Items tagged "Enforcement"

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A Trade Agreement For The 21st Century

March 22, 2011 ACTA , DMCA , Enforcement , Limitations & Exceptions , TPP

Today, Public Knowledge, the Special Libraries Association and Internet NZ told the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) that an IP chapter in a truly “21st century trade agreement” should reflect the rights and interests of the wide variety of stakeholders affected by copyright. To demonstrate how this can be done, we submitted to the USTR our own discussion draft of a copyright chapter to be included in the proposed Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and a letter explaining the draft. In contrast to the U.S. proposed draft, recently leaked on the Internet, we believe that this draft represents a middle-ground position that begins closer to a position that respects the interests of the many different stakeholders that will be affected.

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Proposed New Copyright Treaty Asks For Tougher Terms Than ACTA

March 11, 2011 Enforcement , International , Special 301 , TPP , USTR

Yesterday, a draft of the U.S. proposal for an intellectual property (IP) chapter of the transpacific partnership agreement (TPPA) leaked on the Internet. The U.S. proposal calls for IP protections and enforcement obligations more extensive than those called for in the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) or the most recent U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) – the Korea U.S. (KORUS) FTA.

Here are the highlights of the U.S. proposal:

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With Us Or Against Us? That is Not the Question

February 15, 2011 Enforcement , Innovation , Piracy

Tomorrow, Scott Turow, a novelist and the president of the Authors Guild, will testify before a Senate hearing on the specific topic of online infringement. This hearing will almost certainly center around proposals similar to last year’s S. 3804, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act—a detailed piece of legislation that delves into law enforcement practices and the technological underpinnings of the Internet.

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More Domain Seizures from DOJ/ICE: Spanish Website Seized Despite Legal Status in Spain

February 1, 2011 DMCA , Enforcement , Forum Shopping , International , Piracy

According to Techdirt and Torrentfreak, the Department of Justice and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement have seized more domains on the grounds of copyright infringement (coverage of earlier seizures here, here, and here). Notably among them is the Spanish site Rojadirecta.org now redirects to a DOJ/ICE splash page identical to those used in earlier seizures.

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The FCC Network Neutrality Order: Possible Adequacy, But No Regulatory Certainty Any Time Soon.

December 21, 2010 Broadband , Enforcement , FCC , Network Neutrality , Non-Discrimination

So after a year of process, what has the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) accomplished on network neutrality? I will not say “nothing,” and I understand why FCC Democratic Commissioners Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn regard it as better than nothing. But specifics prove damned elusive. And therein lies the problem for this Order (at least as we understand it).


On every single important and controversial question on what an “open Internet” actually means, — such as whether companies can create “fast lanes” for “prioritized” content or what exactly wireless providers can and cannot do — the actual language of the rules is silent, ambiguous, or even at odds with the text of the implementing Order. The only way to find out what protections consumers actually have will be through a series of adjudications at the FCC.

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How Copyright Policies Stifle Free Flow of Information

December 8, 2010 ACTA , Enforcement

The U.S. portrays itself as a bastion of free speech. Yet when it comes to copyright policy, both domestic and international, the government too often puts on blinders and refuses to see how copyright policies adversely impact free speech. It views stronger, longer copyrights as goals to aspire for and harsher enforcement measures as means to accomplish these goals. Domestically, this has resulted in copyright being used as a pretext to stifle political speech by taking down political campaign videos. Internationally, it has resulted in copyright being used as a pretext to crack down on dissidents. For instance, Russian authorities seized computers belonging to an environmental group critical of the government under the pretext that they housed unauthorized Microsoft software.

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USTR releases finalized ACTA text: Concerns remain

November 16, 2010 ACTA , Competition , Enforcement

Today the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released the finalized text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), claiming to smooth out disagreements among the negotiating parties. However, our concerns with respect to some provisions remain. I had outlined these concerns in my previous post.

Changes in the new text

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Tim Wu’s “Master Switch” Is A Master Work

October 29, 2010 Competition , Deregulation , Enforcement , Innovation , Network Neutrality

As we speak, one giant telecommunications company, the cable/programming megalith Comcast, is poised to take over another, the NBC network of local stations, cable channels and even a movie studio.  At the same time, two other giants, NewsCorp., owner of the Fox network, is in a cage death match with Cablevision, another distributor/programmer as three million customers fume at the loss of the World Series and other programming.

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Law Professors Ask for Public Input on ACTA

October 29, 2010 ACTA , Enforcement

Seventy Five law professors including, Prof. Yochai Benkler, Prof. Susan Crawford, Prof. Lawrence Lessig, and Prof. Pamela Samuelson, have written a letter to the President expressing their concerns with the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) and calling upon the administration to seek public input and Congresssional approval for the agreement.

Here is a copy of the letter:

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Fox/Cablevision And FCC Learned Helplessness, or “Finding the FCC’s ‘Man Pants.'”

October 27, 2010 Competition , Enforcement , FCC , MVPD , Regulatory Reform

I feel a good deal of sympathy for FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski over the ongoing fight between Fox and Cablevision. My brother the educator likes to say that “responsibility without authority is trauma.” Or, in other words, if you are responsible for something but don’t actually have the authority to do anything about it, then the only thing you can do is suffer when things go wrong. So it is for Genachowski and Fox/Cablevision — under the FCC’s current rules. But here’s the funny thing. The FCC actually has fairly strong statutory authority to take action. So while Genachowski is in a bind, he can actually fix the problem. He even has a vehicle all teed up and waiting in the form of our Petition to change the “retransmission consent” rules (I’ll explain what those are below).

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