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OpenMarket: Intellectual Property

  • Agenda for the 116th Congress: Tech and Telecom

    January 28, 2019
    As technology and telecommunications evolve, new challenges inevitably arise for policy makers. New mandates or prohibitions should be avoided in all but the most exceptional circumstances. Ill-conceived rules could stifle the high-tech economy, saddling innovative firms with arbitrary regulations or draconian liability regimes.
  • AI in the UK: Lords’ Report Makes Startups Less Competitive

    April 17, 2018

    The British House of Lords recently published a report on artificial intelligence, which includes policy recommendations that would hamper the development of AI domestically and antagonize foreign innovators. Parliament would do better to focus on removing the barriers currently in place, rather than developing new ones.

  • Increasing Public Awareness Bolsters Potential for Blockchain Applications

    January 22, 2018

    Blockchain is a software architecture that seems very likely to unleash profound global forces if it crosses over into the mainstream.

  • Mr. Robot and the Future of Money

    September 23, 2016

    Last week, the cult USA channel TV show Mr. Robot showed once again why it is required viewing for anyone interested in technology. In a conversation between E Corp CEO Phillip Price and a top government official named Jack (a thinly-veiled Jack Lew?), he talked about his plans to get official government backing for his virtual currency, eCoin:

    Jack (James Lloyd Reynolds) : “…it’s unconstitutional, you can’t make your own currency.  That is the Federal Government’s job!  We simply cannot let you make big loans in eCoin that you would not make in dollars.”

    Phillip Price (Michael Cristofer): “Jack look at me.  I am not the problem here.  The problem here is hard cash is fading rapidly. That’s just the way of the world right now.  And Bitcoin is spreading.  And if Bitcoin takes over, we are all in...

  • Why the Supreme Court's Aereo Decision Protects Creators without Endangering the Cloud

    June 26, 2014

    This post was coauthored by Geoffrey Manne and Ben Sperry of the International Center for Law and Economics. It originally appeared at Truth on the Market.

    Yesterday, the Supreme Court released its much-awaited ...

  • Senate Leaders Kill Patent Reform, Once again Thwarting Democracy to Protect Special Interests

    May 27, 2014
    Hundreds of moderate and conservative bills have passed the House of Representatives, often overwhelmingly, only to die in the Senate without even being voted on there. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) doesn't want these bills to pass, because they contain provisions opposed by left-leaning special interest groups, like the trial lawyers. Letting them come to a vote would enable many of these bills to pass, given popular support for them. Reid just did it again with patent reform, which passed the House, only to die in the Senate. Thanks to Reid, the trial lawyers and "patent trolls won in Congress," laments a tech policy expert at Ars Technica. Without...
  • The Premises of Net Neutrality

    May 19, 2014

    In the electric power industry, if you run an extension cord across the street to serve another, you go to jail. The local utility has a protected monopoly. We’ve put most of that "public utility" vision behind us in communications. Wired and wireless and satellite options abound for Internet service; we'll likely see blimps and communications drones, and who knows what else.

    Yet special interests still want the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to regulate the content flows and grid infrastructure, the prices and services of the Internet via something called net neutrality. They actually are quite open about wanting government regulated monopoly power.

    The Internet as a utility, like the power company....

  • Is the FTC Already Capable of Regulating Patent Demand Letters?

    November 15, 2013
    The answer is no, except under special circumstances. The question itself arises from comments by Julie P. Samuels of the Electronic Frontier Foundation at last week’s panel held by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation over demand letters from patent assertion entities (PAEs), commonly known as patent trolls. Samuels proposed new legislation to expand the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Section 5 authority, which allows the FTC to regulate “unfair or deceptive acts” by businesses...
  • Wikileaks' Latest -- Draft IP Chapter in Major Trade Agreement

    November 13, 2013
    Wikileaks has made another big splash yesterday -- not about spying, but about a multinational trade agreement currently being negotiated. Wikileaks published a draft chapter on intellectual property that is part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership  Agreement (TPP), now being negotiated with 12 countries -- Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand, and Brunei Darussalam. The 95-page chapter, as a negotiating document, includes proposed provisions and language on a broad range of intellectual property issues, including copyrights, trademarks, patents, pharmaceuticals, and the Internet. The chapter also includes enforcement mechanisms for violations of the agreement. Individual countries’ initials next to the provisions or words in brackets show...
  • We Must Take a More Active Role in Challenging the FCC

    September 19, 2013
    On September 9, 2013 I entered the E. Barrett Prettyman Court house, which houses the federal Court of Appeals for the District of Colombia Circuit. It was 8:30am and in one and a half hours, oral arguments in Verizon v. FCC were slated to begin. I assumed that arriving an hour before the doors would open would be time enough to get a seat for the case. However, I encountered a line of over a hundred people already waiting to enter the courtroom, and by the time I entered the court room, space was limited to standing room only. As oral arguments proceeded, the panel asked a litany of questions about the question...


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