White House releases first intellectual property strategy

Interagency efforts aims to ID pirate Web sites

White House officials have started an interagency drive to improve the enforcement of laws against pirating software and other intellectual property with the first Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement.

Vice President Joe Biden and Victoria Espinel, intellectual property enforcement coordinator, released the 65-page strategic plan June 22 along with the Commerce, Homeland Security and Justice departments and the U.S. Trade Representative. The Agriculture, Health and Human Services and State departments also have outlined roles in the strategy.


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The strategy has more than two dozen recommendations that cover six areas:

  • Leading by example by ensuring that federal agencies do not mistakenly buy illegal products.
  • Being transparent in developing enforcement policy, information sharing and reporting law enforcement activities.
  • Improving coordination with federal, state and local law enforcement.
  • Working with trading partners and international organizations.
  • Identifying foreign-based Web sites and other entities that provide access to counterfeit or pirated products.
  • Collecting and tracking the amount of money spent on intellectual property enforcement.

The Business Software Alliance praised the plan and its goal of protecting software and other copyrighted products.

“This is vital in encouraging the private investments in research and development that drive technological and economic progress in the digital era,” the association said June 22.

The association estimates that software theft costs the industry about $50 billion a year and provides companies that buy pirated goods an unfair advantage in the marketplace.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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