Commerce Committee Approves Espinel For IP Enforcement Post

"IP czar" would coordinate enforcement of laws by various government agencies

The Senate Commerce Committee has approved the nomination of Victoria Espinel as the nation's first intellectual property enforcement coordinator.

Espinel told Senate Judiciary Committee members at her confirmation hearing last week that one of the first issues she will need to grapple with is balancing network neutrality and piracy protection.

Espinel said she knew there was a tension between those two aims, but thought there didn't have to be. She said she believed there was a way to insure an open Internet, leave room for reasonable network management and still make sure the Internet was not being used for the distribution for "all types of illegal content," including pirated content.

The White House IP czar post, which will coordinate enforcement of intellectual property laws by various government agencies, was created by the Pro-IP Act.

Copyright Alliance Executive Director Patrick Ross hailed the committee approval: "The Copyright Alliance extends its thanks to the Senate Judiciary Committee for today's positive action on the nomination of Victoria Espinel. This is an encouraging step forward in a process that we are confident will lead to even better performance at the federal level of intellectual property rights enforcement."

The alliance, which includes B&C parent Reed Elsevier, has pushed for swift confirmation.


IP Czar Nominated

Victoria Espinel nominated as the intellectual property enforcement coordinator in the Office of Management and Budget