The White House wants your copyright thoughts…today…

I’m a bit late to the party and the invitation, but artists, arts organizations, and anyone who might label themselves a ‘creative professional’ should give a moment of thought and a speedy response to this call from the White House:

How many jobs depend on the existence of intellectual property? 
What are the greatest risks to health and safety?  We need better data
on these questions and it is part of my job to figure out what the
answers are.  We cannot do that without your help.  So, my office is
asking the public to give us information about the costs and the risks –
and then give us suggestions for what we could be doing better as a

To gather this information, U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel posted a formal request for feedback, with a deadline of TODAY. You can download the formal request here (in PDF format), and you can send your comments, examples, and insights to

It’s interesting that the entire focus of the request is ‘command and control,’ with the assumption that copyright constraints aren’t strong enough, or aren’t enforced enough. Anyone who draws on other expressions or experiences as the building blocks of their own expression might also wonder if the current constraints are too severe. 


  1. Lee says

    Thanks again for the heads up. Looking at the formal request .pdf, it seems Ms. Espinel is wanting very specific sets of data or suggestions that can only be provided by Intellectual Property professionals. I hope she can keep an open mind and consider opinions and viewpoints of the general public as well. I think it’s an important issue for everyone, but everyone doesn’t have the know how to fix it. Her purely enforcement opinion is definitely a bit concerning.
    I’m curious, have you or your readers seen RIP: A Remix Manifesto? It tackles IP from a modern music perspective – particularly the issues of sampling – but ultimately takes the issue beyond the music context. The film is by no means unbiased or all inclusive, but brings up great points. It’s a download and watch, but well worth the time. Check it out here:
    There is also a great parallel and industry model in the fashion industry here: