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The Intellectual Property Blog of IPI
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

May 1, 2013

USTR releases annual "Special 301" report

Today, the Office of the United States Trade Representative has released its annual "Special 301" report which details the "adequacy and effectiveness of U.S. trading partners’ protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR)."

The report can be found here (it's a 59 page PDF).

From the press release:

  • 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;
  • 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;
  • USTR adds Barbados, Bulgaria, Paraguay, and Trinidad and Tobago to the Watch List due to specific problems identified in the report;
  • USTR announces that while El Salvador and Spain are not listed in the Report, USTR will conduct out-of-cycle reviews to assess progress on IPR challenges identified in this year’s reviews of those countries; 
  • Canada moves from the Special 301 Priority Watch List to the Watch List in recognition of significant progress on copyright issues, while USTR continues to work with Canada to address several remaining IPR concerns; and
  • Brunei Darussalam and Norway move off of the Special 301 Watch List.
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    Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

May 1, 2013

Highlights of IPI's 2013 World IP Day Celebrations

Last Thursday IPI was honored to once again host the major World IP Day policy event in Washington, DC during the observance of World IP Day.

And then, the very next day, we returned to Dallas to co-host Dallas' first ever World IP Day event.

We think World IP Day is important not only because of the very elemental importance of the intellectual property system and respect for the rights of creators and inventors, but also because it seems that almost any time intellectual property issues make their way into the news cycle, it's over something controversial or contentious. So World IP Day is an opportunity to back up and remind ourselves of the importance and function of IP systems in national economies, particularly with regard to the United States.

In Washington, we were delighted to have a terrific program. All of the video from the DC event is now posted on our website here, so you can check it out at your convenience. You may need to find a way to watch Professor Epstein's address at 3/4 speed if you want to try to comprehend it all in real time! Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

May 1, 2013

Myriad's post-SCOTUS analysis

Much attention has been given to the Myriad Genetics case recently argued before the Supreme Court, where Myriad Genetics claims a patent to not only a DNA test, but also to the isolated and refined DNA itself. Myriad claims this as an invention, while opponents argue that the genes are existing, natural substances.

Today, there's a guest post on the Patently-O blog by Benjamin Jackson, Senior Director of Legal Affairs at Myriad Genetics, where he makes his post-SCOTUS arguments. Read More >>

Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

April 11, 2013

How President Obama's 2013 Budget Affects Intellectual Property

We’re not fans of the Obama 2013 budget, as you can probably guess. And it’s going nowhere, thankfully.  But it’s instructive to see the impact of the Obama administration’s budget vision as to how it would affect the creative and innovative industries.

On the Positive Side

There’s not much.

  • The Intellectual Property Owners Association reports that the budget will allow USPTO to keep all of its user fees. We agree with this, and we’ve written about the problem of fee diversion in the past. This is actually an area where we found ourselves disagreeing with our usual ally, Rep. Paul Ryan.
  • Additional funding for cybersecurity should, if successful, help reduce the threat of theft of intellectual property from American companies by overseas IP predators, most notably China. Some government agency estimates suggest that U.S. companies have lost more than $400 billion in intellectual property theft to cyberespionage.
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    Posted by Tom Giovanetti | Comments

April 6, 2013

WSJ's Numbers Guy Takes a Closer Look at the Impact of IPI's Film Piracy Study

Wall Street Journal columnist Carl Bialik takes a closer look at IPI’s film piracy study from 2006, which assessed the damages to the U.S. economy from worldwide motion picture piracy.

Bialik writes:

From their publication in 2006 through the debate over the Stop Online Piracy Act that ended early last year, the film industry frequently has cited the findings of a study by the Institute for Policy Innovation, a Lewisville, Texas-based think tank that found film piracy was costing the U.S. economy $20.5 billion annually.


Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments

April 2, 2013

Getting ready for IPI's 8th annual World IP Day

IPI is gearing up for one of our favorite annual events, our eighth celebration of World Intellectual Property Day.

The event this year takes place Thursday, April 25 on Capitol Hill at Washington DC’s ROA Building from 10 am to 1 pm. Read More >>

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments

March 27, 2013

Band drives conversation on piracy with Times Square billboard

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments

March 14, 2013

Ukraine Named Among Worst Offenders for Piracy

Ukraine’s stunning failure to crack down on piracy supercedes even that of the most notorious usual suspects. Why? While the governments of China, India, and Russia at least acknowledge the problems and seek to implement solutions to combat piracy, Kiev appears to be complicit in the IP crimes. 

Radio Free Europe reports that within weeks of Ukrainian authorities shutting down one of the largest film piracy websites in the world, in which over 200 servers and 6,000 terabytes of data were seized, the same website was soon live again, suggesting that government officials could be turning a blind eye—even protecting—the piracy ring.  Read More >>

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments

March 14, 2013

Less Pirated Material Results in More Sales of Legitimate Product

Last week I wrote about the Copyright Alert System (CAP) that is designed to educate users of copyright protected materials about those protections and the proper way to enjoy protected products; that is, don't steal them. Read More >>

Posted by Bartlett D. Cleland | Comments

March 7, 2013

The Copyright Legacy of 2013?

Not surprising for the beginning of a new Congress, last week the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus (10 years old this year) was looking for new members via a Dear Colleague letter from Reps. Bob Goodlatte and Adam Schiff. Unlike some caucuses which essentially define who can join, or rather who cannot, this one seems like an easy choice for everyone to join. Read More >>

Posted by Bartlett D. Cleland | Comments

March 6, 2013

Punk rocker warns future creators are some of piracy's biggest victims

Punk musician East Bay Ray of the Dead Kennedys made headlines after sharing his insights on music piracy with college students at California’s Chico State University, warning that some of the biggest victims of piracy are future creators.

The Orion’s Nicole Gerspacher reports the rocker’s thoughts on piracy in the following article, citing IPI’s 2007 publication “The True Cost of Sound Recording Piracy on the US Economy.” Read More >>

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments

February 27, 2013

Student spreads the message of the threat of music piracy

IPI is getting the message out that IP theft has real damages, as evidenced by the front page of the Ames High School newspaper which recently cited our 2007 report, “The True Cost of Sound Recording Piracy to the US Economy.”

In the report, Ames High School student Alex Qin also interviewed recording engineer Chad Jacobsen on the stark reality that illegal music downloading is a crime.  Read More >>

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments

February 26, 2013

Music piracy on the decline as digital music sales grow

The Washington Post’s Hayley Tsukayama says today fewer people are illegally downloading music as the availability of legitimate digital music is growing by leaps and bounds through new channels and subscription services.

It’s welcome news as more and more young people, including high school and college students, gain an awareness of the dangers of piracy and its threat to the US economy.

IPI’s 2007 publication, “The True Cost of Copyright Piracy to the US Economy” reported that widespread theft of copyright-protected products, including motion pictures, video games, sound recordings as well as business software, has cost the U.S. $58 billion in annual economic output and 373,375 jobs. Read More >>

Posted by Erin Humiston | Comments

February 25, 2013

On the Aaron Swartz Tragedy

Several years ago I was at the doctor's office for an annual physical. I noted that this particular physical seemed more thorough than usual and included an electrocardiogram test. After the physical the nurse told me that the doctor wanted to talk to me and that she would be in shortly. I started doing the math and alarm bells went off...extra tests, I am getting older, doctor wants to chat with me. She came back and reported that everything looked fine, that the blood results would be back in a day or so, and then asked me two questions that at that moment I found peculiar—do I regularly wear my seat belt and how good do I feel about my life. Ok, alarm bells again!

As it turned out she was doing what she could to check my health as related to the two most likely causes of death for a 30 something male—car accidents and suicide. Men from 20 - 40 years old commit suicide as much as 3 to 4 times more often than women. Theories abound as to why, from broken relationships to work stress, but regardless the end result is an alarming, heart breaking, sad fact that is rarely discussed much less appropriately focused on. Read More >>

Posted by Bartlett D. Cleland | Comments


Total Records: 119


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