Do you know that 63% of the software installed on PCs in India is unlicensed? At a commercial value of nearly $3 billion, this is the fourth-highest such figure in the world, so there is no question that more needs to be done to encourage legal software use. “Government should establish modern intellectual property laws that effectively protect software everywhere it’s used, including on PCs, mobile devices, and in the cloud,” says Victoria
Espinel, president & CEO, BSA/The Software Alliance, a Washington-based trade group that represents leading software makers and its principal activity is to stop unauthorised copying or distribution of copyrighted software. Until recently, Victoria served in the Obama Administration as the first US intellectual property enforcement coordinator, a post she held since being confirmed by the US Senate in December 2009. She previously served in the Bush Administration, first as
senior counsel in the Office of the US Trade Representative and then as the first assistant US trade representative for Intellectual Property and Innovation. In an interaction, she tells Sudhir Chowdhary that India’s cybercrime legislation requires updating to conform to international standards. Excerpts:
Tell us about your experience at The White House and the reasons for moving to BSA?
It was a great honour to be nominated by President Obama and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate to be the first US Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator. It was a fascinating and gratifying experience to establish the office and to develop the processes and policies to make it serve the function that the President and Congress intended. In the time I served, we made a great deal of progress across numerous fronts: law enforcement activity and efficiency increased significantly, laws were changed to improve enforcement, we brought stakeholders together from across government and the private sector to take voluntary steps to improve intellectual property protection, and we gathered better data on the importance of intellectual property to the economy. I was pleased that my office was able to work with the Congress to pass seven pieces of legislation based on the recommendations in our first joint strategy.
I am excited now to have joined BSA, because software plays such a vital role in enabling the modern world. It makes every other sector of the global economy work better, and it improves every conceivable aspect of people’s lives—from the way doctors are able to diagnose and treat diseases to the way engineers