The 46th President of the United States has taken office, and policy-making can make its move away from social media and towards a “build back better” agenda.

Yet with a continuing pandemic, strained international relations and a teetering economy in need of relief, Joe Biden has his work cut out for him. How our new commander-in-chief steps up to these challenges is bound to have a significant impact on media rights and entertainment industry.

Still, entertainment veterans know that the real magic happens behind the scenes, so they’ll be keeping a close eye on Biden’s more subtle movements that are apt to upend current US politics. Here are a few key areas to watch.

Digital Rights

Thanks to Covid-19, global industries are being forced to adapt to their digital futures sooner than expected. The entertainment industry especially has had to make some difficult decisions – like when closing theaters and upended premiere schedules led Warner Bros to release their blockbuster hits on HBO Max – and filming complications have pushed industry wide changes into momentum.

As a larger amount of high-ticket content looks to be licensed online, copyright restrictions and licensing regulations will take higher political priority.

“In the past, treaties like the Berne Convention and the Trans-Pacific Partnership became vehicles for bringing the world toward U.S. intellectual property standards,” writes the Hollywood Reporter. Yet thanks to Trump’s abrupt pullbacks from things like the Paris Climate Change Agreement, international relations aren’t quite where they should be for Biden to be requesting favors from foreign governments.

Foreign Affairs

Still, it’s no secret that one of Biden’s top priorities will be repairing relations with international partners, and taking a strong stance with others.

Once such a stand came in the name of intellectual property rights, just days after inauguration. According to a State Department spokesperson, President Biden made it clear that he is “committed to ensuring Chinese companies cannot misuse and misappropriate US data and will ensure that US technology does not end up supporting China’s ‘malign activities’,” as reported by Reuters.

Our new Commander-in-Chief will also have to hold the helm while the UK and the EU navigate their uncomfortable separation, which will have a significant effect on trademark and copyright protections in both regions; while simultaneously enforcing the new Trademark Modernization Act.

Intellectual Property

The Trademark Modernization Act (TMA) is a bipartisan law signed into law December 27th, 2020. As explained McAfee & Taft in a press release:

"The TMA brings about key changes in federal trademark law aimed at helping owners enforce their intellectual property in federal court and before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)."

How it is enforced will partially depend on who Biden will appoint as commissioner to the FTC.

The appointment could also determine, according to the Hollywood Reporter, “what, if anything, is done about companies that take a dual role in selling products while also managing platforms connecting independent producers and consumers.”

Covid Relief

All of the changes that Covid-19 have forced upon the industry have left the economy begging for relief. The Biden administration hopes to deliver on a $1.9 trillion economic relief program proposed by congress earlier this month, yet this time around the aid delivered might also come with regulations about businesses reopening.

“Under Trump and his Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia,” reports the Hollywood Reporter, “the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mostly stayed out of the way of reopenings for businesses during the pandemic.” Under Biden’s command, federal regulations regarding health concerns are much more likely to be enforced, meaning that productions going back into filming will have to pay extra attention to avoid unwanted fines or set closures.