The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Intellectual Property

Reducing Government's Footprint on the Music Industry

On January 28, 2018, the music industry will gather at the Grammy Awards.  Country legends, pop artists, classical musicians, producers, and songwriters will be among those recognized for their innovation in music and sound.

Trade Negotiations Should Review Findings of Special 301 Report

During President Trump’s campaign and throughout his first 100 days in office, there was a great deal of discussion about tearing up or renegotiating various trade agreements, especially the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) among the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.  President Trump announced on April 27, 2017 that instead of withdrawing from NAFTA, as he often suggested during the campaign, he would instead renegotiate the agreement.  While the President may be focused on what he views as unfair trade practices and their impact on jobs, he must not forget about intellectual property (IP) rights.

Transparency Needed at the FCC

There is a problem with transparency at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) relating to the sharing of information with the public on critical regulatory matters under consideration.

Copyright Office Details Problems with FCC Set-Top Box Proposal

On August 3, 2016, the Register of Copyrights sent a letter to four members of Congress, detailing potential copyright violations that could occur if the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) proposed rulemaking on set-top boxes is implemented, requiring multi-channel video programming distributors (MVPDs) to provide access to content, video programming guides, and subscriber data to third parties.  The Copyright Office is concerned whether the FCC can meet its objective of promoting set-top box competition and

Artists and Composers Say Digital Millennium Copyright Act Isn’t Working

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 gave copyright owners the ability to remove infringing content from the Internet by sending a takedown notice to online providers.  As long as the providers promptly responded, they were assured of broad safe harbor protections from prosecution.  Unfortunately, these takedown notices have not functioned as intended, due to problems with illicit digital files

Time for a Time-Out on Set-Top Box Mandates

It is doubtful the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman thought there would be much concern about his proposed mandates on set-top box standards, which would allow third parties access to program guides and video content without needing to be licensed.  Obviously, he was wrong.

Digital Creativity on World IP Day

As the theme for World IP Day 2016 is “Digital Creativity: Culture Reimagined,” it is a good time to remind everyone who loves music, particularly those who access songs online, that the royalty structure in the United States is out of balance with today’s distribution methods.

Don Quixote Alive and Well at the FCC

Rather than tilting at windmills trying to solve problems that don’t exist, government agencies should proceed with great care before imposing technical mandates on an industry.  Unfortunately, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) appears to be taking a “shoot from the hip” approach to regulating, and currently has its sights set on abrogating intellectual property (IP) rights.

2016 IP Index Offers "Infinite Possibilities"

On February 10, 2016, the U.S Chamber of Commerce released its fourth annual IP index, Infinite Possibilities, which reviews and rates intellectual property (IP) rights and protections around the world.

Gadgets, Gizmos, Spectrum and IP

On January 6, the 2016 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kicks off in Las Vegas, Nevada. This annual event showcases a multitude of devices and inventions, demonstrating the ingenuity and entrepreneurship of inventors across a wide range of fields.


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