Tech Industry Testifies Before Congress on Copyright Reform.

Businesses that rely on the fair use doctrine and open source technology recently testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet. The hearing featured testimony from representatives of crowdfunding website Indiegogo Inc., nonprofit software developer Beneficent Technology Inc., manufacturer SparkFun Electronics Inc., television monitoring company SnapStream Media Inc., and cloud-computing company Rackspace Inc.

The hearing was part of Congress’s broad review of U.S. copyright laws with the goal of updating the country’s copyright protection scheme. In prior testimony, content creators from the music and film industries argued for stronger protections to combat infringement in the digital age, particularly online piracy.

In the latest hearing, the tech companies called on Congress to protect their business models as part of any future copyright reform. They stressed that innovation and intellectual property protection do not always have to go hand in hand. “Innovation doesn’t just come from control” of the intellectual property, Van Lindberg, Rackspace’s vice president of intellectual property, told the committee.

Jim Fruchterman, president and chief executive officer of Beneficent Technology, stressed that his company relies on fair use. “Intellectual property laws, at their best, can encourage technological advances, reward creativity, and bring benefits to society,” Fruchterman said. “To make this possible, we must keep the balance in copyright. We need to defend fair use as a laboratory for creativity.”

Finally, Danae Ringelmann, Indiegogo co-founder and chief customer officer, suggested a new approach is needed in a digital world where everything can be easily copied and distributed. “Rather than try to fight it, because it’s like water rolling down a hill, try to embrace it,” Ringelmann said.

Source: Corporate Counsel

How Can I Help?

If you, or someone you know, need any help with Intellectual Property issues, from filing a patent, trademark or copyright, or just need advice regarding how best to protect your inventions, ideas or your brand, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Copyright Holders Call on Congress for Stronger Protections.

 In the first of several hearings regarding the future of the U.S. copyright system, content creators argued for stronger protections before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet. The hearing featured testimony from representatives of the Copyright Alliance, Getty Images Inc., the American Society of Media Photographers, Yep Roc Records and Redeye Distribution Inc., and 3-D moviemaker Stereo D LLC

Congress has recently embarked on a broad review of U.S. copyright laws with the goal of updating the country’s copyright protection scheme. With the exception of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, most other portions of the Copyright Act date back to 1976.

In their testimony before the committee, copyright holders argued that strong protections are needed to combat infringement in the digital age, particularly online piracy.

“Our goal in reviewing licensure laws should be to protect creativity and still allow for an active and intelligent marketplace for searching and licensing creative works,” John Lapham, senior vice president and general counsel of Getty Images, testified. “When we do so we can all benefit from content that moves, inspires, provokes, educates, and encourages.”

Representatives from the music and film industries expressed concerns about file sharing and other forms of piracy. “If an environment exists that does not provide adequate copyright protection and blockbuster films become unaffordable and unprofitable due to the threat of piracy, this new and thriving 3-D industry will be significantly hampered and severely impacted,” said William Sherak, Stereo D’s president. “The reason being that 3-D conversions are normally undertaken on major blockbuster films—the very films that are often the greatest targets of piracy.”

The committee will next meet with representatives of the tech community.

Source: Corporate Counsel

How Can I Help?

If you, or someone you know, need any help with Intellectual Property issues, from filing a patent, trademark or copyright, or just need advice regarding how best to protect your inventions, ideas or your brand, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

ISS Mission Extended.

NASA has received preliminary approval to keep the ISS operating until 2024.

International_Space_Station_after_undocking

The extension by the White House and Congress comes as a welcome relief to NASA who considers the space station a critical steppingstone to future space exploration.

The extension will cost NASA about $3 billion per year.  Given that the agencies budget is currently about $17 billion a year, the extension could force NASA to cut other efforts in the future.

Image credit K. Alverson of MemeBox.com

This, of course, will delay my planned take-over of the ISS and its conversion into a space hotel for guest that would travel back and forth on one of the commercial space ventures.  Oh well, the best laid plans need to bow to science.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Congress Announces Broad Review of U.S. Copyright Laws

House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) recently stated that his committee will undertake a broad review of U.S. copyright law and conduct a series of hearings on the matter “in the months ahead.”

As we previously discussed, the
Register of Copyrights, Maria A. Pallante, recently testified about the failure of copyright laws to keep up with technology. As Pallante noted, our most modern copyright law, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), is now fifteen years old. Most other portions of the Copyright Act date back to 1976.

Goodlatte agreed that existing copyright laws likely warrant modernization. He specifically cited concerns related to online piracy, orphan works and music licensing.

“It is my belief that a wide review of our nation’s copyright laws and related enforcement mechanisms is timely. I am announcing today that the House Judiciary Committee will hold a comprehensive series of hearings on U.S. copyright law in the months ahead,” Goodlatte said in prepared statements. “The goal of these hearings will be to determine whether the laws are still working in the digital age.”

So far, both consumer advocates and content owners have applauded the committee’s plans to tackle the challenge of updating the country’s copyright protection scheme. However, as was seen with previous efforts like the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the devil will be in the details.

How Can I Help?

If you, or someone you know, need any help with Intellectual Property issues, from filing a patent, trademark or copyright, or just need advice regarding how best to protect your inventions, ideas or your brand, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

How The Shutdown Affects Your IP.

Congresses failure to pass a budget before the October 1st deadline to fund the government has forced President Obama to initiate a partial government shutdown.  This affects some agencies immediately – national parks, including the Panda Cam at the National Zoo, have already closed.   Other agencies have gone into wind-down mode, and are making plans for a shutdown.

The USPTO will be able to remain open on funds that aren’t tied to government appropriations.  These funds, that have been reserved from fee collections, will allow the Office to continue to function as usual for as long as four weeks.  After four weeks, only a small staff would remain, and a shutdown plan would go into effect.  However, the Office will still receive new applications for patents and trademarks and maintain the IT infrastructure during any shutdown.

The Copyright Office has not offered any guidance as to its functioning during a shutdown, but it is likely that they will have to trim down to only essential personnel.  There is a notice posted on their home page stating that the Office is closed as of October 1st.  However, they continue to accept applications and monitor unauthorized online activity.

The Federal Courts have enough funds to remain open for ten business days.  After that time, the criminal courts would continue functioning as required in the interest of public safety, but the impact on civil cases in unclear.  The Department of Justice has published a contingency plan that provides for postponement of civil litigation.

How Can I Help?

While many government entities may be shutting down if you have a patent, copyright, trademark, or civil suit that you need to file before a critical date, don’t delay.  Please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman