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National White Collar Crime Center Annual Report 2014

April 9, 2015 Comments off

National White Collar Crime Center Annual Report 2014 (PDF)
Source: National White Collar Crime Center

Throughout 2014, NW3C continually endeavored to empower law enforcement through innovative solutions, both by creating new tools and courses and by finding ways to improve existing processes. This report describes the impressive results obtained from consistent, dedicated effort.

In 2014, NW3C delivered classroom and web-based training to 20,593 law enforcement personnel. The number of people trained represents a 39% increase over 2013, due in large part to NW3C’s goal to make more courses accessible online.

By year’s end, NW3C had provided over 8,000 online training sessions covering a wide variety of subjects of interest to law enforcement, including intellectual property, identifying and seizing electronic evidence, social media, encryption, and legal concerns for digital evidence. Made possible in part by funding from BJA, these online training courses were offered free of charge to qualified law enforcement personnel throughout the nation, enabling them to conveniently obtain the skills needed to effectively serve their communities.

U.S. Commerce Department Announces Digital Millennium Copyright Act Multistakeholder Forum Results

April 8, 2015 Comments off

U.S. Commerce Department Announces Digital Millennium Copyright Act Multistakeholder Forum Results
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force, through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), today released a document developed by stakeholders containing a set of agreed upon practices aimed at improving the operation of the notice and takedown system under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

The document known as DMCA Notice-and-Takedown Processes: List of Good, Bad and Situational Practices was developed by the participants in the multistakeholder forum established as a result of the Commerce Department’s Green Paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy, released in 2013. The document identifies a number of “good”, “bad” and “situational” practices to improve the efficiency of the handling and processing of DMCA notices by both senders and recipients.

The goal of the multistakeholder forum was to identify best practices and/or produce voluntary agreements for improving the operation of the DMCA notice and takedown system without the need for legislative change.

A broad range of issues were considered and discussed intensively over the course of the process, with the participants ultimately reaching consensus on those practices addressed in the final document.

The DMCA Notice-and-Takedown Processes: List of Good, Bad and Situational Practices can be found on the USPTO’s website and on NTIA’s website.

CRS — Cyberwarfare and Cyberterrorism: In Brief (March 27, 2015)

April 6, 2015 Comments off

Cyberwarfare and Cyberterrorism: In Brief (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Recent incidents have highlighted the lack of consensus internationally on what defines a cyberattack, an act of war in cyberspace, or cyberterrorism. Cyberwar is typically conceptualized as state-on-state action equivalent to an armed attack or use of force in cyberspace that may trigger a military response with a proportional kinetic use of force. Cyberterrorism can be considered “the premeditated use of disruptive activities, or the threat thereof, against computers and/or networks, with the intention to cause harm or further social, ideological, religious, political or similar objectives, or to intimidate any person in furtherance of such objectives.” Cybercrime includes unauthorized network breaches and theft of intellectual property and other data; it can be financially motivated, and response is typically the jurisdiction of law enforcement agencies. Within each of these categories, different motivations as well as overlapping intent and methods of various actors can complicate response options.

Telecoms Firms Lead WIPO International Patent Filings

April 1, 2015 Comments off

Telecoms Firms Lead WIPO International Patent Filings
Source: World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

Three telecoms giants from China and the United States led international patent filing activity via WIPO in 2014, a fifth consecutive record-breaking year amid overall growth in the Organization’s global intellectual property services.

Together, China and the U.S. accounted for 87% of the total growth in filings under WIPO’s Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), which saw some 215,000 applications in 2014, a 4.5% increase over the previous year. In a significant development, the U.S. became the biggest filer of international trademark applications under WIPO’s Madrid System.

Defend Innovation: How to Fix Our Broken Patent System

March 20, 2015 Comments off

Defend Innovation: How to Fix Our Broken Patent System
Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
From press release:

The U.S. patent system is in crisis, but there are clear steps Congress and the White House can take to mitigate the impact of vague patents, patent trolls, and a weak legal process to protect competition and creativity, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) explains in a new report released today.

The “Defend Innovation” whitepaper is the culmination of two-and-a-half years worth of research, drawing from the stories, expertise, and ideas of more than 16,500 people who agree that the current patent system is broken. Split into two parts, the report covers both the challenges facing innovators under the current patent regime, as well as concrete measures that policymakers must take in the coming year.

Why Patent Reforms Are Needed: Intellectual Property Abuses Threaten Innovation and Cost Consumers Billions

March 3, 2015 Comments off

Why Patent Reforms Are Needed: Intellectual Property Abuses Threaten Innovation and Cost Consumers Billions (PDF)
Source: Heartland Institute

The past several years have given rise to an industry of patent stockpiling – often referred to as “aggregation” – and patent assertion, filing either frivolous or mostly baseless lawsuits. These efforts have the effect of thwarting legitimate innovation and discouraging competition, both of which are essential to a thriving economy.

The potential financial gains of patent stockpiling and assertion have driven some struggling, well-known consumer brands to shutter their manufacturing operations entirely and shift to full-time patent assertion. Internationally, governments are forming their own patent assertion entities (PAEs) and using them as weapons of protectionism and government subsidization of private enterprise.

The White House, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), courts, and a growing number of state legislatures have taken action against patent abuse. Congress has made a number of reform attempts that have fallen short. With new leadership entering the Senate, legislative action on Capitol Hill is expected.

Part 1 of this paper briefly reviews the economic impact of stockpiling and assertion, and Part 2 describes the several forms such patent abuse can take. Part 3 describes the America Invents Act of 2011 – the most significant overhaul of the patent system in decades – and discusses the likelihood of new action on patent reform in the 114th Congress. Part 4 summarizes policy recommendations.

Copyright and the Music Marketplace

February 25, 2015 Comments off

Copyright and the Music Marketplace (PDF)
Source: U.S. Copyright Office

Few would dispute that music is culturally essential and economically important to the world we live in, but the reality is that both music creators and the innovators that support them are increasingly doing business in legal quicksand. As this report makes clear, this state of affairs neither furthers the copyright law nor befits a nation as creative as the United States.

The Copyright Office has previously highlighted the outmoded rules for the licensing of musical works and sound recordings as an area in significant need of reform. Moreover, the Office has underscored the need for a comprehensive approach to copyright review and revision generally. This is especially true in the case of music licensing—the problems in the music marketplace need to be evaluated as a whole, rather than as isolated or individual concerns of particular stakeholders.

While this view is hardly a surprising one for the U.S. Copyright Office, it is no simple matter to get one’s arms around our complex system of music licensing, or to formulate potential avenues for change. For this reason, in early 2014, the Office undertook this study—with all industry participants invited to participate—to broadly consider the existing music marketplace.

This report is the result of that effort. In addition to identifying the shortcomings of the current methods of licensing music in the United States, it offers an in‐depth analysis of the law and industry practices, as well as a series of balanced recommendations to improve the music marketplace.

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