Intellectual Property Attache Act

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"IPAA" redirects here. For surgery, see Ileo-anal pouch.
Intellectual Property Attache Act
Great Seal of the United States
Long title "To promote a level playing field for American innovators abroad and American job creation by improving the intellectual property attache program, and coordinating and aligning intellectual property policy with compelling economic interests of the United States and freedom."
Acronyms (colloquial) IPAA
Legislative history

The Intellectual Property Attache Act (IPAA) was unveiled by U.S. Representative Lamar Smith on July 9, 2012.[2] This act was a section of the previously unsuccessful Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) which did not pass its markup by the House Judiciary Committee.[3] It is speculated that Rep. Smith, the originator of SOPA itself, is attempting to bring elements of SOPA into regulation in smaller sections so as to receive less of a controversial response from the general public. Following two very controversial proposals that did not pass into law – the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) and SOPA – the IPAA has been quietly unveiled “with almost no public scrutiny.” [4] This means that the public has not been able to see into the process and were not given the opportunity to create as much of a worldwide digital outrage as that which was occasioned by IPAA's predecessors. The bill's aim is to increase the presence of privacy attaches around the world.[5] These privacy attaches play the role of 'diplomats' for the United States, encouraging other countries to further enforce intellectual privacy regulations and break down on those infringing these rules.[6] The attaches, currently linked to the US Patent and Trademark Office, would be set up with a new agency, increasing their visibility and presence within the US government.[7]

Implications[edit]

The IPAA has various implications across many sectors of business and international affairs. On the one hand, “the measure as proposed would move the current attache program housed with the USPTO to the full agency, complete with an assistant secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property.” [8] In essence, the privacy attaches mentioned above would gain access to more power, resources and an individual agency. This would not only increase the program's power, but would increase the number of agents playing the role of privacy 'diplomats'. Granted, this would create more jobs within the American government, but one has to wonder at what cost this would be. Secondly, an increase of privacy 'diplomats' will increase the United States' presence within other countries. It would allow for these representatives of the US to influence the policy decisions made by other national government on anti-privacy approaches. This could even be considered a form of neo-colonialism with US power at the forefront of this approach. The international implications would be severe, but at this moment are still unfathomable. The IPAA's purpose, supposedly, is to reduce the instances of piracy that take place around the world. It is meant to be defending information and privacy for their own individual sakes. However, various internet spokesmen have questioned this notion by suggesting that “this bill is nothing more than the government giving Hollywood traveling foot soldiers.” [9] What this means to say is that this bill seems to put the needs of massive Hollywood companies in the forefront in order to defend the rights of their songs, movies and other media, which are very often (if not always) subjected to piracy and unlawful distribution. The internet community has questioned how much of a financial impact this 'unlawful' distribution could possibly make for industries that make billions of dollars with each record, movie, etc. produced.[10] Hollywood industries are already conceived as having too much power, and this bill would only increase it as they would have a whole governmental body supporting them.

Online privacy bills[edit]

PIPA[edit]

The Protect IP Act (PIPA) was introduced in the Senate by Patrick Leahy on May 12, 2011.[11] The bill was proposed with the intent of giving the US government and copyright holders more tools to diminish access to websites dedicated to the sale of counterfeit products, especially those registered outside of the United States boarders.[12] After a massive uproar from the internet global community, it did not pass, and voting on the bill was indefinitely postponed.[13]

SOPA[edit]

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was introduced by Lamar Smith on the 26th of October, 2011 in the House of Representatives.[14] The bill would permit the U.S. Department of Justice and copyright holders to encroach court orders against websites outside of the U.S. that are accused of enabling copyright infringement.[15] This court order could include disallowing advertising networks and payment facilitators from transacting with websites found to break federal criminal intellectual-property laws, stopping search engines from providing links to such sites, and encouraging internet service providers to block access to these sites.[16] This bill did not pass, however. On January 15, 2012, decisions on the drafting of the bill were indefinitely postponed.[17]

Coverage[edit]

Even though this bill is a portion of what was included in the very controversial SOPA, this bill has received very limited coverage and response within the global internet community. This bill was introduced in the form of a 'backdoor law', which forces through a particular point of view before there is a chance to form a public consensus on the issue.[18] The bill was introduced overnight, without any sort of public coverage and has thus remained in the backdrop of governmental policy and outside the scope of various internet spokespeople that were rampant during the introduction of IPAA's predecessors. After the severe reaction that SOPA received, IPAA has surprisingly received little outcry and this may allow for it to pass more smoothly. However, if the general internet community picks up on it in the near future, there is a guarantee that it will do all that it can to shut down the bill's progress as it did for PIPA and SOPA.

Anti-Privacy laws[edit]

Throughout the world, countries are attempting to accommodate to 21st century technological issues of privacy, copyright, amongst others, and are thus producing their own laws to confront this issues as well.

Canada[edit]

On June 21, 2012, the House of Commons passed bill C-11, which is a sweeping copyright reform bill.[19] The bill includes elements such as new fair dealing provisions to cover educational uses, explicit copyright exceptions for 'user granted content' aimed at protecting non-commercial fan-art and remixes, a $5,000 cap on statutory damages for all non-commercial infringement, and a bunch of explicit exceptions for schools – such as the right to stage public performances.[20] This movement is an approach to accommodate 21st century issues that continue to encroach upon today's society.[21]

New Zealand[edit]

On September 11, 2011 New Zealand introduced a new controversial “Three strikes” rule to tackle online piracy in the country.[22] The law was designed to tackle “online file sharing that infringes copyright.” [23] According to the BBC, the law has reduced online copyright infringement as much as twice in the country since being introduced.[24] More than 2766 warning letters have sent out and a fines up to NZ$15000 ($11400 U.S) is allowed to be issued to an illegal downloader if caught three times.[25]

Denmark[edit]

Danish Minister of Culture Uffe Elbæk, announced on June 20, 2012 that Denmark had given up on the “Three strikes” idea of tackling online piracy in the country.[26] In an interview to the Danish press, the minister said that the government would put more effort into eight initiatives focusing at “strengthening the development of legal services and motivating users to go for legal solutions.” [27] The new effort by the government would focus on providing information about “the many good possibilities to legally access music, films and books.” [28] The effort will be put in to inform copyright infringers of the legal alternatives and other mediums of getting copyright materials. The new initiatives were widely praised within Denmark, but some critics were not completely pleased. According to the co-founder of Bitbureauet, these initiatives “cement the problematic DNS-blocking scheme already in place and allows DMCA-style notice-and-takedown.” [29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ALTHAM, GREGORY. "7/10/2012 Full Committee Markup". ALDERSON REPORTING COMPANY. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  2. ^ "Tech group execs rake in cash - Tablet war opens a new front: D.C. - Markey to unveil carrier replies on law enforcement requests - Smith, others unveil IP bill - It’s 'malware Monday'" Politico Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  3. ^ "SOPA online piracy bill markup postponed" The Washington Post Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  4. ^ "Lamar Smith Looking To Sneak Through SOPA In Bits & Pieces, Starting With Expanding Hollywood's Global Police Force" Techdirt Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  5. ^ "Lamar Smith Looking To Sneak Through SOPA In Bits & Pieces, Starting With Expanding Hollywood's Global Police Force" Techdirt Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  6. ^ "Lamar Smith Looking To Sneak Through SOPA In Bits & Pieces, Starting With Expanding Hollywood's Global Police Force" Techdirt Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  7. ^ "Lamar Smith Looking To Sneak Through SOPA In Bits & Pieces, Starting With Expanding Hollywood's Global Police Force" Techdirt Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  8. ^ "Lamar Smith Looking To Sneak Through SOPA In Bits & Pieces, Starting With Expanding Hollywood's Global Police Force" TechDirt Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  9. ^ "New Bill Would Create Intellectual Property Czar" IVN Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  10. ^ "SOPA IS NOT BACK — BUT IPAA COULD STILL BE A PROBLEM" Digital Trends Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  11. ^ GovTrack Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  12. ^ "Senate bill amounts to death penalty for Web sites" Cnet Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  13. ^ "After an Online Firestorm, Congress Shelves Antipiracy Bills" The New York Times Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  14. ^ "House introduces Internet piracy bill" The Washington Post Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  15. ^ "The US Stop Online Piracy Act: A Primer" PCWorld Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  16. ^ "The US Stop Online Piracy Act: A Primer" PCWorld Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  17. ^ "Bills to Stop Web Piracy Invite a Protracted Battle" The New York Times Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  18. ^ "Zombie SOPA? Congressman Introduces Pieces Of Defeated Bill, With Support From Former Opponent Issa" Tech Crunch Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  19. ^ "A Postgame On Canada's Copyright Reform" TechDirt Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  20. ^ "A Postgame On Canada's Copyright Reform" TechDirt Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  21. ^ "Zombie SOPA? Congressman Introduces Pieces Of Defeated Bill, With Support From Former Opponent Issa" Tech Crunch Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  22. ^ "Basics of the new law" 3StrikesNZ Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  23. ^ "Basics of the new law" 3StrikesNZ Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  24. ^ "Three strikes rule has 'halved piracy' in New Zealand" BBC Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  25. ^ "Three strikes rule has 'halved piracy' in New Zealand" BBC Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  26. ^ "Denmark Ditches Warning Letters, Launches Soft War On Piracy" TechDirt Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  27. ^ "Denmark Ditches Warning Letters, Launches Soft War On Piracy" TechDirt Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  28. ^ "Denmark Ditches Warning Letters, Launches Soft War On Piracy" TechDirt Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.
  29. ^ "Denmark Ditches Warning Letters, Launches Soft War On Piracy" TechDirt Retrieved Feb. 11 2013.