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    US Group Creates Social Platform To Lobby For And Create Internet Reforms

    Published on 19 March 2012 @ 3:26 pm

    By for Intellectual Property Watch

    Public Knowledge, a Washington, DC-based public interest group, has launched an initiative that capitalises on active participation from American online and social media users to lobby for the adoption of some reforms in internet governance aimed at protecting knowledge access.

    Called the Internet Blueprint, the online lobbying platform asks Americans to support reforms that the group endorses through the use of social media. The reforms are already contained in pending legislative bills, but new ideas are also encouraged.

    The link to the website is here.

    The group has posted six bills to the website so far. Each bill is accompanied by an explanation of the proposal and by a list of organisations and companies that have expressed support for the bill.

    “They make up a plan – a blueprint, if you will – that would strengthen and improve the way that the internet and law relate to one another,” the group said.

    The six bills are the following:

    The bill titled “Strengthening Fair Use Act” seeks to eliminate unfair damages for fair use. It calls for the elimination of forced repayment of copyright owners’ legal fees in fair use cases and the expansion of examples of uses in fair use.

    The “Shortening the Term of Copyright Act,” would shorten US copyright protection terms to the life of the author plus 50 years from present 70 years or a flat 50 years from present 95 years if the author is an employee.

    The “Reducing Copyright Abuse and Overreach Act” is designed to prevent copyright owners from claiming powers that the law does not grant them, according to the accompanying explanation of the proposal.

    The “Eliminating Barriers to Lawful Use Act” seeks to amend the anti-circumvention provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act by allowing the breaking of digital rights management (DRM) for lawful uses and enable the sale of tools for lawfully breaking DRM.

    The “Transparency and Accountability in IP Trade Negotiations Act “ calls for transparency in forging trade agreements on intellectual property and for any US Trade Representative (USTR) advisory group to include representatives from public interest groups.

    The “Strengthening and Improving DMCA Safe Harbors Act” seeks to improve the notice-and-take down process in which an intermediary is obliged to pull down content upon receipt of a complaint and asks for higher penalties for the harmed party.

    In addition, the group has started to solicit proposals from users and open these to voting by other users.

    “Once you have seen the bills, take a look at the ideas proposed by the community. If you would like to see those ideas turned into bills, create an account and vote for them,” the group said.

    The two most-voted proposals so far are extending first-sale rights to users and for network providers who offer services that violate the internet neutrality standard to be prohibited from labelling their services as “internet services.”

    Maricel Estavillo, an intern at Intellectual Property Watch, is an LL.M. in Intellectual Property and Competition Law Candidate at the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center (MIPLC). A former business journalist in Manila, Philippines, she is currently working on research on copyright in digital media for her Master’s thesis.

    Maricel Estavillo may be reached at maricelestavillo@gmail.com.

     

    Comments

    1. John E. Miller says:

      I think the bloom may wear off some of these online petition efforts when those on the receiving end realize just who is signing all these boilerplate petitions — as in a recent NYTimes article at http://nyti.ms/AoNK3T — and that some web-active persons these days maintain multiple (free) email addresses.


    Leave a Reply

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

    3. By submitting any contribution to IP Watch, you warrant that your contribution is your own original work and that you have the right to make it available to IP Watch for all purposes and you agree to indemnify IP Watch, its directors, employees and agents against all damages, legal fees and others expenses that may be incurred by IP Watch as a result of your breach of warranty or of these terms.

    4. You further agree not to publish any personal information about yourself or anyone else (for example telephone number or home address). If you add a comment to a blog, be aware that your email address will be apparent.

    5. IP Watch will not be liable for any loss including but not limited to the following (whether such losses are foreseen, known or otherwise): loss of data, loss of revenue or anticipated profit, loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of goodwill or injury to reputation, losses suffered by third parties, any indirect, consequential or exemplary damages.

    6. You understand and agree that the discussion forums are to be used only for non-commercial purposes. You may not solicit funds, promote commercial entities or otherwise engage in commercial activity in our discussion forums.

    7. You acknowledge and agree that you use and/or rely on any information obtained through the discussion forums at your own risk.

    8. For any content that you post, you hereby grant to IP Watch the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual, exclusive and fully sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part, world-wide and to incorporate it in other works, in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

    9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

     

     
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