Biden, Goodlatte stress copyright protections abroad

Vice President Joe Biden told members of the tech and entertainment industry that intellectual property protections need to be bolstered to account for changing technologies and foreign threats.

American creativity needs protections at home and abroad to thrive, he said, speaking at an event hosted by the Motion Picture Association of America and Microsoft.

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Biden pointed to changing technologies that make piracy easier and cheaper.

“Today the face of piracy in your industry is changing,” he said, citing the practice of covertly recording movie screenings.

“This practices continues, but now the face of piracy is also a computer server in a far off country,” he said.

“The technologies evolve, and so must our laws, including international.”

In addition to benefitting American creators, other countries would benefit from having stronger intellectual property protections, he continued.

“Until they clamp down on copyright infringement … those nations will remain second-rate powers, unable to nurture that environment that enables home grown innovation.”

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) also commented on foreign copyright infringement during Friday’s event. Under Goodlatte, the committee is conducting a sweeping review of copyright law.

He pointed to China’s notorious problems with piracy, especially of American intellectual property.

“I think we’re making progress, but we have a long way to go,” Goodlatte said.

Once problems like those in China are solved, there will be more piracy issues to address, he said.

“I think it will always go on, because there are always going to be thieves of one kind or another,” he said.

Ultimately, the U.S. needs to have laws and business models that protect intellectual property, Goodlatte continued.

“We’ve got to convince consumers that they’ve got a long term investment in paying something,” he said.

“If you don’t reward the creators, you’re not going to get the creativity.”