What Is the Internet Defense League?
Last night Public Knowledge joined with Internet activists gathered in New York City, San Francisco, and Washington, DC (I attended the DC gathering) to formerly launch the Internet Defense League. The purpose of the league is to provide an organizing tool for many of the forces that came together to defeat SOPA and PIPA. Given that beating those bills was a political victory of comic book super hero proportions, the league naturally has its own “Cat Signal” showcased here, here, and here.Read More
When It Comes to IP Enforcement Bills, It’s the Little Things That Count
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.Read More
I Can Use A Banana to Rob a Bank: Why We Don’t Ban Things Just Because They Can Be Misused
Earlier this week, YouTube-MP3.org announced that it had received a letter from YouTube essentially asking them to shut down. YouTube-MP3.org was a site that allowed you to strip audio from a YouTube video and save it as an MP3. Yesterday, it came to light that CNET had received a similar request from the RIAA to remove software from its popular Download.com site that performed the same purpose. These requests are dumb.
Software That Downloads YouTube Videos Has Many Legitimate Uses
Where Are The Record Label Best Practices?
RapidShare’s recent release of its new best practices for cloud storage service throws into stark relief the lengths to which online platforms will go to avoid the wrath—justified or not—of incumbent content distributors like record labels. As we watch digital distributors adopt “best practices” that go well beyond their legal obligations under copyright law to prevent copyright infringement, one obvious question comes to mind: Where are the record label best practices?
Last week RapidShare announced its new “Responsible Practices for Cloud Storage Services,” in which RapidShare promises to go above and beyond its copyright law obligations to stop infringement—and urges other cloud storage services to do the same.Read More
It’s Time for a United States Office of Innovation
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.Read More