Aggressive foreign IP theft harms firms and workers in the United States and the overall U.S. economy. It is high-time that the federal government makes it readily apparent that IP theft will be punished systematically and significantly.
Should Government Regulate Illicit Uses of 3D Printing?
3D printing is an important technology that introduces new risks for public safety and intellectual property rights. Although 3D printing opens up new practical challenges, especially around enforcement, the policy questions for 3D printers are not substantively different than for other technologies. We should promote the technology while also ensuring that we have strong enforcement mechanisms and penalties, both domestically and internationally, to punish bad actors who abuse the technology by producing items that would be illegal regardless of how they were created. This will allow consumers to continue to reap the benefits of the technology while also protecting them from its potential harms.
Capitol Records v. ReDigi and Selling “Used” Digital Goods
Whether a system like ReDigi actually prevents music piracy is an open question. There is certainly a degree of consumer trust involved—and I’m sure it is possible to circumvent the system, at least on a limited basis. But the same is true when buying and selling CDs since it is impossible to be sure that the seller has not made an illegal copy. There are no obvious answers here, but if Congress does consider additional reforms to the Copyright Act, it is worth revisiting whether the technology has changed enough to warrant rethinking the First Sale doctrine for digital goods or if we are willing to accept that the First Sale doctrine is no longer feasible in a digital world.
India’s IP Growing Pains
India is a massive, powerful, culturally rich country. Its leading industries already compete very well in world markets and support a large middle class. Creating hundreds of millions more middle-class jobs will require India not to focus primarily on pursuing export-led economic growth but rather to focus on boosting domestic employment by increasing across-the-board productivity growth in the local-serving sectors that account for the vast majority of India’s economy. And this — the long-term interests of the Indian people — is the reason why the world’s largest democracy must continue to embrace open markets and strong intellectual property protections.