From Bruce Springsteen to Stevie Wonder, plenty of musicians supported President-elect Barack Obama. Now music executives are wondering what kind of support they’ll see from the Obama administration.
Soon after an inauguration that Washington, D.C., insiders are speculating could be the musical events of the year, Obama will officially name a copyright czar—one of the most important decisions he’ll make, as far as the music business is concerned.
That position—officially known by the less glamorous-sounding title of intellectual property enforcement coordinator—was created by the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act, signed in mid-October. The law is aimed at coordinating the anti-piracy efforts of such disparate agencies as the Department of Justice, the Patent and Trademark Office and the U.S. Trade Representative.
While more urgent positions, like Treasury Secretary, are likely to push back the decision until after Obama takes office Jan. 30, speculation has already begun around who could—and should—get the job.
Music executives want a candidate with experience working with government, expertise in copyright law and—perhaps most important—appreciation for the importance of intellectual property. The name most commonly mentioned at this point is Hal Ponder, director of government relations at the American Federation of Musicians and the former director of policy for the AFL-CIO Department for Professional Employees. While Ponder says that he hasn’t had direct conversations with Obama’s transition team, he says, “it’s a job that would be very interesting.”
The music industry’s first choice is…
Click here for the full story, including likely candidates for the position, Obama’s list of technology gurus, what the new czar can expect, and more.