Intellectual Property

State of the Net Conference: Rooting Out Online Copyright Pirates with COICA

January 18, 2011
| Presentations

ITIF Senior Analyst Daniel Castro will be participating in a COICA panel at the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee's 7th annual State of the Net Conference.  The panel, "Rooting Out Online Copyright Pirates with COICA: Will It Work?," will be a focused discussion on measures specifically dealing with online copyright infringement through legislation, most notably Senator Leahy's “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act.” Included will be an educational background on what law enforcement measures exist and how they are invoked legally and technically. These measures include seizing and removing domain names from the Internet's directories, instructing ISPs to block certain Web addresses from their users, prohibiting advertisers from displaying ads related to these offshore miscreants, and stopping credit card companies from processing their transactions. The discussion will also include the policy implications of such measures and the unintended consequences.

  • Daniel Castro, Sr. Analyst, The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation
  • Dan Kaminsky, Chief Scientist, Doxpara
  • Andrew Pincus, Partner, Mayer Brown
  • David Sohn, Sr. Policy Counsel, Center for Democracy & Technology

No, COICA Will Not Break the Internet

January 18, 2011
| Blogs & Op-eds

Since last year, the issue of online piracy has not abated and the opposition to Sen. Leahy's proposed legislation--the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA)--remains as heated as ever. Last fall, Daniel Castro wrote an article that summarized criticism of the bill and provided a rebuttal to those arguments. Since COICA draws heavily on ideas proposed by ITIF in the report, Steal These Policies: Strategies for Reducing Digital Piracy, Castro, in a two-part blog series, responds again to some of these concerns. In this post, he dives deeper into the two main objections to COICA: 1) that it will break the underlying technical foundations of the Internet, and 2) that it is a direct threat to and contradiction of the United States' commitment to global Internet freedom.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Innovation Policy

November 22, 2010 - 9:30am - 11:00am
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
1101 K Street NW

An increasing number of countries think achieving economic growth through technology exports is preferable to doing so by raising domestic productivity levels through innovation, particularly by leveraging information technology. Read more »

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Innovation Policy

November 22, 2010
Multimedia from the event "Innovation Mercantilism: The Bad, The Ugly, and The Self-Destructive."

An increasing number of countries think achieving economic growth through technology exports is preferable to doing so by raising domestic productivity levels through innovation, particularly by leveraging information technology. These nations, of which China is only the most prominent, are not so much focused on innovation as on technology mercantilism, specifically the manipulation of currency, markets, standards, IP rights, etc., to gain an unfair advantage favoring their technology exports in international trade. Read more »

See video

The PTO should expand its telecommuting programs to establish satellite offices around the country to allow patent examiners greater flexibility to live in lower-cost areas.

The PTO’s policy of requiring examiners to check into the office every two weeks requires patent examiners to live in the Washington, DC metro area. If PTO set up small satellite offices around the country examiners could choose to live in less expensive areas and increase their standard of living, while still getting access to an office.

In order to reduce the Patent and Trademark Office’s backlog of pending patents, Congress should end patent fee diversion and gives the PTO regulatory authority to raise fees to meet budgetary needs.

To reduce the delays that currently plague the U.S. patent system, the PTO should be able to retain all patent fees and the PTO should have fee-setting authority to increase fees to meet budgetary needs. The current statute requiring USPTO to wait for a congressionally amended fee schedule is inflexible and does not allow USPTO to respond to increased costs.

ITIF Comments on Copyright Policy, Creativity and Innovation in the Internet Economy

October 27, 2010
| Testimony and Filings

ITIF has filed these comments in response to the Notice of Inquiry from the Depart of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force seeking input on the challenges of protecting copyrighted works online and the relationship between copyrights and innovation in the Internet Economy. In these comments, ITIF argues that unchecked digital piracy is a threat to the economic welfare of the United States and that more can, and should, be done to limit unauthorized use of copyrighted content online.

Better Enforcement of Online Copyright Would Help, Not Harm, Consumers

October 14, 2010
| Reports

Legislation introduced in Congress last month (the “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act”) would take an aggressive and needed stand against online piracy, a growing problem that hurts American consumers and costs Americans jobs. Critics of the legislation argue that this bill would hurt free speech, encourage censorship in foreign countries, and cripple the technological infrastructure on which the Internet runs. Not only is this criticism unfounded, but more robust enforcement of digital copyrights would likely lead to a stronger Internet ecosystem and more innovative content and services for consumers.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Innovation Policy

October 7, 2010
| Reports

Download executive summary (English) (中文) (Español)

Innovation has become the central driver of economic growth and thus a key focal point of countries’ economic development strategies as they seek to gain competitive advantage. Accordingly, countries are increasingly designing national innovation strategies that seek to coordinate their policies toward skills, scientific research, information and communications technologies (ICTs), tax, trade, intellectual property, government procurement, standards, and regulations in an integrated approach designed to drive economic growth through innovation. While a focus on innovation is positive, countries can implement policies that are either,

  1. “Good,” benefiting the country and the world simultaneously;
  2. “Ugly,” benefiting the country at the expense of other nations;
  3. “Bad” failing to benefit either the country or the world; or
  4. “Self-destructive,” actually hurting the country while benefiting others.

Notwithstanding the fact that countries can readily implement a range of “Good” innovation policies, there remain far too “Ugly” and “Bad” (and occasionally “Self-destructive”) mercantilist strategies that are neither sustainable nor productive. Moreover, these Ugly, Bad, and Self-destructive mercantilist strategies suffer from three other failures. They: 1) undermine confidence in the international trading system, while reducing global GDP growth; 2) fail to recognize that neither the United States nor Europe—nor even both combined—can indefinitely absorb imports if Brazil, China, India, Japan, Russia, and others continue to promote exports while limiting imports as their primary path to prosperity; and 3) ignore that raising the productivity across-the-board of all sectors, traded and non-traded, is the surer path to lasting economic growth.

The world must move beyond perceiving the pursuit of economic growth through innovation among nations as a zero-sum game to embracing a perspective that views mutual global prosperity as the goal. The report also provides policymakers a concrete guide to promoting constructive innovation policies while avoiding the ruinous ones. Among those steps are the following:

  • Urging institutions such as the World Bank, the IMF, U.S. AID and others to steer nations away from export-led growth strategies and other mercantilist policies.
  • National leaders should promote win-win innovation policies and avoid zero-sum strategies.
  • The World Trade Organization should publish annually all new trade barriers (including non-tariff barriers), whether they are allowed by the rules or not.
  • Establish trade zones of nations that exclude nations that persist in pursuing mercantilist policies that violate the principle of free and fair trade.
  • Educate policy makers that export-led growth, often abetted by mercantilist practices, is unnecessary, counterproductive, and unsustainable.  It misses the far greater opportunity to achieve economic growth through raising domestic productivity levels.

Who's Who in Internet Politics: A Taxonomy of Information Technology Policy

October 5, 2010
| Reports

The debate about the future of the Internet is more politically charged than ever. Internet policy issues are becoming more central. All groups involved in Internet policy share a goal of a robust Internet ecosystem but have sometimes vastly different definitions of robust and different views on how to achieve that goal. In this report we identify nine distinct groups shaping Internet policy and how these groups view key Internet policy issues, including net neutrality, copyright, and privacy.



Tech Freedom: Who’s Who in Internet Politics: A Taxonomy of Information Technology Policy & Politics

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