The Obama Administration has again yielded to a powerful lobby over objections from citizen groups. We have been following the increasing draconian and excessive copyright claims made in the United States. Now, President Obama wants to make it a crime — a change long sought by the Chamber of Commerce and so-called “copyright hawks.”
The changes to the U.S. copyright law would make it a federal crime to engage in “illegal streaming” of audio or video. It is being pushed by
Victoria Espinel, the first “Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator.” The problem with this title is it does not indicate any corresponding concern or duty to average citizens who are being abused by law firms and industries in copyright actions.
The Obama administration wants to put copyright violations on the same footing as terrorism and other serious crimes to allow it to use such things as wiretaps to increase the investigation of citizens in this area. As noted in the article below, “[t]he term “fair use” does not appear anywhere in the report.”
Here is the White House proposal: ip_white_paper
The total absence of consideration of fair use and how this could affect ordinary citizens and the Internet is alarming. At a minimum, one would expect some discussion of the issue in seeking expanded criminalization.