Items tagged "SOPA"

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The Copyright Directive Is SOPA Part 2, and It’s Coming for Your Internet

April 8, 2019 Copyright , copyright directive , EU , European Union , SOPA

Last week, the European Parliament voted 348 to 274 to pass the Copyright Directive. Unless something truly extraordinary happens during the upcoming meeting of the European Council — think of it as the Senate of the EU, where the governments of Member States are represented — draconian and highly disruptive new rules on content licensing and monitoring will become EU law.

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Resurrecting SOPA: How the MPAA Could Use the International Trade Court to Block Websites

April 14, 2015 Copyright Reform , ITC , Open Internet , Patent Reform , SOPA

One lesson from our victory in net neutrality bears repeating. Although strong protections for an Open Internet are a great step forward for the public, there are other ways for companies and organizations to block websites. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) is the latest creative example of an organization working to restrict Internet users behind closed doors. And the best part is that the whole thing revolves around a patent case about teeth.

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MPAA Says, “BLOCK ALL THE THINGS!”

December 17, 2014 Censorship , DNS , ITC , MPAA , SOPA

Several outlets are reporting that the MPAA’s policy efforts have, over the past years, continued, post-SOPA (Stop Online Privacy Act), to focus on different theories of site blocking. With Congress wary of passing new legislation that could lead to private online censorship, the movie industry is apparently shopping around for other forums in which to press its site-blocking agenda.

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Why the Consumer Electronics Show Will Never be Overrated

January 18, 2013 Innovation , SOPA , Video Innovation

Last week (January 7-11), Las Vegas hosted the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, the annual trade show where tech companies present their latest gadgets and gizmos.  Speculation about which company will have the largest, sharpest, thinnest, displays or the latest bells and whistles for their mobile handsets dominates the tech world for weeks leading up to CES, and the show officially begins the conversation for consumer tech for the year.  Walking the convention center floor and playing with the newest in consumer tech is a tech fanboy/fangirl’s dream come true.  Public Knowledge sent a delegation to the show this year and was encouraged by the energy of the attendants not only with regard to tech devices but especially toward tech policy.

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The Copyright Reform Debate Continues Uncensored

December 6, 2012 DMCA , Fair Use , MPAA , SOPA , Statutory Damages

Last month the House Republican Study Committee (RSC) released (and then retracted 24 hours later) a thought-provoking policy paper entitled Three Myths About Copyright Law and Where to Start to Fix It. As the leading group for conservative policy ideas and discussion in the U.S. House of Representatives, the RSC could play a critical role in presenting the conservative arguments for copyright reform. 

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The Debate over Copyright Reform Cannot Be Censored

November 19, 2012 DMCA , Fair Use , MPAA , SOPA , Statutory Damages

This past Friday, the House Republican Study Committee released a policy brief entitled Three Myths About Copyright Law and Where to Start to Fix it.  The brief, examines three common content industry assertions about the benefits of copyright, and concludes that rather than promoting productivity and innovation, current copyright law inhibits them.  The brief then makes a number of suggestions to reform the system, including reducing statutory damages, expanding fair use, punishing copyright abuse and shortening copyright terms significantly.

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What the Election Means for the Internet

November 7, 2012 Kirtsaeng , Network Neutrality , Open Internet , Orphan Works , SOPA

After nearly two years of debates, never-ending commercials, donation solicitations and ever-present polling, Election Day is over and the results are in.  As many had predicted, the balance of government has not changed significantly.  Democrats will retain the Presidency and control of the Senate, and Republicans will continue to control the House, albeit by a slightly smaller margin than before.

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What Is the Internet Defense League?

July 20, 2012 Piracy , Protect IP Act , SOPA

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.

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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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