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The Intellectual Property Blog of IPI
August 1, 2013

CopyLeft might not want to use Radiohead as an example

In today's copyright review hearing, in the heat of his passion to point out that there are many exciting new ways to distribute content that don't involve nasty old paternalistic devices like copyright, one of the witnesses mentioned how enthusiastic the bands Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails are for free distribution.

Um, you might want to update your gallery of CopyLeft heroes, according to an article entitled "Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, and other digital pioneers sour on 'pay what you want' music":

Not long ago, many hoped the Internet would emerge as a music fan's Shangri-la, a utopian world where any track, no matter how obscure, was available for free, record labels were extinct and artists made a good living because their fans chose to reward them. Acts like Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails championed this brave new world. "The way things are," Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails' frontman, told CNET in 2008, "I think music should be looked at as free. It basically is. The toothpaste is out of the tube and a whole generation of people is accustomed to music being that way."

But that dream has turned into a nightmare, according to Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke. Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

July 31, 2013

Author Linda Jaivin on proposed changes in Australia copyright law

There's a strong and provocative piece in the Australian press today by novelist and author Linda Jaivin on how the proposed changes will cause economic losses to authors.

Jaivin writes powerfully and persuasively about the importance of intellectual property protection for creators. The occasion of her piece is proposed Australian legislation that would remove some author protections in the form of statutory licenses, and in the course expands Australia's fair use exceptions. Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

July 30, 2013

Congress Investigates Patent Pools

Over the last several years the U.S. patent system has received a great deal of attention. However, patent pools, one area that was previously largely ignored, are now coming under greater scrutiny. Read More >>

Posted by Bartlett Cleland | Comments

July 27, 2013

On Thursday's copyright review hearing

This morning, the House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet held its second in a series of hearings that form the beginning of a review of current copyright law. And while the first hearing was largely comprised of copyright critics, today’s hearing featured those who make their livings and who are innovating new technologies based on the copyright system.

Along those lines, of particular interest was witness William Sherak, whose company handles the 3D conversion of blockbuster movies. In addition to getting committee members to don 3D glasses, Mr. Sherak pointed out that both the technology his company developed and the workers he employs are all dependent upon the copyright system. Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

July 24, 2013

Witness list released for Thursday's copyright hearing

The list of witnesses for Thursday's Judiciary Committee hearing on copyright and innovation has been released:

Sandra Airstars
Executive Director, Copyright Alliance

Eugene Mopsik
Executive Director, American Society of Media Photographers

Tor Hansen
Co-Founder, Yep Roc Records/Red Eye Distribution

John Lapham
General Counsel, Getty Images

William Sherak
President, Stereo D

Webcast link: http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/113th/hear_07252013.html Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

July 24, 2013

Streaming Media Magazine Offers Thorough Look at Challenges and Opportunities in Fighting Content Piracy

Reporter Claudia Kienzle cites IPI’s copyright piracy study in a comprehensive piece, "What is the cost of free?" examining efforts to curtail online copyright infringement in the June/July issue of Streaming Media Magazine. Read More >>

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments

July 18, 2013

Next copyright review hearing scheduled for Thursday, July 25

We've just gotten word that the next hearing in the Judiary Commitee's series of hearings on copyright review has been scheduled for next Thursday, July 25, at 9:30 am in 2141 Rayburn. The theme of this hearing is "Innovation in America: The Role of Copyrights."

A good theme. In fact, that would have been a pretty good theme for the FIRST hearing in this series, instead of the near waste-of-time topic that occupied the first hearing. But I've already ranted about that . . .  Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

July 17, 2013

Copyright Review Must Not Fixate on the Ideological Leading to Economic Harm

While the House Judiciary Committee is certainly busy with a raft of issues these days, sooner or later they will continue to hold hearings about the copyright system in the U.S., considering how it works in an age of rapidly advancing technology, business models, an ever growing pool of content and new means to access that content. Read More >>

Posted by Bartlett D. Cleland | Comments

July 8, 2013

IPI participating this week in TTIP negotiations

This week marks the initial negotiating session for the new Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement, which is a new free trade agreement between the U.S. and the European Union. And IPI will be there.

Like most trade agreements, the goals include lowering tariffs, but because the E.U. countries are for the most part advanced economies, there will be more focus on technical regulations, standards and certifications—all designed to make it easier to sell and ship goods between the U.S. and the E.U.

There’s nearly a $trillion per year in trade between the U.S. and the E.U., but the barriers are such that both sides of the agreement think there are $billions in savings to be achieved by lowering tariffs and otherwise making it easier to do business across the pond. Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

June 7, 2013

The Problem with Software Patents

On May 15, IPI convened a panel to discuss software patents, to discuss the criticism that the U.S. patent system has recently attracted, and to address whether that criticism is warranted. The goal was to explore a couple basic questions, such as can any of the existing challenges be addressed by creating a stronger system overall? If there are "trolls," then to what extent are they enabled by software patents? Is software best protected under copyright as an expression, or under patent as an invention? Why are there more software patents now? And how do we address the challenges while protecting US innovation? What role should patents be playing in protecting software? Why do they play a role at all? Doesn't copyright protect software adequately? Read More >>

Posted by Bartlett D. Cleland | Comments

May 24, 2013

Lessons from Patented Seeds

As most U.S. farmers shifted, over the last decade, to Monsanto’s genetically modified corn seed that had its own pest-fighting toxins that would take on the rootworm, they abandoned the use of most soil insecticides.  However, over the years the rootworm has become increasingly immune to the seed-based pesticide and the insects are making a comeback, killing lots of corn in the process. There are least a couple of public policy lessons to be learned. Read More >>

Posted by Merrill Matthews | Comments

May 22, 2013

No IP protections? An economic and security broadside against the U.S.

A Washington Post op-ed today serves as a great follow up to my last post about the Special 301 report, as it describes the danger of the theft of U.S. intellectual property (IP). Put another way, the Special 301 report identifies countries that are a particular problem when it comes to protecting U.S. IP sold, or otherwise provided, into that country.

The op-ed makes clear what happens when our IP is stolen it also makes clear something else -- what happens if there were no longer IP protections in the U.S.? Just read the piece and extend and broaden the impact resulting from piracy. What are those results? More jobs would be lost, even more wealth would be transferred from the U.S. to other countries such as China, loss of the U.S. competitive edge and a long term economic decline, and a loss of our military protections. Read More >>

Posted by Bartlett D. Cleland | Comments

May 22, 2013

Special 301 - What's So Special?

Earlier this month, the USTR released this year's Special 301 report. The report is prepared and released annually, identifying trade barriers to U.S. companies doing business in another country because of a lack of "adequate and effective" intellectual property laws, that is, laws, or the lack thereof, that result in inappropriate protection for intellectual property rights.

As a general proposition, this year's report was no surprise.  The list of violators, of those who need to step up their efforts (to say the least), is fairly predictable.

China: "USTR reports grave concerns about misappropriation of trade secrets in China, and incremental progress on a few of China’s many other significant IPR and market access challenges"

Former Russia state, Ukraine: "USTR designates Ukraine a Priority Foreign Country (PFC) under the Special 301 statute due to severe deterioration of enforcement in the areas of government use of pirated software and piracy over the Internet, as well as denial of fair and equitable market access through the authorization and operation of copyright collecting societies" Read More >>

Posted by Bartlett D. Cleland | Comments

May 16, 2013

Observations on today's copyright hearing

I've already observed and complained about the fact that the copyright review process began with a hearing featuring people who participated in a process that completely omitted the most important stakeholders of all, the creators and owners of copyright.

What was interesting during the hearing was to hear at least one of the participants, Jon Baumgarten, admit that the Copyright Principles Project (CPP) was very much skewed toward the interests of those who see copyright as an obstacle, and skewed against the interests of creators and owners. Indeed, Mr. Baumgarten confessed that the CPP actually resulted in very little "consensus" at all, which called into question why the title of the hearing was “A Case Study for Consensus Building: The Copyright Principles Project.” Apparently the result of the case study was failure.

Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

May 16, 2013

A Peculiar Start to the Copyright Review Process

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) has announced that his committee will be undertaking a “comprehensive review of U.S. copyright law,” and they’re beginning this afternoon with a hearing.

This review is widely believed to have resulted from a speech given earlier this year by the Register of Copyrights, Maria Pallente. Soon after she testified before Mr. Goodlatte’s subcommittee outlining her thoughts in more detail.

For those of us who believe in intellectual property and copyright, there is obviously a concern that this review takes place in an intellectual climate where so much effort has been devoted to tearing down the idea that creators should be able to own and control and profit from their creations. Make no mistake—while some who call for copyright reform would be content once a handful of copyright modernizations were put into place, many copyright reformers would like to see the bulk of copyright protection go away, so that no obstacle remains between them and free access to anything they want, including the right to profit and build business models on top of free access to the creations of others. Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

 

Total Records: 118

 

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