Intellectual Property

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.

Copyright Policy and Economic Doctrines

November 26, 2012
| Reports

For many years, the debate over copyright policy in advanced industrial nations was marked by a relative lack of partisan and ideological conflict. There was a general consensus that relatively strong copyright protection spurred the development of content and was both pro-innovation and pro-consumer. But in the last decade, this has changed markedly, as was so clear with the heated debate over PIPA/SOPA last year. However, copyright policy debates are largely grounded in economic doctrines. 

Despite what many economists claim, economics is not a science; and in this case intellectual approaches to the issue of information industries and copyright differ substantially. These approaches reflect differences in economic doctrine among economists, policymakers and others. Based on these doctrines, different people stress different goals and values and work under different assumptions about how information industries and copyright work.

This report postulates and describes four competing economic doctrines: conservative neoclassical, liberal neoclassical, neo-Keynesian, and innovation economics. It explains how each doctrine leads to different views of optimal copyright policy and how there is no scientifically optimal copyright policy; any policy position reflects different goals, assumptions and values.


In 2011, the music industry in China generated $82.8 million compared to $68.9 million in Thailand, a much smaller market.

Piracy in China remains rampant. In 2011, the music industry in China generated $82.8 million compared to $68.9 million in Thailand, a much smaller market. Even though China signed on to the TRIPS (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights) agreement, it helps its domestic firms and hurts foreign firms by turning a blind eye to intellectual property theft, even within its own government agencies. The U.S. International Trade Commission estimates that-in 2009 alone-Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property cost almost one million U.S. jobs and caused $48 billion in U.S. Read more »

America's Looming IP Drain

September 20, 2012
| Blogs & Op-eds

The United States is right to deepen and strengthen trade ties with countries in the dynamic Asia-Pacific region, but it's only worth doing so if a high-standard TPP is in place. If the U.S. fails to secure high IP standards in the new trade arrangements it enters into, the future banquet of consequences will present a bleak feast for its workers and economy.

Winning the Race 2012 Memos

September 5, 2012
| Reports

As the 2012 presidential campaign moves in the final stage, ITIF is presenting general principles and specific recommendation ideas across several policy areas we believe the next President and Congress should adopt to restore U.S. global competiveness and prosperity.

As chronicled in Innovation Economic: The Race for Global Advantage, the United States is losing its once formidable edge as an innovator. Many other nations are putting in place better tax, talent, technology and trade policies, and reaping the rewards in terms of faster growth, more jobs, and faster income growth. It’s not too late for the United States to regain its lead but it will need to act boldly and with resolve.

Week by week until the November election, the Winning the Race series will put forward creative yet pragmatic ideas in policies affecting taxes, trade, education, broadband, the digital economy, clean energy, science and technology and other areas. Taken as a whole, the series represents a new Innovation Consensus to replace the outdated Washington Consensus.

Memo One (September 3, 2012): Boosting Innovation, Competitiveness, and Productivity

Memo Two (September 10, 2012): Trade and Globalization

Memo Three (September 17, 2012): Corporate Tax

Memo Four (September 24, 2012): Digital Communication Networks

Memo Five (October 1, 2012): Traded Sector Industries

Memo Six (October 9, 2012): Digital Economy

Memo Seven (October 15, 2012): STEM Skills

Memo Eight (October 22, 2012): Clean Energy

Memo Nine (October 29, 2012): Science and Technology

Memo Ten (November 5, 2012): Overcoming the Barriers 

Complete List of Policy Recommendations: Top Policy Recommendations for the Obama Administration to Help the United States Win the Race for Global Advantage

"The biopharmaceutical sector supports more than 7.4 million jobs and contributes $426 billion annually to U.S. GDP."

The innovative biopharmaceutical sector provides an illustrative example of the importance of IP-intensive industries to the U.S. economy. The sector supports more than 7.4 million jobs and contributes $426 billion annually to U.S.GDP. Exports from the U.S. biopharmaceutical industry totaled $49.4 billion in 2010, making it the fourth-largest exporter among IP-intensive industries. It is important the United States remains competitive in this sector and that we fight illegal IP practices that could compromise this critical industry. Read more »

Ensuring the Trans-Pacific Partnership Becomes a Gold-Standard Trade Agreement

August 29, 2012
It's essential for negotiations toward the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement to conclude with a gold-standard trade agreement that sets the standard for future trade deals.

The fourteenth round of negotiations toward the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement begins in September 2012. The United States is doing the right thing in pursuing deeper economic and trade integration with key Asia-Pacific partners; but the effort will only be worth it if it concludes with a gold-standard trade agreement that sets the standard for future trade deals the United States enters into. Read more »

Syndicate content