Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Perrelli speaks on IP!

Tom Perrelli, President Obama's choice to be Associate Attorney General and a long-time music industry litigator, is currently undergoing his grilling by the Senate Judiciary Committee. And the Senators are asking him about IP! SCOTUSblog is liveblogging, which has its limitations, but it's all we've got for now (unless you can watch C-SPAN3). So here it is:
Graham is now addressing Perrelli about intellectual property
America's manufacturing and innovation is routinely stolen by places like China or other places--do we have sufficient laws to protect America's work?
Perrelli has heard from Senators about the need to create an IP task force to focus on these issues
Judiciary Committee created a broader IP position throughout the administration
Graham says that both are excellent choices and will do well for the country
Sen. Whitehouse is now speaking on IP
Whitehouse says he couldn't agree more about protecting American manufacturing and innovation with an IP czar and task force

[Wyden] asking a question about prosecuting illegal music sharing
Would this be a priority?
Perrelli: With respect to enforcement of criminal copyright laws, not necessarily under his purview. But career prosecutors at criminal division have not concluded that this is an appropriate use of resources and he agrees with this

UPDATE: National Journal's Tech Daily Dose reports that Perrelli called for tougher IP enforcement:
Entertainment industry attorney Tom Perrelli, who is President Barack Obama's pick for associate attorney general, told the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearing Tuesday that existing U.S. intellectual property laws "don't seem to be addressing the problem" of global counterfeiting and piracy and said he hopes the department will bring a renewed focus to the issue. Perrelli was most recently managing partner of Jenner & Block's Washington, D.C. office and co-chaired the firm's entertainment and new media practice. In that capacity, he represented record labels and movie studios in a variety of copyright court battles.

"This committee was the source of a bill that created a broader IP position through the administration," Perrelli pointed out. That legislation sponsored by Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy and ranking member Arlen Specter became law in October. The measure toughened civil and criminal IP laws and provided new prosecutorial resources. It also created an IP enforcement coordinator within the White House -- a vacant position that Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., urged the administration to fill.

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