Tag Archives: intellectual property

Leaked TISA safe harbor proposal: The right idea in the wrong place

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Jeremy Malcolm

"A new leak of the Electronic Commerce chapter of the Trade in Services Agreement from the November 2016 negotiating round has exposed a brand new U.S. government proposal on Internet intermediary safe harbors. The proposal, which the European Union is shown as opposing, is a rough analog to 47 U.S.C.§ 230, enacted as part of the Communications Decency Act (known simply as 'Section 230,' or sometimes as CDA 230). Section 230 is one of the most important provisions of U.S. law for online platforms that host users' speech. It provides a shield protecting online intermediaries against a range of laws that would otherwise that would otherwise hold them responsible for what their users say or do online." (01/31/17)


US regime, "intellectual property" monopolists, shut down automated threat system

Source: ZDNet

"The Center for Copyright Information (CCI) has announced that the United States Copyright Alert System (CAS), designed to combat online piracy, has been abandoned by its members after a four-year run. The CAS was run by the CCI and involved voluntary participation by five ISPs — AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Cablevision — which all agreed to send users a warning notice when requested by copyright owners represented by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) or the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)." (01/30/17)


Copyright shouldn't be a tool of censorship

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Daniel Nazer and Mitch Stoltz

"Copyright was meant to be an 'engine of free expression,' and with the right limits, it can be. But today's copyright law stifles free speech far too often. Its broad reach, its excessive and unpredictable penalties, and its flawed enforcement mechanisms make tempting tools for anyone seeking to make speech they don't like disappear from the Internet." [editor's note: I don't know what they're smoking over at EFF, but no, copyright was never meant to be an 'engine of free expression.' That may have been its marketing guff, but in both motive and effect it has always been a state-granted monopoly scheme that requires suppression of expression – TLK] (01/19/17)


Paul McCartney sues Sony over Beatles songs

Source: BBC [UK state media]

"It could become one of the most important legal battles in music — Sir Paul McCartney is suing Sony over control of The Beatles' back catalogue. The star has gone to a US court, seeking to regain the publishing rights to 267 of the band's classic songs. He's been trying to get them back since the 1980s, when Michael Jackson famously out-bid him for the rights. Jackson's debt-ridden estate sold the songs to Sony last year, along with others including New York, New York. Sir Paul's legal case, filed in a Manhattan court on Wednesday, is over what is known as copyright termination: the right of authors to reclaim ownership of their works from music publishers after a specific length of time has passed." (01/19/17)


Offensive trademarks are free speech

Source: Reason
by Jacob Sullum

"In 2004 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office agreed to register Heeb as the name of a magazine covering Jewish culture. Four years later, the PTO refused to register Heeb as the name of a clothing line conceived by the magazine's publishers, because the term is 'a highly disparaging reference to the Jewish people.' Such puzzling inconsistency is par for the course at the PTO, which since 1946 has been charged with blocking registration of trademarks that 'may disparage … persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute.' A case the Supreme Court will hear today could put an end to that vain, vague, and highly subjective enterprise, which sacrifices freedom of speech on the altar of political correctness." (01/18/17)


One weird trick to improve copyright: Fix EULAs

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Corynne McSherry and Kit Walsh

"Congress has been spinning its wheels on comprehensive copyright reform, but it could do a lot of good with one simple fix: forbid manufacturers from using EULAs to force consumers to waive their fair use rights. Traditionally, once a person has purchased a product, she has been free to use it however she sees fit without oversight or control from the copyright owner. Purchasers have also been free to use competitors’ add-on software and hardware that interoperate with the goods they buy, because innovators have been able to develop and distribute such technologies. That expectation is upended when it comes to products that come with embedded software, from tractors to refrigerators to toasters and children’s toys." (01/17/17)


There is no structure for production of ideas

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Jeffrey Tucker

"What is the relationship between ideas and social change? It's a gigantic question that has spawned a vast literature with nothing approaching a consensus. This is for a reason. Ideas are not like physical property. They do have to be rationed because they do not have the properties that make for economic scarcity. Their distribution does not follow a predictable, manageable, traceable production structure. What happens in some times, places, and issues does not seem to happen in others. It's for this reason that every contribution to this debate seems partially right and partially wrong." (01/12/17)


Trump promised to get tough on China's "massive" intellectual property [sic] theft [sic] …

Source: Heartland Institute
by Seton Motley

"[A]s Trump repeatedly and with clear brevity enunciated — on all sorts of trade, by all sorts of countries — 'America is getting ripped off.' Our one-sided 'free trade' allows nigh everything into our country completely free from any taxes, levies or stipulations — while we ignore the very many anti-free-trade impositions emplaced upon our stuff by other nations. One of the worst abusers of our idiocy — excuse me, our 'free trade' fetishism — is China …. China is stealing from us hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of IP per annum. And has been –– for years. And we've openly recognized it — for years." [editor's note: Copying isn't stealing, ideas aren't property, and Motley apparently hates American consumers, seeing as how he wants to jack up the prices they pay for stuff just to "punish" China – TLK] (01/12/17)


You have two Chows

Source: Libertarian Alliance
by Neil Lock

"You have two Wows. You've composed two songs. You think they're the best things since sliced bacon. You spent decades educating yourself to become a songwriter, and weeks creating these two songs. You release one, and it starts to sell well. Then someone takes a copy of what you sold them, and starts to sell your song, taking away most of your potential new customers. Have you lost any of your property? Some say no. You still have the original recording, after all. But you've lost the ability to sell your song, and so its utility to you. Through someone else's willed action, you've lost access to the market for one of your Wows. Is that OK? Some wowsers who call themselves libertarians say there's no such thing as intellectual property. I disagree. Indeed, to me the case for rights in intellectual property seems, perhaps, even a little stronger than for rights in physical property." (01/07/17)


Alibaba, in new tack, sues two vendors who it says sold fake [sic] watches

Source: Business Insider

"China's Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has sued two vendors it says sold fake Swarovski watches on its Taobao e-commerce platform, its first legal action against counterfeiters amid persistent allegations that fake goods are widely available on its sites. The news of the lawsuit comes less than two weeks after the United States returned Taobao to its blacklist of 'notorious marketplaces' known for the sale of counterfeit and intellectual property rights violating goods after four years off the list. Alibaba's lawsuit claims 1.4 million yuan ($201,671) in damages for contract and goodwill violations, the company said in a statement on Wednesday." [editor's note: Presumably the watches weren't actually fake, but rather real, working watches made without respect to "intellectual property" claims – TLK] (01/04/17)