Today in Connected Consumer

Both the U.S. House and Senate are working on bills (SOPA and the Protect IP Act, respectively) that would significantly enhance the copyright enforcement authority of the Justice Department as well as private litigants. While the Obama Administration is yet to take a position on the proposals, it has generally been sympathetic to IP enforcement efforts. The White House IP Enforcement Coordinator, Victoria Espinel, is considered a friend of the copyright industries. Over in Europe, however, a different climate may be emerging. Over the weekend, the EU Commission for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, declared in a speech to a major pan-European cultural and media conference that the current copyright system is “failing” and that increased enforcement efforts cannot save it. “We need to keep on fighting against piracy, but legal enforceability is becoming increasingly difficult,” she said. “The millions of dollars invested trying to enforce copyright have not stemmed piracy. Meanwhile citizens increasingly hear the word copyright and hate what is behind it.” That’s a very different tune than they’re singing on Capitol Hill.