISPs to reduce internet speeds or eliminate internet service for repeated occurrences of file-sharing. As stated on their website, BSA investigates tips of alleged software piracy and then files civil lawsuits, advises policymakers on anti-piracy legislation, issues thousands of requests to ISPs and website managers to remove pirated software, and "serves as a knowledge center and catalyst to encourage cooperation and forge consensus among industry and governments." Microsoft, one of BSA's largest members, paid the group $1 million or more. The BSA spent $730,000 to lobby Congress in the first half of the year and also donated $35,000 to political candidates.

Espinel's departure from government and into a lobbying trade group is known as the revolving door, where governments hire industry professionals for private sector experience, and in turn industries and especially lobbyist groups hire ex-government officials for their influence. Espinel will begin her duties as BSA president on Sept. 3 and resigned from her government position two weeks ago.

Source: Politico

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I think it would have been better if she'd joined the EFF and become an advocate for software consumer rights. The interests of software companies are already well taken care of. It's the consumers that need protection from their abusive practices.

McMullen:
I think it would have been better if she'd joined the EFF and become an advocate for software consumer rights. The interests of software companies are already well taken care of. It's the consumers that need protection from their abusive practices.

Theres more money with the software companies.

Those poor software megacorps. How have they ever gotten through it all without someone like Espinel going up to bat for them?

A public sector corporate shill leaves to become a private sector corporate shill? Bah!

Micalas:
A public sector corporate shill leaves to become a private sector corporate shill? Bah!

Ninjas. Damn.

Beat me to the punch every time.

The sad part is that the same things happen in every sector of government. The FDA (Food & Drug Administration) which is supposed to keep businesses from cost cutting on disinfecting measures (lethal if ignored), or releasing dangerous products. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is supposed to keep businesses from dumping toxic waste into the sky and water and ground. The FRB (Federal Reserve Board) is supposed to prevent bank fraud. The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) is supposed to prevent other business fraud. The ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) is supposed to prevent the illegal sale of firearms, alcohol and tobacco.

And these agencies fail, time and time and time again. Why?

Because they've all been gutted by bills, almost always proposed/sponsored by these corporate lobbying groups, which are headed by the former directors of these same agencies; these former directors are usually selected right from the upper echelons of the companies they're supposed to regulate! (This is so common they made up the "revolving door" term to describe it.)

How exactly a "campaign contribution" of up to infinite dollars, especially ones contingent on a representatives support for certain bills, is considered different from a bribe, I'll never understand.

Personally I think the US should adopt the English system, where campaigning is restricted both monetarily and by time. Six weeks of campaigning before elections, no more. No more "election season" starting the November a year before the elections.

Espinel's departure from government and into a lobbying trade group is known as the revolving door, where governments hire industry professionals for private sector experience, and in turn industries and especially lobbyist groups hire ex-government officials for their influence. Espinel will begin her duties as BSA president on Sept. 3 and resigned from her government position two weeks ago.

It's a little more out of left field but I always thought that this practice like corporate lobbying should be considered on the chopping block for the political reform we need but will likely never happen. For a public official to jump ship to a lucrative private position just seems like a huge conflict of interest.

And it's not like this is without precedence, there's such thing as non-compete clauses in contract laws. Like Sony can't poach a lead designer from the Xbox team to utilize his inside knowledge of what MS is doing for their next console. That's a huge no-no in the private sector, so it's kind of bullshit that they can dip into the public sector in this manner.

deathjavu:
The sad part is that the same things happen in every sector of government. The FDA (Food & Drug Administration) which is supposed to keep businesses from cost cutting on disinfecting measures (lethal if ignored), or releasing dangerous products. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is supposed to keep businesses from dumping toxic waste into the sky and water and ground. The FRB (Federal Reserve Board) is supposed to prevent bank fraud. The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) is supposed to prevent other business fraud. The ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms) is supposed to prevent the illegal sale of firearms, alcohol and tobacco.

And these agencies fail, time and time and time again. Why?

Because they've all been gutted by bills, almost always proposed/sponsored by these corporate lobbying groups, which are headed by the former directors of these same agencies; these former directors are usually selected right from the upper echelons of the companies they're supposed to regulate! (This is so common they made up the "revolving door" term to describe it.)

How exactly a "campaign contribution" of up to infinite dollars, especially ones contingent on a representatives support for certain bills, is considered different from a bribe, I'll never understand.

Personally I think the US should adopt the English system, where campaigning is restricted both monetarily and by time. Six weeks of campaigning before elections, no more. No more "election season" starting the November a year before the elections.

Well, you saved me a whole lot of typing.

Beat me to it & hit the the nail right on the head

RandV80:

Espinel's departure from government and into a lobbying trade group is known as the revolving door, where governments hire industry professionals for private sector experience, and in turn industries and especially lobbyist groups hire ex-government officials for their influence. Espinel will begin her duties as BSA president on Sept. 3 and resigned from her government position two weeks ago.

It's a little more out of left field but I always thought that this practice like corporate lobbying should be considered on the chopping block for the political reform we need but will likely never happen. For a public official to jump ship to a lucrative private position just seems like a huge conflict of interest.

And it's not like this is without precedence, there's such thing as non-compete clauses in contract laws. Like Sony can't poach a lead designer from the Xbox team to utilize his inside knowledge of what MS is doing for their next console. That's a huge no-no in the private sector, so it's kind of bullshit that they can dip into the public sector in this manner.

I'd love some sort of political reform for this. Don't see it happening anytime soon though, not when it's so easy for politicians to get elected, and then renege on promises.

Zombie_Moogle:

Well, you saved me a whole lot of typing.

Beat me to it & hit the the nail right on the head

Thanks, I try. Honestly it's just so obviously a (singular, not the "source of all") problem, with such obvious solutions (not perfect ones, but ones that would definitely improve the situation), I'm astonished more people aren't on board.

For example, http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57597470/lethal-medicine-linked-to-meningitis-outbreak/ Former FDA head (someone who, at the very least, is an expert in the field) tells congress changing this regulation will eventually lead to deaths. People die. Law is still the same. Current FDA head (again, an expert) says more people will die.

How exactly is that different from third-degree murder or manslaughter, when you're continuously warned your careless actions will lead to multiple preventable deaths?

This is why I can't read the news every day, I just become filled with rage. So goes the old saw, "If you're not angry, you're not paying attention."

(Strangely I can't find a source for that quote. Tim McIlrath popularized it in song apparently, but I'm pretty sure it predates that.)

McMullen:
I think it would have been better if she'd joined the EFF and become an advocate for software consumer rights.

That would require she actually gives a shit about consumer rights.

They are not even hiding they are bribing officials now. I guess they grow bolder now that they failed to push though SOPA.

Strazdas:
They are not even hiding they are bribing officials now. I guess they grow bolder now that they failed to push though SOPA.

They never hid it. People just didn't/don't care.

That picture looks like someone photoshopped a cigarette out of her hand. Or maybe she is just flicking the Vs at consumers whilst she skips merrily into her new position as underling to the dark corporate lords of profit?

 

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