The outgoing US President has signed a bill which creates a US Copyright Czar. See the PC Magazine report.

Bush signed the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (PRO-IP) Act, a measure that will create several new government enforcement positions.

If it turns out that it is President Obama who is in fact charged with appointing this Czar, there must be a small chance that Laurance Lessig will fill the post. That would be an ironic turn of events.

As a copyright loyalist, one has to recognise that it is often the supposed advocates and defenders of copyright who are its worst enemies. Copyright would be stronger if it were more permissive and less onerous. Witness the ludicrous decision of the German courts who have decided that Google is infringing copyrights when it includes thumbnail images in search results. Whatever the technicalities of the German law on this point, we can be certain that incredibly useful services such as Google image search will not be derailed. At a certain point technology simply plows on and works its way around obstacles of this kind.