Intellectual Property Roundup

The Top 20 Countries for Software Piracy (Software Development Times)
A V.i. Labs report analyzed customer data from its CodeArmor Intelligence software usage-tracking platform to compile a list of the countries with the highest number of machines running unlicensed software.

Apple Removes ‘Counterfeit’ App From iTunes (ChinaDaily)
Apple has removed an application from its iTunes store after it was sued by Lufax, a financial assets management provider, which charges the app was counterfeit and therefore a risk for Lufaz and its customers.

Rightscorp Sued for Harassment and Abuse (TorrentFreak)
A class action lawsuit was filed in California, accusing Rightscorp of breaking several laws in their attempt to extract settlements from alleged pirates.

Aereo is Filing for Bankruptcy (The Washington Post)
Aereo announced it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and that the company would undergo a reorganization.

Leahy Pressures Visa, MasterCard to Ban Piracy Sites (The Hill)
Sen. Patrick Leahy is sending letters to executive at Visa and MasterCard asking them to block payments to sites that spread illegal movies, TV shows and other files on the Internet.


Keith Kupferschmid is General Counsel and SVP, Intellectual Property Policy & Enforcement at SIIA. Follow Keith on Twitter at @keithkup and sign up for the Intellectual Property Roundup weekly newsletter here.

Intellectual Property Roundup

Copyright Office Urged to Okay DVD Copying by Consumers (MediaPost)
In a filing with the U.S. Copyright Office, advocacy group Public Knowledge argued that people should be able to copy the DVDs they’ve purchased in order to watch them on tablets.

YouTube Copyright Policy Revised (Guardian Liberty Voice)
YouTube has amended a form used to resolve copyright disputes after the operators of a German web channel received death threats by alleged Islamic extremists, who were able to gain the personal information by filing a fake copyright claim.

Amazon.book and the New Top-Level Domain Names (Publishers Weekly)
Amazon’s purchase of the .book generic top-level domain has prompted speculation about how the e-tailer plans to use it. Amazon bought the TLD for a reported $10 million last week, allowing it to sell domain names with the .book suffix.

Rightscorp Nails 30,000 Users For Piracy in One Month, Still Loses Money (Ars Technica)
Copyright enforcement company Rightscorp told investors it has closed 130,000 cases against Internet pirates, but despite that, the company’s newest earnings report shows it’s losing more money than ever.

Oracle and SAP Settle Bitter Software Piracy Lawsuit (TechWeek)
For years Oracle and its German rival SAP remained locked in a bitter lawsuit over software piracy, but now both parties have reportedly settled the lawsuit, ending seven years of legal wrangling.

Leahy Introduces Same-Sex Copyright Inheritance Bill (Roll Call)
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy introduced a bill that would let spouses in same-sex marriages inherit each other’s copyrights regardless of whether or not the state where the copyright owner dies recognizes same-sex marriage.

Russia Amends Anti-Piracy Law (Broadband TV News)
The Russian Duma has passed an amended anti-piracy law that protects copyright in a number of fields, including literature, music and software, but not photographs.

Republicans Vow to Take on Patent Trolls in Next Session (The Daily Caller)
Speaking at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global IP Summit this week, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte claimed he is working with the incoming Senate leadership “to see patent legislation signed into law in the near future.”


Keith Kupferschmid is General Counsel and SVP, Intellectual Property Policy & Enforcement at SIIA. Follow Keith on Twitter at @keithkup and sign up for the Intellectual Property Roundup weekly newsletter here.

SIIA Applauds FCC’s Proposed E-Rate Funding Increase to Ensure Student Digital Learning Access

On the heels of a year-long effort to modernize the E-rate program, FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler yesterday proposed the first permanent increase in the program’s funding since its creation nearly two decades ago. If approved at the Federal Communications Commission’s December meeting, annual funding would increase by $1.5 billion (60%) from $2.4 billion to $3.9 billion.

Chairman Wheeler’s recommendation follows an extended advocacy effort by school and library leaders to meet the increased demand for high speed Internet connectivity necessary to meet the needs of today’s students. SIIA joined a coalition of more than 75 education, high-tech and other stakeholder organizations writing recently to request a permanent increase in funding to the E-rate program.

SIIA members know well the common inadequacy of student and teacher connectivity as they too often struggle to access online the digital instructional materials, research and learning opportunities, and classroom management tools so critical to their teaching and learning success. According to one recent infrastructure survey, only 41% of districts meet the FCC’s short term goal of 100Mbps/1000 students in all schools, and 27% have no schools with this access. Meanwhile, 68% of all school districts do not have a single school that could meet the FCC’s long-term connectivity goal of 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps).

SIIA looks forward to the FCC’s full support for increased E-rate funding in order to ensure all students have access to the modern resources and tools needed for their educational success and the nation’s economic competitiveness.


Mark SchneidermanMark Schneiderman is Senior Director of Education Policy at SIIA.

Connected Car Principles Part of Trend Toward Corporate Privacy Commitments

SIIA applauds the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers for adopting a set of privacy principles for vehicle technologies and services. These principles, released on Thursday November 13, are a responsible step toward protecting the information collected by connected cars, and they reflect an important movement of strong corporate commitments to data privacy.

Data has become essential for improving auto safety, reducing traffic congestion, increasing auto efficiency and powering other advanced services for 21st Century drivers. By bolstering consumer confidence, these principles will help make certain these advancements can continue.  They cover transparency, choice, respect for context, data minimization, de-identification, retention, data security, integrity, access and accountability.  In particular, they put limits on the use of geolocation information for marketing purposes and provide consumers with access to collected information.

These principles reflect widely accepted privacy standards advocated by the Federal Trade Commission and the Administration, and are also reflected in the U.S. sectorial privacy laws.

Led by SIIA, the education technology industry has followed a similar course of action.  In October, in conjunction with the Future of Privacy Forum, we announced a set of 12 privacy principles that commit educational service providers to protecting the privacy of student information.  This effort is vital for our country, because new information technologies are enabling personalized education, improving educational outcomes, allowing for more efficient school operations, making possible the development of better instructional materials and faster identification of students at risk of failing, and more.

In particular, the principles bolster the deeply entrenched social norm and legal requirement that student information should be used solely for educational purposes. The student privacy pledge also commits service providers to refrain from using student information for targeted advertising, to limit student profiles to educational uses and to protect information from unauthorized access.

Data collection and analysis is essential for any industry that intends to grow and flourish in the 21st century.  But to be successful, companies must have the trust and confidence of data subjects, customers, policy makers and the public.  Voluntary steps such as those taken by the automotive and education technology industries are vital if we are to hold onto and grow this trust.


Mark MacCarthy, Vice President, Public Policy at SIIA, directs SIIA’s public policy initiatives in the areas of intellectual property enforcement, information privacy, cybersecurity, cloud computing and the promotion of educational technology.

Intellectual Property Roundup

Germany’s top publisher bows to Google in news licensing row (Reuters)
Germany’s biggest news publisher Axel Springer has scrapped a move to block Google from running snippets of articles from its newspapers, saying that the experiment had caused traffic to its sites to plunge.

China Opens Intellectual Property Courts to Improve Image (Bloomberg News)
China will set up its first specialized court to handle intellectual property cases in Beijing within two weeks as it seeks to answer criticisms the country is lax in protecting such rights.

Bestwater – ECJ forces copyright owners to employ access restrictions(fieldfisher.com)
The ECJ ruled that unless the original publisher used technical access restrictions, embedded content would not reach “a new public.” The effect of this judgement is likely to lead to a more restrictive publishing practice, as copyright owners will seek to avoid free-riders taking advantage of the loop-hole the court seems to have legitimized.

Two men jailed over Dancing Jesus site music piracy (The BBC)
The website allowed members to post tens of thousands of illegal links to music which they had uploaded.

AFM: Avi Lerner Warns Piracy Could Cripple Indie Film Business in Five Years (The Hollywood Reporter)
Lerner, the CEO of Nu Image, believes rampant piracy drained the theatrical audience because Expendables 3 was available online for illegal downloading three weeks before it hit theaters.


Keith Kupferschmid is General Counsel and SVP, Intellectual Property Policy & Enforcement at SIIA. Follow Keith on Twitter at @keithkup and sign up for the Intellectual Property Roundup weekly newsletter here.

Restoring U.S.-EU Trust Through Extending U.S. Privacy Act Protections To EU Citizens

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) welcomed Attorney General Holder’s June 25, 2014 pledge of support for legislation to provide EU citizens with judicial redress in cases of wrongful disclosure of their personal data transferred to the United States for law enforcement purposes.  This week’s meetings in Washington, D.C. between newly appointed senior European Commission officials and Attorney General Holder is a good time to reiterate SIIA’s strong support for this legislation.

The question of extending privacy act protections to EU citizens comes up in the context of the U.S.-EU discussion on the EU-U.S. Data Protection and Privacy Agreement, the so-called umbrella agreement on law enforcement cooperation.  Americans already have the right to judicial redress in many EU member states.  Extending the Privacy Act to apply to European citizens would provide rough   reciprocity as Google, which also supports strongly this legislation, points out in a public policy blog post today.

Besides setting the stage for possible umbrella agreement modifications, amending the U.S. Privacy Act would affect the general atmosphere surrounding U.S.-EU data flows, including the discussions on the economically crucial U.S.-EU- Safe Harbor Framework.  A recent Brookings report has made clear just how vital those data flows are for both the United States and the European Union.  In 2012, the United States exported $387 billion in digitally deliverable services to the world.  The European Union exported $ 465 billion in digitally deliverable services to the world.

Continued open data flows are crucial to U.S. software companies, who are global leaders in their field and contribute substantially to our export strength. SIIA’s Software Industry Study showed that about 12 percent of U.S. software production is exported, totaling some $50 billion to $57 billion in 2012.  Moreover, exports of software and related services have grown by 9 percent to 10 percent per year since 2006, nearly 50 percent faster than all U.S. exports.

The United States and the European Union have an opportunity to influence global rules on data flows.  The United States should seize that chance.  A big part of making this a reality is surveillance reform.  Extending the Privacy Act’s protections to Europeans is an important piece of that effort.  The Administration should submit legislation to the Congress on this as soon as possible.  The Congress should then move rapidly to approve this vital piece of legislation.


Carl Schonander is Director of International Public Policy at SIIA.

Intellectual Property Roundup

China Opens Intellectual Property Courts to Improve Image (Bloomberg)
China will set up its first specialized court to handle intellectual property cases in Beijing within two weeks as it seeks to answer criticisms the country is lax in protecting such rights.

Bestwater – ECJ Forces Copyright Owners to Employ Access Restrictions(FieldFisher)
In a long-awaited decision, the ECJ confirmed its position towards “embedding” of copyright-protected content on a third-party website in the “Bestwater” case, ruling that unless the original publisher used technical access restrictions, embedded content would not reach “a new public.”

Google Takedown Requests Surge After New Anti-Piracy Measures (Torrent Freak)
The number of takedown notices sent by copyright holders has skyrocketed after Google implemented its new search downranking algorithm.

New EU Digital Chief Floats Tough Anti-Google Regulations (The Wall Street Journal)
Th incoming European Commissioner for the Digital Economy has already floated various anti-Google ideas, on of which is to reform existing copyright laws specifically targeting the tech company, in what amounts to an EU-wide “Google tax.”

Android Pirate Pleads Guilty to Criminal Copyright Infringement (Torrent Freak)
In a first-of-its-kind FBI operation carried out in 2012, several unauthorized Android marketplaces were seized and their operators arrested, accused of pirating close to $19 million in illicit apps. This week another member pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit copyright infringement.

Pirate Bay Co-Founder Sentenced to 42 Months in Denmark (Reuters)
Gottfrid Warg, co-founder of The Pirate Bay, was sentenced to three and a half years in prison, in what the prosecutor called Denmark’s biggest-ever hacking case.


Keith Kupferschmid is General Counsel and SVP, Intellectual Property Policy & Enforcement at SIIA. Follow Keith on Twitter at @keithkup and sign up for the Intellectual Property Roundup weekly newsletter here.

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