Category Archives: Intellectual Property

U.S. Copyright Office Invites Petitions for 2015 DMCA Rulemaking

The U.S. Copyright Office is accepting petitions for the triennial rulemaking proceedings to determine exemptions to the anti-circumvention prohibitions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The deadline for petitions is November 3. To help enhance public understanding of the process and its evidentiary requirements, the U.S. Copyright Office has changed the procedures to lower [...]

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White House Invites Public Comments on Strategy for American Innovation

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Economic Council invite public input on the 2015 update of the Strategy for American Innovation, which was last updated in 2011. Comments are due by September 23. Among the 25 questions in the call for comments, the strategy invites input on the Administration’s [...]

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ACM Europe Council and U.S. Public Policy Council Address Computing Issues in EU-US Free Trade Agreement

The ACM Europe Council and the ACM U.S. Public Policy Council presented a consensus position on policy issues relevant to the computing field to negotiators of a new EU-U.S. free trade agreement. ACM Europe Council Chair Fabrizio Gagliardi delivered the remarks for consideration at the sixth round of negotiations for the proposed Transatlantic Trade and [...]

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June 27 Congressional Briefing on the U.S. Supreme Court’s Aereo Decision

Tomorrow, the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee will hold a lunch briefing responsive to yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in American Broadcasting Cos. v. Aereo, Inc.. The event is open to the public. Advance registration is requested. You can submit questions in advance or during the event by tweeting your questions with the hashtag #ICACAereo. [...]

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Second Annual National Day of Civic Hacking May 31-June 1

Want to help make sense of the government’s Big Data? The 2nd National Day of Civic Hacking will take place this weekend, May 31 to June 1, in cities throughout the country. Anyone willing to contribute their time and skills can participate. A broad range of skills is needed. Launched last year by the White [...]

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USPTO Patent Public Advisory Committee Meeting on May 22, 2014

The USPTO Patent Public Advisory Committee will hold its next quarterly meeting on Thursday, May 22, 2014 from 9 am to 3 pm at the USPTO campus in Alexandria, Virginia. The meeting is open to the public. The meeting will also be available by WebEx. Agenda items include: Patent legislation in Congress International harmonization Patent [...]

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USTR Annual Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property Rights

Piracy of devices, storage technologies, and mobile technologies is growing worldwide according to the USTR’s annual Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property Rights. The USTR also reports an increase in software and devices to circumvent the protection systems of game consoles. The report, celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, examines patent, copyright, trademark, and trade [...]

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Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Negotiations in Washington, D.C. on May 19-23, 2014

The 5th round of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations will take place in the Washington, D.C. area from May 19-23, 2014. Stakeholders are invited to provide their viewpoints on the proposed U.S.-EU trade agreement and to hear from the Chief Negotiators on Wednesday, May 21. The negotiating teams will discuss a broad range of [...]

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Internet Policy Task Force Multistakeholder Forum on DMCA Notice and Takedown on May 8, 2014

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force will hold the second meeting of the Multistakeholder Forum on DMCA Notice and Takedown on May 8, 2014 in Berkeley, California. A webcast will be available. The meeting will focus on the operational aspects of online copyright infringement notification, including the benefits of harmonizing notice procedures [...]

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USACM Supports Creation of a New Public Interest Trade Advisory Committee

USACM today strongly supported the creation of a new Public Interest Trade Advisory Committee in its comments submitted to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). The Public Interest Trade Advisory Committee would serve as a new mechanism for stakeholder input on trade policy issues. USACM encourages the Advisory Committee, once established, to [...]

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Presidential Innovation Fellowship for USPTO Patent Quality Initiative

The Presidential Innovation Fellows program invites applications from individuals interested in helping the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) improve patent quality through better prior art identification and evaluation. Fellows will collaborate with innovators in government for 6-13 months. Applications will be accepted through April 7, 2014. The USPTO also will host a Software Partnership [...]

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USPTO Software Partnership Roundtable on Crowdsourcing Prior Art for Software Patents on April 10, 2014

The USPTO will hold a Software Partnership Roundtable on April 10 to discuss crowdsourcing and third-party preissuance submissions to identify prior art for software patents. The roundtable and its webcast will be open to the public, but advance registration is required by April 4. Individuals interested in presenting at the roundtable need to request to [...]

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USTR Invites Public Comments on New Public Interest Trade Advisory Committee

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) is accepting public comments on the creation of a new Public Interest Trade Advisory Committee, as well as nominations for membership on the committee. The deadline for public comments and nominations is March 25, 2014. The Public Interest Trade Advisory Committee will provide trade policy advice and [...]

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Internet Policy Task Force Multistakeholder Forum on DMCA Notice and Takedown

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force will hold a multistakeholder forum to discuss the DMCA notice and takedown system on March 20, 2014 at the USPTO main campus in Alexandria, Virginia. Subsequent public forums will take place every 6 weeks, alternating between the USPTO main campus and Silicon Valley. Advance registration is [...]

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U.S. Copyright Office Invites Public Comments on Right of “Making Available” in the Digital Age

The U.S. Copyright Office invites public comments on the rights of “making available” and “communication to the public,” particularly in the digital age. The deadline for comments is April 4, 2014. A public roundtable will be held in Washington, D.C. on May 5, 2014. Questions from the Federal Register announcement: 1. Existing Exclusive Rights Under [...]

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USPTO Public Forum on the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will hold a public forum on Tuesday, January 14, 2014, from 9 am to noon ET to discuss proposed changes to the agency’s practices to implement the Patent Law Treaties Implementation Act of 2012. Advance registration is required. A live webcast will be available. The new changes will [...]

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USPTO Invites Public Comments on Prior Art Resources for Software Patents

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) invites public comments on prior art resources for software patents as a follow-up to last month’s Software Partnership Meeting. The deadline for comments is March 14, 2014. The USPTO specifically would like comments on the following questions: What specific databases, websites, tools and other resources do you find [...]

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FTC Seeks Public Comments on Proposed Patent Assertion Entity Study

The Federal Trade Commission has extended the deadline for public comments on its proposed study of patent assertion entities (PAEs) until Monday, December 16, 2013. The study would seek information from roughly 25 companies whose business model relies primarily on buying and selling patents, and asserting patents through licensing and enforcement. The information is intended [...]

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Internet Policy Task Force Seeks Public Comments on “Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy” Report

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force invites public comments on its report, “Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy.” The 122-page report provides an analysis of copyright policy since 1995, recommends possible regulatory and legislative actions, and identifies specific policy issues for further discussion and public input. The U.S. Patent [...]

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USPTO Software Partnership Meeting on Prior Art Searching Techniques and Tools on December 5, 2013

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will hold the next Software Partnership meeting on December 5, 2013, from 1-4:30 pm ET at its headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. The focus of the meeting will be on “ways to improve the USPTO’s prior art searching techniques and tools.” Members of the public are invited to attend. [...]

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USPTO Software Partnership Meeting on October 17 at U.C. Berkeley School of Law

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will hold a Software Partnership Meeting tomorrow, October 17, 2013, from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm Pacific Time, at the U.C. Berkeley School of Law. The meeting will provide a forum for the software and high-tech communities to hear about governmental activities to improve patent policies and examinations [...]

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2nd Anniversary Forum of the America Invents Act on September 16

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will host the America Invents Act (AIA) Second Anniversary Forum on Monday, September 16, 2013, from 1-5 pm ET at the USPTO headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. A live webcast will be available. USPTO patent experts and administrative patent judges will discuss recent updates, trends in filings, how to [...]

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USPTO Software Partnership Meeting on October 17

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will hold a Software Partnership Meeting on October 17, 2013, at the U.C. Berkeley School of Law in Berkeley, California to provide a forum for the software and high-tech communities to hear about governmental activities to improve software-related patent policies and examinations and to have a discussion on [...]

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USPTO Patent Public Advisory Committee Meeting – August 15, 2013

The USPTO Patent Public Advisory Committee will hold its quarterly meeting on Thursday, August 15, 2013, from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm at the USPTO campus in Alexandria, Virginia. The meeting is open to the public. The meeting will also be available by WebEx. Agenda items include: America Invents Act Training Update Legislative Update Patent [...]

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USACM Statement to the House Ways and Means Committee on Intellectual Property Provisions in Trade Agreements

The ACM U.S. Public Policy Council today submitted a statement to the House Ways and Means Committee as part of the record for the hearing on “President Obama’s Trade Policy Agenda with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.” The hearing touched upon major trade negotiations underway, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Transatlantic Trade and Investment [...]

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Internet Policy Task Force Releases New Green Paper on Copyright Policy

The U.S. Department of Commerce Internet Policy Task Force today released a green paper titled “Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy.” The 122-page report provides an analysis of copyright policy since 1995, recommends possible regulatory and legislative actions, and identifies specific policy issues for further discussion and public input. The USPTO and [...]

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Witness List for Thursday’s Hearing on “Innovation in America: The Role of Technology”

House Hearing on “Innovation in America: The Role of Technology” House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet Thursday, August 1, 2013, 9:30 a.m. ET Rayburn House Office Building – Room 2141 A live webcast will be available. Witnesses: Danae Ringelmann Founder & Chief Customer Officer, Indiegogo Jim Fruchterman President and CEO, [...]

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The Week Ahead: Congress to Hold Hearings on Copyright and Patents

Four hearings on Capitol Hill this week will focus on intellectual property issues related to cellphone unlocking, standard essential patents, copyright, and cross-border intellectual property rights under a new trade agreement. Tuesday, July 30 Senate Hearing on “Standard Essential Patent Disputes and Antitrust Law” Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights [...]

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Congress to Consider Copyright This Week

Two U.S. House of Representatives committees will consider copyright issues at three hearings this week.   Markup of H.R. 1123: The Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act House Judiciary Committee Wednesday, July 24, 2013, 10 a.m. ET Rayburn House Office Building – Room 2141 The full Committee will consider and markup H.R. 1123, the [...]

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House Committee on Ways and Means Invites Public Submissions on President Obama’s Trade Policy Agenda

The House Committee on Ways and Means is accepting public statements for the record for Thursday’s hearing on President Obama’s trade policy agenda. The deadline for public submissions is Thursday, August 1. Thursday, July 18 House Hearing on “President Obama’s Trade Policy Agenda with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman” House Committee on Ways and Means [...]

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Highlights from Clayton Lewis on “The Future of Inclusive Design”

At the FCC today, Computer Science Professor Clayton Lewis asserted a new paradigm for accessibility is emerging and that this paradigm may require changes to public policies related to accessibility, such as Section 508, and intellectual property laws. Professor Lewis, a member of the ACM U.S. Public Policy Council, kicked off today’s FCC’s Accessibility and [...]

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US Rejoins World’s Top 5 Countries for Innovation

The United States is one of the five most innovative countries in the world, according to the Global Innovation Index 2013, a hefty 392-page report published by Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). After being off the top 5 list since 2009, the United States saw “strong increases in software spending [...]

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USPTO Invites Public Comments on Reducing Online IP Infringement

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) invites public input on the effectiveness of voluntary initiatives encouraged by the Obama Administration to reduce online intellectual property infringement. The deadline for public comments is Monday, July 22, 2013. The USPTO invites input from all interested parties on the processes, data metrics, and methodologies that could be [...]

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Tomorrow’s House Hearing on the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act

Tomorrow morning, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing to consider whether to repeal, reauthorize, or revise the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA). The Committee previously held a hearing on possible reauthorization in February. The law allows satellite TV providers to retransmit broadcast signals. It also establishes compulsory copyright licensing. [...]

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Consumer Advocates and Industry Endorse Cellphone Unlocking Bill at House Judiciary Committee Hearing

A legislative proposal to allow consumers to unlock their cellphones garnered support from consumer advocates, wireless industry executives, and a coalition of copyright owners at yesterday’s House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing. Michael Altschul, Senior VP and General Counsel at CTIA, stated that H.R. 1123, the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, represents a “reasonable balance [...]

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White House Task Force on High-Tech Patent Issues: Legislative Priorities and Executive Actions

The White House today released a report on the impact of patent trolls on innovation and announced five executive actions the USPTO and the U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator will take to address perceived problems with computer and software-related patents. The White House also called upon Congress to pass seven legislative reforms. Among the executive [...]

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Highlights from Congressional Briefing on Patent Litigation Reform

The Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee yesterday held a panel discussion on “If Patent Litigation Is Strangling High Tech Innovation, When Will Congress Act?” The panelists debated whether Congress should be addressing the perceived problems of abusive patent litigation and explored why the various proposed legislative solutions in Congress should matter to you. As part [...]

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USACM Statement on House Ways and Means Subcommittee Hearing on U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Negotiations

The ACM U.S. Public Policy Council today submitted the following statement to the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade for the hearing on the U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations.   The ACM U.S. Public Policy Council encourages the negotiators to consider the following three principles when negotiating provisions relevant to intellectual [...]

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USACM Comments on Proposed US-EU Trade Agreement

The ACM U.S. Public Policy Council submitted its public comment to the U.S. Trade Representative outlining three important intellectual property principles for the U.S. government to consider in the upcoming Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade negotiations with the European Union. The United States and the EU share the largest economic relationship in the [...]

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USPTO Patent Public Advisory Committee Meeting – May 16, 2013

The USPTO Patent Public Advisory Committee will hold its quarterly meeting on Thursday, May 16, 2013 from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm at the USPTO campus in Alexandria, Virginia. The meeting is open to the public. The meeting will also be available by WebEx. Below are a few of the agenda topics in bold, with [...]

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Senate Hearing on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Opportunities and Challenges Senate Finance Committee Full Committee Hearing April 24, 10 a.m. Dirksen Senate Office Building – Room 215 Live webcast will be available. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed multilateral regional trade agreement currently being negotiated by 11 countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, [...]

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Cyber Week Recap

Plenty of techies, carrying an array of digital devices and looking for power outlets, swarmed Capitol Hill last week for the so-called “cyber week” in the U.S. House of Representatives. To give you some idea of the number of tech lobbyists on scene, Wednesday’s huddle began with the announcement that one major tech company alone [...]

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USACM Comments on Ways to Improve Quality of Software-Related Patents

The ACM U.S. Public Policy Council submitted comments to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office yesterday in response to its request for recommendations on how the USPTO and the software community might “enhance the quality of software-related patents.” “This is a wonderful opportunity for the computing community to help the USPTO further understand topics that [...]

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Reforming the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act this Congress?

During last Wednesday’s hearing on “Investigating and Prosecuting 21st Century Cyber Threats,” the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations explored whether Congress should change what constitutes a cybercrime under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Overall, lawmakers expressed concern about potentially weakening the CFAA’s criminal provisions but recognized that the [...]

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House Hearings on Litigation Abuses

Two Congressional hearings relevant to patent reforms, which were canceled last week due to “snowquester,” are scheduled for this week. House Hearing on “Examination of Litigation Abuses” Wednesday March 13, 2013, 10 am ET Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice House Judiciary Committee Webcast: http://judiciary.house.gov Witnesses: Elizabeth Milito, National Federation of Independent Business Theodore [...]

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Congress to Consider Patent Litigation Reforms This Week

Two events on Capitol Hill this week will focus on potential patent litigation reforms. Both will be available by live webcast. Congressional Briefing on “Patent Trolls and Their Impact on the Economy” Tuesday, March 5, 2013, 11:10 am – 12:10 pm ET Sponsored by: The Internet Association Webcast: http://ustream.tv/channel/internetassociation Moderator: Ryan Grim, The Huffington Post [...]

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Congressional Briefing on Software Patent Reforms

Leading high-tech executives spoke this week on the best ways to promote innovation and improve the quality of software patents at an industry-sponsored Congressional briefing. The briefing was organized by the Business Software Alliance and hosted by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Former USPTO Commissioner of Patents Bob Stoll moderated the discussion with panelists from [...]

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White House Releases Strategy to Tackle Trade Secret Theft

A new White House strategy paper released on Wednesday outlines a five-pronged approach for protecting trade secrets of U.S. companies against a growing threat of theft and misappropriation. The strategy calls for (1) increased diplomatic measures to support sustained and coordinated international efforts, (2) the adoption and sharing of best practices by private industry, (3) [...]

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ACM Council Endorses New Publishing Policy

ACM released this statement today on changes to its publishing policy. Considering discussions around copyright policy and open access, we thought our readers would be interested in the publishing models ACM is adopting. ACM’s resolve to offer more free access pathways to its respected publications archive will enter a new realm in the coming months [...]

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Google and the Federal Trade Commission Reach Agreements

On January 3rd, the Federal Trade Commission completed its antitrust review of Google. After 19 months of investigation, the Commission announced that Google will make changes to its search and other business practices in order to allay concerns that the company is engaged in anti-competitive behavior. Some critics consider the FTC actions soft and the [...]

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USACM Statement on SOPA and PROTECT IP

This week, as opposing views on the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 (S. 968, the PROTECT IP Act, or PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA – H.R. 3261), come increasingly increasingly into focus—Wikipedia and other opposing organizations stage a blackout, the Motion Picture [...]

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House Judiciary Committee Approves Patent Reform Bill; Full House May Consider it Soon

Patent reform is one of many issues that has been stalled in the halls of Congress over the last several years. However, this particular effort may get somewhere soon. H.R. 1249, the America Invents Act, was approved by the House Judiciary Committee and reported to the full House for consideration and a vote. The White [...]

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Google Books Settlement Remains Unsettled

The ongoing saga of the Google Books case will continue, according to a recent opinion from the judge overseeing the negotiated settlement. Google Books prompted a 2005 suit for copyright infringement because the service offered snippets of copyrighted material for viewing free-of-charge. The parties in the class action suit have been wrestling over a settlement [...]

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Senate Passes Patent Reform Bill

On March 8 the Senate passed a bill intended to reform the patent system. S. 23, the Patent Reform Act of 2011, would take steps to harmonize the U.S. patent system with those in the rest of the world. The most notable change amongst them is to make the U.S. system based on the first [...]

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USACM Expresses Concern About IP Piracy Enforcement Bill

The Senate Judiciary Committee recently introduced the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act to fight piracy of intellectual property. That is an appropriate goal for Congress to pursue, but the means by which it would happen in the proposed legislation raised concerns amongst several commercial, library and public interest groups. As currently written, the bill [...]

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Bono Still Hasn’t Found What He’s Looking For

I don’t get to blog much about technology policy issues anymore, but every once in a while something juicy comes along that is worth spending a few minutes responding to. In Sunday’s New York Times Bono (U2′s lead singer) wrote a piece advocating 10 ideas for the next decade. Among them was a call for [...]

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Google Books Narrows Its Scope in Proposed Amended Settlement

The Google Books project, where the company scans books, indexes them, and makes either snippets, selections, or the whole work available online, has a long legal history. The nature of the project raises concerns over copyright, not only the legality of making snippets available for search on the web. It presents a way for public [...]

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Google Settles Key Copyright Case

This morning Google announced the settlement of a lawsuit brought against them by the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers over their Book Search technology. Google launched this product several years ago, which indexes books that Google scans from partnering university libraries. Book Search allowed full access to out-of-copyright material and snippets of [...]

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Copyright Legislation Targets Counterfeiting and Infringement

In a sign that Congress isn’t focused exclusively on rescue plans, both houses recently passed the PRO-IP Act, legislation intended to fight copyright infringement and counterfeiting. The bill was championed by content providers, with some objections from non-profit and library groups, who would likely be caught up in the implementation of the law. Their opposition [...]

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USACM Cautions Against Filtering

Today USACM released a letter (full text below) to Senate and House of Representatives education leaders cautioning against legislation that would promote or require universities to use filters to deal with copyright infringement on their networks. Our position is that filtering technologies are ineffective and costly in the long run because they can be foiled [...]

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Intellectual Property Bill Moves in Congress

Late last week there was movement on intellectual property legislation, HR 4279. The bill was introduced last December and was recently approved by a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee to move to the full committee. The full text of the bill and other information is available through THOMAS. The bill focuses on enforcement of [...]

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’08 Tech. Policy Outlook: Filtering Reality

This year action on large or overarching changes to copyright policy is a long-shot. Nonetheless, Congress may address two copyright issues related to technology policy — increased penalties related to copyright infringement and technology-based filtering of protected content. With filtering legislation already moving through Congress, this post takes a closer look at this issue.

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MPAA’s Data Oops: How Will Congress React?

This morning the Associated Press reported that a high-profile study the Motion Picture Association of America issued in 2005 is significantly flawed. Specifically, the study said that 44 percent of the industry’s domestic losses came from students’ illegal downloading at universities. Today MPAA says that due to “human error” that figure is more like 15 [...]

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Copyright Office Grants Malware Research Exemption to DMCA

We are playing a bit of catch up after the Thanksgiving holiday, so this story is not new news but we wanted to get it on the blog anyway. Last week (the afternoon before Thanksgiving Day) the Library of Congress released its final recommendations for exemptions to the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright [...]

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Meet the New Boss: Outlook for Technology Policy in the Next Congress

Update 11/16/06: One of the problems of doing a laundry-list type post like this is that you miss some issues, and some nuance when trying to summarize complex policy issues. Notably missing from this list are issues such as patent reform and reviving the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). We don’t follow patent reform very [...]

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Fall Outlook: Congressional Tech. Policy Agenda, Part I

Congress ended their summer recess this week with just three short weeks left before heading home again to campaign for the November elections. On the technology policy front, things will likely be busy as several initiatives will wind their way through Congress, but we don’t expect many, if any, on the President’s desk before October. [...]

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USACM Warns Against Technology Mandates

Last year, a Federal Court struck down the Federal Communication Commission’s attempt to mandate a copy protection regime for digital television signals, called the “Broadcast Flag.” In the decision’s wake, the battle moved from the courts to Congress with several different proposals to enact the FCC’s flag proposal into law. At the same time, momentum [...]

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House Hearing on Audio and Video Flags

Yesterday the Telecommunications and the Internet subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing – “The Audio and Video Flags: Can Content Protection and Technological Innovation Coexist?” There were two panels of witnesses: Panel One Mr. Mitch Bainwol, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Recording Industry Association of America Mr. Andrew W. Levin, [...]

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Flagging the Senate Telecommunications Bill

Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK), Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee has unveiled his proposal for reforming the Telecommunications Act of 1996. (He plans to take the bill up in committee on Thursday of this week.) The bill tackles a broad range of issues including universal service, video franchising, wireless networks, digital television and more. This [...]

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Conference Highlights DMCA Divisions

Update 5/1/06: Ed Felten posted a response on his blog to the claim by a DMCA proponent (below) that the ligitation he faced was a “happy ending” because he was able to present his paper. Original Post 4/27/06: This post was supposed to cover two different stories on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), but [...]

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Key Lawmaker Floats DMCA Expansion

This post is related to another I posted today about a conference on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). I intended to cover both in one post, but there was too much ground to cover so I broke it into two. Congressman Lamar Alexander (R-TX), Chairman of the powerful Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property [...]

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USACM Adds a Balanced Voice in the Copyright Wars

Let me apologize for not posting much lately. I can’t think of a busier time for ACM, USACM, and tech. policy happenings generally, than over the past couple of weeks. So first let me catch up on some of the major happenings. As I reported, ACM released its report on globalization of the IT software [...]

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Sony BMG settling “rootkit” cases

Last week the Wall Street Journal [subsc. req'd] reported that Sony BMG has reached tentative settlements in a number of class-action law suits brought against the company as a result of the recent “rootkit” fiasco (described in our November newsletter). According to the Journal article, the settlements provide that … consumers would be able to [...]

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Tech Issues Flood The Hill This Week

It’s November and Congress is supposed to be long gone, but finalizing this year’s budget remains a key sticking point. While trying to strike a deal, they are looking into a host of other things. There is a bit too much going on for us to analyze right now, so we thought we would post [...]

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The Grokster Decision: Senators Tell Tech. Industry To Do More To Curb Infringement

Update: The Committee has posted the video archive of the hearing (RealPlayer required) — skip ahead approx. 17 minutes to get to the start of the hearing. Original post (7/28/2005): The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee held a hearing today on implications of the Supreme Court’s MGM vs. Grokster decision. The witnesses were (their [...]

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The Grokster Decision: Lawyers Tussle Over Active Inducement’s Meaning

Earlier this week, the Congressional Internet Caucus held a good panel discussion about the implications of the MGM v. Grokster decision. (Here is the video — real, windows.) While the debate wades quite deep into the legal weeds at times, it is well worth a review. I’ve summarized a couple of the key points below. [...]

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Grokster Ruling: Supremes Preserve Betamax Standard, Turn Toward “Active Inducement”

Update: Press Release from USACM is below. Original Post 6/27/05: At 10:30 this morning things looked bleak for the technology industry as headlines raced across the wire “Grokster Loses in Unanimous Decision.” Now that the dust has settled a bit, the Supreme Court’s decision actually looks quite balanced. (Justice Souter wrote the opinion of the [...]

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The Supremes Rule Against Grokster

Update: We have a much more in-depth analysis and press release posted here. This from the SCOTUS blog on the Grokster case (which we have covered in the past): “Grokster, StreamCast Lose The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that developers of software violate federal copyright law when they provide computer users with the means to share [...]

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Court rejects broadcast flag

Infoworld has the following article on a recent legal setback for the entertainment industry: Court tosses out FCC’s Broadcast Flag In an opinion that is bound to stir fierce debate over television broadcast piracy protections, the U.S. Court of Appeals struck down the Federal Communications Commission’s “broadcast flag” regulation meant to set out anti-piracy guidelines [...]

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Patent Reform Takes Center Stage

We haven’t covered patent reform much in this blog, but it is an issue that Congress and the Administration are reviewing. As we previously reported, Congress is likely to look toward patent reform legislation while it waits for the Supreme Court to decide MGM v. Grokster. Yesterday’s Washington Post had an article that gives a [...]

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NYT editorial: When David Steals Goliath’s Music

“The battle over online music piracy is usually presented as David versus Goliath: the poor student in his dorm hunted down by a music conglomerate. It is easy, in that matchup, to side with the student. But when the Supreme Court takes up the issue this week, we hope it considers another party to the [...]

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Grokster and StreamCast face the music

“The entertainment industry is taking its battle against illegal downloading to America’s Supreme Court. But attacking the technology behind file-sharing could stifle innovation without tackling the industry’s long-term problems [...] THE music business should have stuck by Thomas Edison’s technology if it wanted to avoid the threat of piracy. His wax cylinders could record a [...]

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Is Intellectual Property Really The Same As Real Property?

Originally Posted: (3/17/05) — Understanding the fundamentals underlying a debate often provides useful insight into policymakers’ thinking about an issue. Over the past two days, two different events highlighted a fundamental part of the MGM vs. Grokster debate. On Tuesday, the conservative Heritage Foundation held an event titled “Government’s Role In Protecting Constitutional Rights in [...]

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Congress Organizes (Finally), Penalties On Phishing And Pharming Sought

The Ides of March have come and gone, and apparently considering themselves safe, Senators have finally (and formally) organized the Senate Judiciary Committee. As we previously reported, Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT) will chair a newly created Senate Intellectual Property Subcommittee, which gives IP issues their own forum in an otherwise busy committee. Public Knowledge President [...]

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USACM joins legal scholars to protect innovation

USACM signed onto a Supreme Court amicus brief with sixty law professors in support of Grokster in the case of MGM vs. Grokster. MGM studios sued Grokster arguing that Grokster should be held liable for users downloading copyrighted material using their peer-to-peer software. This argument, if accepted, would overturn the landmark “Sony decision,” which created [...]

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Plan for patenting software stalls in Europe’s parliament

“In a rare move, the European Parliament demanded Thursday that a controversial proposal for a law on software patents be scrapped and that the debate begin anew. The proposed law is intended to harmonize the patent rules of the 25 countries in the European Union. Current laws do not permit software patents, but some have [...]

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Sign of the times

Showing just how serious the music industry takes the current copyright debate: “David Israelite, former attorney general John D. Ashcroft’s deputy chief of staff — he ran the Justice Department’s Intellectual Property Task Force — is starting today as the CEO and president of the National Music Publishers’ Association. NMPA, which is moving its headquarters [...]

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Getting real about the Grokster case

“Over the next few months, the Supreme Court and–likely–Congress will resume a debate over rules that could determine whether consumers will continue to enjoy the benefits of many of the gadgets CNET covers. The debate is specifically about what kind of legal liability–if any–technology manufacturers, financiers, Internet service providers, journalists and others should have if [...]

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As Piracy Battle Nears Supreme Court, the Messages Grow Manic

“Garret the Ferret is one hip copyright crusader. The cartoon character urges young cybercitizens toward ethical downloading and – in baggy jeans and a gold “G” medallion – reminds them that copying and sharing software is uncool. He is also a byproduct of the long-roiling public relations battle between copyright owners, who say they are [...]

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U.S. Asks High Court to Curb File Swapping

“The government’s top lawyer has asked the Supreme Court to overturn the ruling that allowed the makers of online song- and movie-swapping software to stay in business. The legal brief, filed late yesterday by Acting Solicitor General Paul D. Clement, supports the entertainment industry’s bid to shut down song-swapping networks such as Kazaa and Grokster [...]

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