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What’s Going on with the Copyright Alert System?

August 7, 2012 DMCA , Enforcement , Fair Use , Three Strikes

As I wrote in April, I joined the Advisory Board of the Center for Copyright Information to serve as consumers’ eyes and ears as an agreement between the major Internet service providers and copyright holders is implemented.   The agreement requires ISPs to send up to six “alerts” to alleged peer-to-peer infringers, with the last two alerts resulting in so-called “mitigation measures” and an opportunity for the user to appeal.  

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PIPA and SOPA by Dribs and Drabs

July 20, 2012 Enforcement , Protect IP Act , SOPA

The IP Attaché Act now has company in the dubious club of former bits of SOPA/PIPA being floated in Congress. This week, Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) offered and then withdrew an amendment to add another raft of copyright enforcement proposals to a trade bill.

The amendment she offered was essentially a version of her “Protect American Innovation Act,” introduced last November. It contains a lot of the same provisions we keep seeing in one form or another in various bills that continually try and insert new bits of the content lobby’s agenda into U.S. law.

In particular, it seeds more IP enforcement officials throughout the government (including creating a new Director of IP Rights Enforcement at the Treasury Department).

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When It Comes to IP Enforcement Bills, It’s the Little Things That Count

July 13, 2012 Enforcement , Piracy , SOPA , USPTO

The recently maligned IP Attaché Act is just one in a long line of IP bills that include seemingly innocuous provisions that could later prove to be harmful to innovation and the free flow of information.  In February I gave a talk at the University of Colorado that showed how over a decade, supporters of increasing copyright protection dropped little-known and little-understood language in IP bills that eventually became the basis for SOPA and PIPA, as well as the Department of Homeland Security’s program for seizing domain names. 

According to a former US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) official I spoke with, the content industries and their friends have been pushing the changes this bill would make for years.  That alone tells you something.

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TPP and a Very Basic Point About Transparency

May 14, 2012 ACTA , Enforcement , Forum Shopping , International , Transparency

If you’ve been following this space, you’ve likely seen that Public Knowledge was on the ground in Dallas this past weekend, covering the latest round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, or TPP. Among the various problems with the agreement itself (possible increases to already-draconian copyright penalties internationally, increased emphasis on protecting DRM, a lack of inclusion of well-established limitations and exceptions like library uses and fair use), there’s the fact that the agreement itself remains a closely guarded secret. The public is apparently not allowed to see even the opening positions their governments are making in negotiations.

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TPP Deep Dive: The TPP’s Myopic Focus on Enforcement Will Cause Collateral Damage

May 13, 2012 Enforcement , TPP

This is the third in the series of our deep dive blog posts talking about concerns with specific aspects of the TPP. In this one, I will talk about the copyright enforcement provisions of the TPP and why they are not in the best interests of Americans or citizens of the other TPP countries.

Like most of our other our substantive analyses, this one is based on the US proposed draft text that leaked in February last year.

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