Intellectual Property

Capitol Records v. ReDigi and Selling “Used” Digital Goods

April 4, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

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

March 25, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

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.

Price Discrimination for Copyrighted Works Post-Kirtsaeng

March 22, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

ITIF Senior Analyst Daniel Castro argues that the ruling in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley and Sons will make price discrimination difficult for non-digital goods, but that a mix of technology and legal protections will still allow copyright owners to offer regional differential pricing for digital goods.

ICES-GMU Workshop on Internationalization & Competitiveness

March 1, 2013
| Presentations

Last week Rob Atkinson presented on the many myths surrounding adoption of IP practices and trade strategies in developed and developing nations. His presentation at the ICES-GMU Workshop on Internationalization & Competitiveness made clear the need to uphold strong IP protection and get tough on international trade violations and mercantilist practices.

ARPA-E Summit: Get Smart about IP: Pros, Cons and Costs of Your Patent Strategy

February 25, 2013 - 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center
201 Waterfront Street
Potomac 5
National Harbor
MD
20745

ITIF president Rob Atkinson will be moderating the panel "Get Smart about IP: Pros, Cons and Costs of Your Patent Strategy" as part of the 2013 ARPA-E Summit.

Copyright Alert System is a Model for Voluntary Enforcement

WASHINGTON - (February 25, 2013) Digital piracy is a serious and widespread problem, which inhibits digital innovation and content development. The Copyright Alert System, which goes into effect this week, is a unique industry partnership that seeks to better inform the public on copyright use while reducing opportunities for theft. Read more »

The Supreme Court Is About to Shape the Future of Innovation

February 14, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

Bowman v. Monsanto is about patents, but particularly about cutting-edge technologies and products that are by nature easy to copy. Our patent law principles were intended to foster innovation by giving innovators the temporary right to prevent others from copying their inventions. With the rise of biotechnology and other advances, many patented technologies are based on biological or other materials that are by nature replicable, making illicit copying as tempting as it is easy. Do inventors retain the rights to temporary exclusivity for those easy-to-make copies as well? Every invention and new creative work will ultimately enter into the public domain, where it will become available to all, to use without restriction. Indeed, Monsanto’s last patent on the soybeans Bowman used will expire next year. But in the meantime innovators, whether they are in a scientific laboratory or a recording studio, must count on being able to recoup their risky investments without the threat of illegal copies.

Congress should uniformly apply the performance copyright for sound recordings to all broadcasts.

Congress should uniformly apply the performance copyright for sound recordings to all broadcasts. The current system discriminates against non-terrestrial music services by imposing a performance copyright on sound recordings for all non-terrestrial radio broadcasts. Congress should promote technology-neutral policies to ensure a fair and competitive market for all forms of radio. Not only does this exemption for terrestrial radio disadvantage competing technologies, it also results in unfair compensation to the copyright holders. Congress should take an all-or-nothing approach so that terrestrial radio, Internet radio, satellite radio and other digital music services can compete fairly. In other words, everybody should pay (ideally), or nobody should pay, but the discrepancy should be eliminated. Terrestrial radio should not be the only technology platform exempt from paying royalties for performances of sound recordings.

A Fair and Competitive Royalty System for Music Services

November 26, 2012
| Reports

ITIF argues the current rate-setting process for music royalties is broken and the Internet Radio Fairness Act is an incomplete solution. Bold reform would treat different technologies in a similar manner and would allow copyright owners to individually set rates for statutory licenses for their music, which would foster a more fair, competitive and innovative market for music, broadcasters, and Internet radio.