Intellectual Property

ITIF Presents: Behind the Cyberlocker Door

U.S. triadic patent filings (patents filed jointly with the USPTO, the EPO, and the JPO) have declined by 13 percent since 1999

A serious decline in U.S. triadic patents is the latest warning sign of diminished American innovation in advanced industries. Overall, these patents, designed to give the holder strong intellectual property protections worldwide and to make patents internationally comparable, have declined by 3 percent from 1999 to 2011.

They Aim to Misbehave

September 3, 2014
| Blogs & Op-eds

After the Emmys, Netflix's Orange is the New Black became the second most pirated show online. Considering the low price of a Netflix subscription, it's ridiculous that a show designed with internet viewing in mind cannot beat the trend of online piracy.

ITIF Urges New Music Copyright Legislation

August 14, 2014
Alan McQuinn discusses recent comments ITIF filed with the Department of Justice urging action regarding music copyright law.

In an interview with Govloop, Alan McQuinn discussed recent comments ITIF filed with the Department of Justice urging action regarding music copyright law. 

ITIF Comments on the ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees

August 6, 2014
| Testimony and Filings

The purpose of copyright law is to establish a system that encourages the creation and dissemination of new works by providing authors with an incentive to create those works. There are many types of music services that provide consumers with access to the songs they love. From terrestrial radio to online subscription music services, each platform is governed by different rules that determine which types of royalties must be paid and how prices change from service to service. While policymakers created the U.S. music licensing system to provide fair compensation for artists, songwriters, and composers and to foster innovation, the current system often fails to do either. The Department of Justice (DOJ) should use the review of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music Inc.’s (BMI) consent decrees to begin the process of modernizing the way music copyrights are licensed in the digital age, kee ping an eye on innovation, competition, transparency, and fairness. The Performance Rights Organizations (PROs), such as ASCAP and BMI, are mired in a slow, complex system that fails to create competitive rates for compulsory licenses. While the onus to fix many of these issues ultimately resides in the halls of Congress, DOJ can sow the seed of change by pushing the PROs to adopt several directives as part of these consent decrees. DOJ requested comment on whether these consent decrees still serve an important purpose today. ITIF believes these consent decrees are still important to protect competition, because in their absence, the bulk music licensing world of the PROs is free to pursue monopolistic pricing. However, the DOJ can take steps to improve the consent decrees and to align them with technological breakthroughs and innovations of the digital age.

Promoting Innovation and Competition in Music Licensing

August 6, 2014
| Blogs & Op-eds

Today, ITIF filed comments with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to address the consent decrees of Performance Right Organizations (PROs) such as the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI). We argue DOJ should rework these decrees to modernize the way music copyrights are licensed in the digital age.

The Expendables: Pirates vs. Action Heroes

August 1, 2014
| Blogs & Op-eds

The Expendables III leaked online three weeks prior to its on-screen release. Pre-release privacy costs films millions, while reducing creativity, stalling innovation, and harming free speech. While our beloved action heroes were unable to protect their movie from copyright infringement this time, the Internet community can take steps to reduce future leaks.

Copyrights and Innovation: Understanding the Debate

July 1, 2014
| Presentations

Rob Atkinson spoke on a panel titled "Copyrights and innovation: Understanding the debate," hosted by the American Enterprise Institute’s Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy. The panel explored approaches to fundamental reforms in copyright law and policy and the importance of copyright in fostering innovation. 

China Acts on Digital Piracy

May 22, 2014
| Blogs & Op-eds

China’s recent effort to crack down on digital piracy is a step in the right direction 
despite their long road ahead. 
Although China isn't anywhere close to having the same level of copyright enforcement as in the United States or the same low levels of digital piracy, its recent efforts to crack down on digital piracy is a step in the right direction.