Items tagged "Enforcement"

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Why did we have a Special 301 hearing?

February 24, 2012 Enforcement , Limitations & Exceptions , Special 301

Yesterday, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), along with several other government agencies, held a hearing on its Special 301 process. This hearing was part of the process by which the USTR compiles a list of countries that do not provide “adequate and effective protection” to the intellectual property rights of U.S. persons or deny market access to them. I testified on behalf of Public Knowledge. A copy of my testimony is available here.

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The New SOPA Will Be the Old SOPA (or some variant thereof)

February 1, 2012 Enforcement , Protect IP Act , SOPA

There’s been a sort of giddy euphoria among the netroots recently, with a major win against harmful copyright legislation in the forms of PIPA and SOPA. And there’s a lot of discussion about what to do with this newly-emergent energy and focus. Some are turning to the IP provisions of the Trans Pacific Partnership, or the role of the US is pushing stringent copyright protection through the Special 301 process. Others are focusing on the Research Works Act, which threatens to overturn research funding policies that ensure that the results of taxpayer-funded research stay accessible to taxpayers.

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Tell The USTR Not to Do Big Content’s Bidding

February 1, 2012 ACTA , DMCA , DRM , Enforcement , Special 301

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) is asking for public comment in its Special 301 inquiry for 2012. Special 301 is an annual report that the USTR compiles listing countries that allegedly fail to provide adequate and effective protection for intellectual property rights of US persons. As we have said before, this report has turned into an exercise that arm-twists countries into instituting laws and policies that serve the interests of big content even where these policies hurt the free expression and due process rights of citizens.

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ACTA: the Big Deal

January 27, 2012 ACTA , Enforcement , Forum Shopping , International , Special 301

ACTA (the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) is making a lot of news these days, with lots of people comparing it unfavorably to PIPA and SOPA. A lot of that coverage has been focused on Europe and particularly Poland, where the Polish government’s signing of the agreement has sparked considerable protest.

So is this a big deal, and if so, why is domestic coverage of it so muted in comparison to SOPA and PIPA?

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What the State of the Union “Piracy” Reference Means

January 25, 2012 ACTA , Enforcement , International , SOPA , TPP

It doesn’t take much to excite the Twitterverse. President Obama in his State of the Union speech made a passing reference to intellectual property enforcement, perhaps to try to appease the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).  It was relatively benign, as he said only that foreign piracy hurts trade, but my reader exploded with “Obama’s flipping on PIPA/SOPA! Betrayal!” While I have no reason to believe that the Administration is backing away from its current hard-line position against PIPA/SOPA, it doesn’t have to in order to show MPAA some love.

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Online Blackouts and Outrage Online: Protests Against PIPA and SOPA

January 18, 2012 Enforcement , Protect IP Act , SOPA

If you’re reading this, you likely saw that today, January 18, Public Knowledge has “gone dark” in protest of the proposals in the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). And it’s not just tech advocacy organizations like us, the Center for Democracy and Technology, and others taking this action. Major Internet communities like Wikipedia, the Internet Archive, BoingBoing, and reddit have also blacked out their web pages. Other groups reliant upon the Internet, though not often directly involved in copyright fights, like Reporters Without Borders and Global Voices are doing this as well.

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White House Responds to Petition Against SOPA/PIPA

January 14, 2012 Enforcement , Innovation , Internet Protocol , Open Internet , Piracy

The White House recently released a response to two petitions protesting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The statement agreed with the petition signers that anti-piracy laws must not increase censorship or risk security flaws by tampering with the domain name system (DNS), key parts of both SOPA and the Senate’s proposed PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). This is a fantastic sign that shows that the objections of ordinary, clued-in Internet users can make a difference in stopping misguided legislation.

The statement, co-authored by Victoria Espinel, the IP Enforcement Coordinator, Aneesh Chopra, the Chief Technology Officer, and Howard Schmidt, the Cybersecurity Coordinator, affirms the message that legislation tampering with the DNS poses real risks to the security and stability of the Internet.

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PIPA and SOPA: Compare and Contrast

January 5, 2012 DMCA , Enforcement , Internet Protocol , Protect IP Act , SOPA

I keep getting asked if the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) is better or worse than the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Even without addressing how misleading relative terms like “better” can be, it’s impossible to give an unequivocal answer because of several significant differences between the details of the bills, even if they both do many of the same things (and do them badly).

So while both bills try to curb online infringement by tampering with the domain name system (DNS); allow private actors to de-fund targeted sites, and grant blanket immunity to certain intermediaries for taking copyright law into their own hands, each has its own peculiarities that cause additional problems.

Is PIPA worse?

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PK In the Know Podcast: AT&T/T-Mo, SOPA, MegaUpload, and Digital Parasites

December 16, 2011 Broadband , DMCA , Enforcement , Fair Use , FCC

On today’s podcast we discuss the (near) end of the AT&T/T-Mobile deal, MegaUpload vs. UMG and YouTube, and SOPA. We also have an extended interview with Robert Levine, author of Free Ride, How Digital Parasites are Destroying The Culture Business, and How the Culture Business Can Fight Back.

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Subscribe to the podcast here

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Did YouTube Give Universal Music a Universal Veto?

December 16, 2011 DMCA , Enforcement , Fair Use

It is likely that even MegaUpload did not anticipate the madness it would unleash when it released a video of major artists (and hangers-on) endorsing the site set to the beat of a wildly catchy song.  Of all of the questions raised in the video’s aftermath, those flowing from Universal Music Group’s (UMG) legal filing take the cake (for now).

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