I was pleased to join with the creative community all across the globe on Tuesday (4/26/11) commemorating World Intellectual Property Day. This is a day to recognize the importance of the workers and businesses involved in the creation and distribution of creative works. It is a day to celebrate the most valuable asset of any society – the product of intellectual creativity which drives innovation, spurs economic development and defines the culture of every community.
In my mind, respect for intellectual property is essential to the success of nations that aspire to greater development as well as key to maintaining the economies of developed nations. And World Intellectual Property Day is a time to reflect on the economic, as well as cultural contributions intellectual creativity has produced and renew our commitment to value intellectual creation as we do physical creation.
But even as we celebrate the creative endeavors of so many people and businesses throughout the world, we must recognize the threats to their livelihoods from those who would steal their products and distribute them for their own profit on the Internet and in markets all around the globe.
Fortunately, law enforcement agencies are recognizing this threat.
To mark the occasion and raise awareness about the harm caused by the theft of movies and TV shows, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), released a new public service announcement video – Piracy Doesn’t Work. ICE, which is a unit of the Department of Homeland Security, has been actively cracking down on rogue websites that sell stolen content and counterfeit goods on the Internet since last June, seizing at least 120 domain names. Now, when people go to many of these seized websites, instead of stolen material, they’ll find the PSA.
Meanwhile, James Cole, deputy attorney general for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) wrote a compelling article in The National Law Journal on the dangers of intellectual property crimes – to our economy, our health, and the future of the U.S. as an innovation powerhouse.
So today, I’d like to give a special note of thanks to ICE and DOJ for their strong commitment to those who seek to earn a living through their own creative efforts.
Piracy Doesn’t Work: