Holder At White House Summit With Entertainment Executives on Intellectual Property Rights
By Ryan J. Reilly | December 15, 2009 10:29 pm
Attorney General Eric Holder, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary for Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and FBI Director Robert Mueller at a meeting with entertainment industry representatives on Tuesday (photo by Ryan J. Reilly / Main Justice).

Attorney General Eric Holder, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary for Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and FBI Director Robert Mueller at a meeting with entertainment industry representatives on Tuesday (photo by Ryan J. Reilly / Main Justice).

Vice President Joe Biden led a round table meeting of high ranking government officials and entertainment industry executives at the White House conference center today, where he pledged that the Obama administration would work to combat piracy in the rapidly changing technological age.

Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller were just two of the officials in attendance at the meeting, which the White House billed as the first of its kind. Others included Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett and Secret Service Director Mark Sullivan.

“This is a problem that the United States cannot solve by itself,” said Holder. “We want to confront these nations, quite frankly, where too much of this occurs.”

Holder announced that the Justice Department would be setting up an intellectual property enforcement training and technical assistance program to provide resources to train state and local officials on how to investigate and prevent intellectual property crimes.

While the FBI has been offering such training previously, Biden said this was the first time the government had been making a coordinated effort, which he called “long overdue.”

NBC President Jeff Zucker at Tuesday's meeting (photo by Ryan J. Reilly / Main Justice).

NBC President Jeff Zucker at Tuesday's meeting (photo by Ryan J. Reilly / Main Justice).

Biden said he was offended by the violation of copyrights, which he called “flat unadulterated theft.” He said it was important to get the “all the major players in one place, in one room, with one overall, overarching strategy on how to deal with what is a serious, serious problem facing this country.

In a statement, the Motion Picture Association of America said: “We especially appreciate the Vice President’s long history of support for the protection of intellectual property, and thank him for his continued leadership defending American workers and businesses.”

“I’ve been in this battle with y’all since I don’t know how long,” said Biden. “The problem has gotten worse. Intellectual piracy is costing this country and all of you billions of dollars and thousands of jobs, and unless we better coordinate with all the resources of the federal government to deal with this problem, it’s likely to only get worse.”

Holder said he would reinvigorate a DOJ task force on the enforcement of intellectual property rights. “We want to convene an international meeting to start work with our international partners,” said Holder.

At the conclusion of the remarks by government officials, press members were escorted out of the room before the conversation with the industry officials began. CEOs declined to speak with a small group of reporters when they emerged over 50 minutes later, a half hour longer than anticipated.

One consumer group, Public Knowledge, said it was “extremely disappointed to learn of the White House meeting to be held later today on the issue of intellectual property and ‘piracy’,” according to Daily Finance.

“No consumer or public-interest groups, technology companies, technology associations or Internet service providers are on the guest list,” said Gigi Sohn, president of Public Knowledge. “No one who questions the need for draconian governmental policies on behalf of the privileged special interest group for whom this meeting is being held is on the guest list.”

UPDATE 12/16: The White House meeting came a day after DOJ Criminal Division chief Lanny Breuer and John Morton, assistant secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security, held a news conference to announce that authorities had seized $26 million in counterfeit goods earlier this month in a joint operation with Mexico.

The announcement about Operation Holiday Hoax took place at the ICE-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center in Crystal City, Va., on Monday. Dan Glickman, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA); and Mitch Bainwol, his counterpart at the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), were also on hand. Both entertainment industry groups have pushed hard for strong intellectual property enforcement.

List of Attendees

Main Justice obtained a list from the White House of those who were confirmed to be in attendance at the Tuesday summit:

The Honorable Joe Biden
Vice President of the United States

The Honorable Eric Holder
United States Attorney General

The Honorable Gary Locke
United States Secretary of Commerce

The Honorable Janet Napolitano
United States Secretary of Homeland Security

The Honorable Robert S. Mueller
Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation

The Honorable John T. Morton
Assistant Secretary, United States Immigration & Customs Enforcement
Department of Homeland Security

The Honorable David Kappos
Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and
Director, United States Patent & Trademark Office

The Honorable Douglas A. Smith
Assistant Secretary, Office of the Private Sector
Department of Homeland Security

Valerie Jarrett
Senior Advisor and Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement
The White House

Mark J. Sullivan
Director, United States Secret Service

Michael Lynton
Chairman & CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Barry Meyer
Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros. Entertainment

Carol Melton
Executive Vice President, Time Warner Inc.

Philippe Dauman
Chairman & CEO, Viacom

Jeffrey Zucker
CEO, NBC Universal

Rick Cotton
General Counsel, NBC Universal

Edgar Bronfman
CEO, Warner Music Group

Linda Bloss-Baum
Vice President, Warner Music Group

Brian Murray
President & CEO, Harper Collins

Zachary Horowitz
President & COO, Universal Music Group

Matthew Gerson
Executive Vice President, Universal Music Group

Richard Bates
Senior Vice President, The Walt Disney Company

Toni Bush
Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Daniel Glickman
Chairman & CEO, Motion Picture Association of America

Mitch Bainwol
Chairman & CEO, Recording Industry Association of America

Matthew Loeb
International President, The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage
Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of
the United States

Kim Roberts Hedgpeth
National Executive Director, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists

Taylor Hackford
President, Directors Guild of America

David Israelite
President & CEO, National Music Publishers’ Association

David White
National Executive Director & Chief Negotiator, Screen Actors Guild

Alan Hoffman
Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Vice President

Victoria Espinel
Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator, Office of Management &
Budget

Terrell McSweeny
Domestic Policy Advisor, Office of the Vice President

Andrew Kline
Senior Advisor for Crime Policy, Office of the Vice President

James Garland
Counselor to the Attorney General and Deputy Chief of Staff, Department of Justice

Michael Gallagher
President & CEO, Entertainment Software Alliance

Robert Holleyman
President & CEO, Business Software Alliance

Aneesh Chorpra
White House CTO

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14 Comments

  1. [...] Dhabi. It turns out Emanuel didn’t actually say he had lobbied Obama; rather, he spoke about Vice President Biden’s anti-piracy efforts. Here are Emanuel’s actual words:In France, they are implementing a three-strike rule. [...]

  2. [...] A full list of those who attended the summit can be found here. [...]