White House updates intellectual property strategy

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Since the release of the White House's first intellectual property plan three years ago, FBI trade secret cases are up by more than a third and Homeland Security arrests have more than doubled.

The new version of the strategy, issued on Thursday, outlines additional ways to coordinate enforcement, increase outreach and help the private sector collaborate on their own initiatives. 

The administration has "deliberately taken a non-regulatory approach" to protecting copyright owners of music, movies and other products, U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel said on Thursday.

Instead, it has urged the private sector to get together and beef up protections against online infringement. Those voluntary initiatives have already led to crackdowns on online piracy, sales of counterfeit drugs and pirated goods.

The film and music industries welcomed the new strategy.

"Put simply, the creativity of America’s workers is the bedrock of our economic success – it must be protected, and we must use all of the tools at our disposal to do so," said Chris Dodd, chairman and chief executive of the Motion Picture Association of America, in a statement.

He added, "As the Administration points out repeatedly throughout the report, all involved parties – from ISPs to payment processors to ad networks to search engines – share a responsibility to ensure the protection of creative work."

Cary Sherman, CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America, added that the White House's strategy was "a sensible and practical approach" to protecting intellectual property.

One upcoming task for the government is to review current laws to make sure they are up to snuff.

"We have no preconceived notions of what, if anything, might come out of that, but I think as a matter of good housekeeping and a matter of good government we should be looking at our laws every few years," said Espinel.

The administration is wary of new technologies that complicate efforts to protect ideas.

"As we move forward, we are aware that new technologies, evolving social norms, new business models, and novel global distribution mechanisms will present new challenges and opportunities to combat infringement of American intellectual property rights," the administration noted in the report.

Among the concerning trends are 3D printing, more information on the cloud and mobile technology.