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.
Price Discrimination for Copyrighted Works Post-Kirtsaeng
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
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.
The Supreme Court Is About to Shape the Future of Innovation
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.
A Fair and Competitive Royalty System for Music Services
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.