The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States on November 8 opens an era of uncertainty. Following an election night during which he held the lead in the votes throughout the evening, presidential contender Trump eventually was announced the winner by media organisations at 2.30am EST. His opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, conceded the victory to Trump.
For the creative industries, this new chapter in US politics is a complete open book. As a candidate, Trump never expressed any interest, not outlined any policies regarding copyright-driven industries. During the campaign, Trump came across as a strong opponent of international trade agreements such as NAFTA (USA, Canada and Mexico), TPP (12 countries in the Pacific rim) and the TTIP (agreement between Europe and the US), usually used by the US film and music industries to tighten into these agreements strong copyright provisions.
During his campaign, Trump did not outline any policies specific to the creative industries, nor to the tech community. Hillary Clinton led Trump in financial support from the creative community, especially from California.
However, the prospect of a Republican-controlled House of Representatives could be an opportunity for the creative industries to get some legislation favourable to rights owners. Bob Goodlatte, the influential Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary got re-elected, as did Darrell Issa, a Representative from California, who sits on the Judiciary's Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, and who is believed to be a potential successor to Goodlatte who has two more years to serve as chair of the Judiciary. Goodlatte had started three years ago a comprehensive review of the country's copyright laws and is expected to move some of the bills forward if they reach some consensus.
Speaking to Music Week in the run-down to the election, industry executives said that regardless of who would be elected president, copyright issues would sill have to go through the vetting process of Judiciary Committee.
“Copyright legislation is very hard, there are different interest and it can get messy,” David Israelite, CEO of the National Music Publishers' Association, told Music Week a month ago. “Next Congress will see the last two years of Bob Goodlatte as chairman. He has been engaged in long process so we are hopeful that when he decides to act we would have a chance to remove government regulations.”