It don’t take much to excite the Twitterverse. Obama makes a passing reference to intellectual property enforcement as a sop to the MPAA by saying foreign piracy hurts trade, and my reader explodes with “Obama’s flipping on PIPA/SOPA! Betrayal!” While I have no reason to believe that the Administration is backing away from its current hardline position against PIPA/SOPA, it doesn’t have to in order to show MPAA some love (and remind them this is a long-term game with many fronts and that they depend on the federal government for enforcement — something to think about when considering whether to go through with the threats to cut off campaign contributions).
On the other hand, the fact that it does not require new policy, merely continuation of existing policy, should be just as disturbing for anyone who cares about Internet freedom and burdens on innovation. (I exclude from this concern the proposed beefed up task force for intercepting counterfeit goods until we hear more. If it focuses on stopping delivery of counterfeit goods at the border, then excellent! That is exactly the kind of enforcement we need to keep things like fake heart medicine out of the country. OTOH, if they try to make ICE-style seizures of domain names on dubious pretexts, then we got problems.)
What the President was talking about, and how to stop the People Who Brought You SOPA from getting what they want through the back door of trade agreements, below . . . .