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The creative wealth of nations : how the performing arts can advance development and human progress

January 23, 2015 Comments off

The creative wealth of nations : how the performing arts can advance development and human progress (PDF)
Source: World Bank

Cultural activities are increasingly noted as drivers of meaningful development. But they have yet to gain a prominent place in the architecture of development strategy. The performing arts, discussed here, exhibit direct effects on social progress and economic growth through trade in music, movies, and temporary work permits for artists, for example. Indirect contributions may also include environmental stewardship, tourism, nation branding, social inclusion, cultural democracy, and shifting cultural behaviors. These direct and indirect contributions are not well documented. As such, how is the creative or cultural sector a crucial part of the wealth of nations, and how could the World Bank Group better leverage the performing arts in its development strategy? This discussion provides a broad snapshot, from arts education, to social inclusion, to international trade in services. Key constraints include: the paucity of data and the difficulty of measuring cultural activities, the challenge of intellectual property, and the unclear benefits of cultural tourism. Part I sets the stage. Part II then provides policy options to foster the performing arts as a promising engine for development. Suggestions include: 1. expanding direct involvement in artistic projects, 2. increa sing the use of performing arts to address social issues, 3. collecting data, 4. promoting intellectual property training programs, 5. supporting digital platforms in the developing world that advance indigenous music, and 6. funding studies on such areas as cultural tourism. Progress still needs to be made in the discussion of the diverse ways that the performing arts can contribute to meaningful development.

Digital piracy: an update

January 22, 2015 Comments off

Digital piracy: an update (PDF)
Source: Université catholique de Louvain (Center for Operations Research and Econometrics)

The objective of this note is to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of digital piracy. Although we put the emphasis on the economic analysis, we also briefly present the legal context and its recent evolution. As digital piracy consists in infringing intellectual property laws, it is important to start by understanding the rationale of such laws. That allows us to define more precisely what is meant by digital piracy. We can then move to the economic analysis of piracy. We start with the basic analysis, which explains why piracy is likely to decrease the profits of the producers of digital products; we also examine how the producers have reacted to digital piracy when it started to grow. We review next more recent contributions that point at possible channels through which piracy could improve the profitability of digital products. These channels have inspired new business models for the distribution of digital products, which we describe in the last part of the essay. Throughout the essay, we report the results of some of the most recent empirical studies, so as to quantify the impacts of digital piracy.

New From the GAO

November 20, 2014 Comments off

New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office

1. Individual Retirement Accounts: IRS Could Bolster Enforcement on Multimillion Dollar Accounts, but More Direction from Congress Is Needed. GAO-15-16, October 20.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-16
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/666594.pdf

2. Veteran’s Disability Benefits: Improvements Could Further Enhance Quality Assurance Efforts. GAO-15-50, November 19.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-50
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667026.pdf

3. Consumer Product Safety Oversight: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen Coordination and Increase Efficiencies and Effectiveness. GAO-15-52, November 19.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-52
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667040.pdf
Podcast – http://www.gao.gov/multimedia/podcasts/666875

4. Intellectual Property: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Could Better Manage Its Process to Enforce Exclusion Orders. GAO-15-78, November 19.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-78
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667073.pdf

5. Freedom of Information Act: DHS Should Take Steps to Improve Cost Reporting and Eliminate Duplicate Processing. GAO-15-82, November 19.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-82
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667053.pdf

6. Defense Contractors: Additional Actions Needed to Facilitate the Use of DOD’s Inventory of Contracted Services. GAO-15-88, November 19.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-15-88
Highlights – http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/667060.pdf

CRS — Protection of Trade Secrets: Overview of Current Law and Legislation (September 5, 2014)

September 19, 2014 Comments off

Protection of Trade Secrets: Overview of Current Law and Legislation (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

A trade secret is confidential, commercially valuable information that provides a company with a competitive advantage, such as customer lists, methods of production, marketing strategies, pricing information, and chemical formulae. (Well-known examples of trade secrets include the formula for Coca-Cola, the recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the algorithm used by Google’s search engine.) To succeed in the global marketplace, U.S. firms depend upon their trade secrets, which increasingly are becoming their most valuable intangible assets.

However, U.S. companies annually suffer billions of dollars in losses due to the theft of their trade secrets by employees, corporate competitors, and even foreign governments. Stealing trade secrets has increasingly involved the use of cyberspace, advanced computer technologies, and mobile communication devices, thus making the theft relatively anonymous and difficult to detect. The Chinese and Russian governments have been particularly active and persistent perpetrators of economic espionage with respect to U.S. trade secrets and proprietary information.

In contrast to other types of intellectual property (trademarks, patents, and copyrights) that are governed primarily by federal law, trade secret protection is primarily a matter of state law. Thus, trade secret owners have more limited legal recourse when their rights are violated.

Deloitte Review — Issue 15

September 11, 2014 Comments off

Deloitte Review — Issue 15
Source: Deloitte

Is the romance gone? An extensive new study suggests that Gen Y takes a more pragmatic view of car ownership. Deloitte Review issue 15 also explores analytics and predicting behavior; new players in the intellectual property arena; the economics of additive manufacturing, and the persistent problem of labor abuse in supply chains.

Rights in Data Handbook: Protecting and exploiting IP in data and databases internationally

September 4, 2014 Comments off

Rights in Data Handbook: Protecting and exploiting IP in data and databases internationally (PDF)
Source: DLA Piper

The value of data and databases to business is undeniable and continues to increase. As a result the laws which enable data to be protected and exploited are crucial to many industries, from horseracing to financial services. Nonetheless, while much has been written about the neighbouring area of data privacy/data protection, the issue of IP rights in data and databases has traditionally received almost no attention. This guide sets out an overview of the IP and related rights affecting data and databases in 12 key global jurisdictions.

Adapting the EU copyright rules to the digital transformation

August 25, 2014 Comments off

Adapting the EU copyright rules to the digital transformation
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The initiative to modernise the EU copyright framework was launched in May 2011 in the European Commission’s strategy on “A Single Market for Intellectual Property Rights” and pursuant to actions in the Commission’s Digital Agenda for Europe. In December 2012, the Commission then published a “Communication on Content in the Digital Single Market” in which it aims to complete the review in 2014, followed by legislative reform proposals, as appropriate. Although two new Directives in specific areas of copyright – on orphan works (2012) and on the collective management of copyright (2014) – have since been adopted, a White Paper is now expected, and should be accompanied by an ‘Impact Assessment’, which will in fact be a presentation of detailed policy orientations and options in advance of decisions on specific Commission initiatives (legislative and non-legislative). According to the CWP 2014, its Annexes, and the 2013 Roadmap, the review seeks to achieve a modern framework that fosters innovative practices, creativity, cultural diversity, new business models, guarantees effective recognition and remuneration of rights holders, and enhances legal offers for end users while tackling piracy more effectively.

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