Locke Addresses Content Piracy

Pledges the Commerce Department will be a partner in devising ways to improve the security of products

Posted at 7:24 p.m. ET

Newly minted Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Wednesday provided one of the Obama administration's strongest statements on content piracy Tuesday, according to Paul Sweeting of B&C sister pub, Content Agenda.

That came at the Business of Show Business symposium in Washington. Earlier in the day, the Motion Picture Association of America, which organized the event, had released its report on the multibillion dollar impact of the industry on the U.S. economy.

“Efforts to effectively address the problem of IP theft will require collaboration among government and industries across borders,” Locke said, according to Sweeting. “By working cooperatively, we can ensure that the United States remains the leading producer of entertainment.

And, importantly, we also can ensure that we remain a leader in developing cutting-edge solutions to the growing problem of Internet piracy. I will pledge to you today that the Commerce Department will be a partner for you in devising ways to improve the security of your products.”

That was music to the ears of content providers looking for administration help in fighting online piracy in an age where digital copies are just a click away.

Locke's speech came a day after TV and movie studios, publishers (including B&C parent Reed Elsevier) and other copyright holders wrote the president to argue that the administration does not need to choose between protecting intellectual property and spurring innovation.

The letter came in response to one sent to the White House earlier this month by Public Knowledge, Consumer Electronics Association, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and more than a dozen other fair use fans asking that appointments to administration posts dealing with intellectual property--including at State and the U.S. Trade Representative--"reflect the diversity of stakeholders affected by IP policy."