Espinel: Performance right is issue of "basic fairness"

Groups including Public Knowledge and the Recording Industry Association of America praised the White House for supporting the performance right, with the former acknowledging that the policy seems a strange fit with a list of recommendations focused largely on criminal penalties for IP infringements.

"While this seems tangentially related to an enforcement agenda, performing artists deservingly stand to benefit from such a system,” said Public Knowledge president Gigi Sohn.

Espinel said the administration supports efforts by Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyOvernight Defense: Defense spending bill amendments target hot-button issues | Space Force already facing hurdles | Senators voice 'deep' concerns at using military lawyers on immigration cases Senators 'deeply troubled' military lawyers being used for immigration cases Overnight Energy: EPA declines to write new rule for toxic spills | Senate blocks move to stop Obama water rule | EPA bought 'tactical' pants and polos MORE (D-Vt.) and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) to introduce the performance right in Congress so no further legislative action is necessary from the White House.

However, on some of the other recommendations Espinel said the administration was prepared to offer language if no one in Congress steps up to do so.

Espinel also took a moment to explain the White House's recommendation that illegally streaming online content be clarified as a felony in some circumstances. She said the current law is ambiguous as to what category of infringement streaming would fall into.

"Everyone agrees it should be a felony if it meets standards of criminal activity such as willfulness," Espinel said, adding that streaming live sporting events and copyrighted films are the two most common examples of infringement.