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Next Round of Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations Begins Tomorrow

May 7, 2012 Enforcement , International , TPP , Transparency , USTR

Tomorrow the 12th round of negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will begin, but the negotiating countries are still keeping the public in the dark while they strike a deal that may drastically increase copyright protection and enforcement.

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The 2012 Special 301 Report Continues to do the Bidding of the Content Industry

May 1, 2012 ACTA , Enforcement , International , Special 301

The “Special 301 Report” is an annual report compiled by the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), supposedly identifying countries that do not provide adequate and effective protection to the intellectual property rights of US persons.

In practice, Special 301 has turned into an arm-twisting exercise forcing countries to pass laws and adopt practices favored by large copyright and patent holders and often not in the public interest.

The office of the USTR published its 2012 Special 301 Report today. We are still analyzing the report, but here are our first impressions:

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It’s Time for a United States Office of Innovation

April 18, 2012 Enforcement , Government 2.0 , Piracy

The United States needs someone in government whose sole job is to propose policies that advance the freedom to create and innovate, including freedom from draconian intermediary liability and poor quality patents.

This need became crystal clear last week, when I went to my third or fourth Obama Administration gathering to celebrate the importance of strong intellectual property protection to the United States.

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Is ACTA Binding? Depends on Where You Ask

March 8, 2012 ACTA , Enforcement , Forum Shopping , International , Transparency

There’s been a fair bit of coverage about this letter sent from the State Department in response to Senator Ron Wyden’s questions about how much the Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (“ACTA”) binds the U.S. It’s a current question because among the many questions swirling around ACTA, one is whether it “binds” the United States to its terms. The answer from the State Department is “yes”—but that may not actually mean what it appears to at first, and the reason for that has to do with why I’ve placed the word “binds” in scare quotes above.

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Public Knowledge Unveils Internet Blueprint Project

February 28, 2012 ACTA , DMCA , Enforcement , Internet Blueprint , Press Release

Today Public Knowledge launched the Internet Blueprint, an ambitious project to develop bills that will help make the internet a better place for everyone. The site consists of six new bills Congress could pass today, as well as a way for the public to submit and vote on their own ideas.

“There are lots of people with great ideas about what rights and protections Internet users should have.  Public Knowledge is taking the next step by putting those ideas into a form that Congress and other policymakers can consider,” said Michael Weinberg, the PK senior staff attorney who is coordinating the project.

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