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Category Archives: Intellectual Property

EFF Publishes New Whitepaper on the Broken Penalty System

EFF – “Today, the House Judiciary Committee [held] a hearing on “remedies” in copyright law—that is, the penalties, injunctions, and other means of challenging and penalizing alleged infringement. This is hugely important: fixing copyright’s remedy provisions (like excessive, unpredictable monetary penalties and government seizures of domain names) is key to ensuring that copyright does its job—helping to encourage creativity—without unduly interfering with free speech and innovation. To help the Judiciary Committee, and to explain why fixing this part of copyright law is so important, EFF is releasing a white paper today. Collateral Damages explains how copyright’s system of “statutory damages” chills free speech and harms innovation. Statutory damages are automatic penalties of $750 to $150,000 per infringed work that a judge or jury can award to copyright holders without the copyright holders having to present any proof of their actual harm. This system leads to excessive penalties, like $222,000 against a home Internet user for sharing 24 copyrighted songs. It’s also wildly unpredictable, with vastly different amounts being awarded by different juries for the same conduct, making lawsuits a gamble.”

Collection Directions: The Evolution of Library Collections and Collecting

“Written by Lorcan Dempsey, Constance Malpas, and Brian Lavoie, “Collection Directions: The Evolution of Library Collections and Collecting” takes a broad view of the evolution of collecting behaviors in a network environment and suggests some future directions based on various simple models. A preprint of the article is available online. In this article, the authors look at the changing dynamicsContinue Reading

The World in 2025 – 10 Predictions of Innovation

“This paper is a compilation of 10 innovation predictions for the world in 2025, based on research done by Thomson Reuters analysts using the company’s patent and scientific literature solutions. In some cases, the analysts found a growing body of work that gave additional credence to the prediction. In others, the topic was still emerging.Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – Afghanistan, Bulk Fuel Pricing, E-Health Records, Littoral Combat Ship, Software Licenses

AFGHANISTAN: Kabul Embassy Construction Costs Have Increased and Schedules Have Been Extended, GAO-14-661R: Published: Jul 8, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 8, 2014. BULK FUEL PRICING: DOD Needs to Reevaluate Its Approach to Better Manage the Effect of Market Fluctuations, GAO-14-595: Published: Jul 8, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 8, 2014. ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS: Fiscal Year 2013 Expenditure Plan Lacks Key Information Needed toContinue Reading

Houston, We Have A Public Domain Problem – Commentary

Parker Higgins is an activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation: “I received a bogus copyright takedown notice for using public domain audio on SoundCloud yesterday. The sound in question—the famous “Houston, we have a problem” snippet of the Apollo 13 mission—is incontrovertibly available to all, for any use, without copyright restrictions. The fact that it’sContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Aviation Safety, Export-Import Bank, Medicare Fraud, Traffic Safety

AVIATION SAFETY: Additional Oversight Planning by FAA Could Enhance Safety Risk Management, GAO-14-516: Published: Jun 25, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 25, 2014. EXPORT-IMPORT BANK: Status of GAO Recommendations on Risk Management, Exposure Forecasting, and Workload Issues, GAO-14-708T: Published: Jun 25, 2014. Publicly Released: Jun 25, 2014. INFORMATION SECURITY: Additional Oversight Needed to Improve Programs at Small Agencies, GAO-14-344: Published: Jun 25, 2014. Publicly Released:Continue Reading

Launch of openFDA Beta Research Project

“OpenFDA offers easy access to FDA public data and highlight projects using these data in both the public and private sector to further regulatory or scientific missions, educate the public, and save lives. OpenFDA is specifically designed to make it easier for developers, researchers, and the public to access and use the many large, important, healthContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Federal Software Licenses, Foster Children, Freshwater

FEDERAL SOFTWARE LICENSES: Better Management Needed to Achieve Significant Savings Government-Wide, GAO-14-413: Published: May 22, 2014. Publicly Released: May 22, 2014: “The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the vast majority of agencies that GAO reviewed do not have adequate policies for managing software licenses. While OMB has a policy on a broader information technology (IT) managementContinue Reading

Metropolitan Museum Initiative Provides Free Access to 400,000 Digital Images

“Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced today that more than 400,000 high-resolution digital images of public domain works in the Museum’s world-renowned collection may be downloaded directly from the Museum’s website for non-commercial use—including in scholarly publications in any media—without permission from the Museum and without a fee.Continue Reading

IBM Research Discovers New Class of Industrial Polymers

News release: “Scientists from IBM Research have successfully discovered a new class of polymer materials that can potentially transform manufacturing and fabrication in the fields of transportation, aerospace, and microelectronics. Through the unique approach of combining high performance computing with synthetic polymer chemistry, these new materials are the first to demonstrate resistance to cracking, strengthContinue Reading

Restatement of Place

Kuykendall, Mae, Restatement of Place (May 2, 2014). Brooklyn Law Review, Vol. 79, 2014; MSU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 12-09. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2432212 “Images and intuitions of place are ubiquitous in human thought. Dominion over place is one of the first anchors of the conception of law, providing a rationale for sovereign control overContinue Reading

The USPTO Trademark Assignment Dataset: Descriptions, Lessons, and Insights

Graham, Stuart J. H. and Marco, Alan C. and Myers, Amanda F., The USPTO Trademark Assignment Dataset: Descriptions, Lessons, and Insights (April 1, 2014). USPTO Working Paper No. 2014-2. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2430962 “Attention to the asset value of intellectual property (IP) has traditionally concentrated on high-value patent sales and licenses. This narrow focus neglects non-patentContinue Reading