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Intellectual Property Breakfast Club Examines IP Enforcement

WASHINGTON, May 16, 2011 – The Intellectual Property Breakfast Club last week featured a keynote address by Erik Barnett, Assistant Deputy Director at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and subsequent panel with industry experts, taking a closer look at administration recommendations to expand the scope of IP laws and increase certain penalties for infringement.

Barnett’s keynote focused on “Operation In Our Sites,” an ICE initiative that focuses on stopping Internet counterfeiting and piracy. The initiative seizes U.S.-based sites that provide illegal content via the web. Critics allege that the seizures deprive domain registrants of due process.

Intellectual Property Enforcement: Where Does the Law Need to be Updated?

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WASHINGTON, May 16, 2011 – The Intellectual Property Breakfast Club last week featured a keynote address by Erik Barnett, Assistant Deputy Director at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and subsequent panel with industry experts, taking a closer look at administration recommendations to expand the scope of IP laws and increase certain penalties for infringement.

Barnett’s keynote focused on “Operation In Our Sites,” an ICE initiative that focuses on stopping Internet counterfeiting and piracy.  The initiative seizes U.S.-based sites that provide illegal content via the web.  Critics allege that the seizures deprive domain registrants of due process.

Since June 30, 2010, according to Barnett, 120 sites have been seized by ICE, all of which were entirely commercial and profiting from trade in infringing goods.

Intellectual Property Enforcement: Where Does the Law Need to be Updated?

“These are sites… that are existing purely on ad revenue or subscription packages or sales or a combination of the three,” said Barnett. “Ultimately, they are purely violative.  We get a lot of questions about blogs, chat rooms, community forums – [we are] not interested; don’t have time.”

Barnett went on to note that Operation In Our Sites is intended to be one of several tools to prevent online infringement and that those from whom ICE seizes sites have several methods of recourse through the court system.

During the panel discussion, Jason Gull, a Senior Counsel, Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) of the United States Department of Justice, described some of the issues that occur with sites that stream content.

“There is not as a technical and factual matter, it is unclear whether we can show a violation of the distribution right or the reproduction right,” said Gull. “Part of this is a metaphysical argument about whether reproduction occurs in a buffer in a computer somewhere, but as a practical matter in court, it’s not clear that we can do that.”

Under copyright law, the content owner holds both the distribution and reproduction rights.  Individuals who reproduce or distribute copyrighted material without permission violate the rights of the content owner.

Chun Wright, an attorney who specializes in IP enforcement as well as Internet and technology law, described the difficulties associated with protecting IP.

“You’ll hear people in the enforcement world talk about it as a ‘whack-a-mole’ problem,” said Wright, “and it very much is, except the moles are on steroids and they’re mutating.”

M. Luisa Simpson, Executive Director of International Copyright Enforcement & Trade Policy at the Association of American Publishers, noted the changing face of infringement in the publishing world with the rise of new technology that is moving books and magazines increasingly online and onto portable devices.

“With the ubiquity of electronic reading devices that are now far smaller, lightweight, and easier to read, the scope of the piracy for our industry has grown,” said Simpson. “What we’re finding now is that there’re not just unauthorized digitized copies of printed books, but we’re finding the actual e-books, stripped of the encryption, can be downloaded onto these readers.”

David McClure, President and CEO of the US Internet Industry Association, cautioned against increasing penalties against enforcers rather than improving the means by which the current laws are enforced.

“I think is has to be recognized that the law enforcement agencies have to get a lot better than they are right now at the game,” said McClure.  “I don’t think any of the law enforcement agencies would disagree with this; they’re being badly outgunned.”

The panel further discussed issues of law enforcement’s effectiveness in prosecuting infringers, the rhetoric surrounding the debate on IP enforcement and, more generally, where to strike the balance between protecting content owners and protecting citizens from the overreach of government.

“When we’ve got valid legal process, we want to be able to obtain evidence,” said Gull, “and that’s critical not just in IP, but in all sorts of law enforcement issues.”

Jonathan began his career as a journalist before turning his focus to law and policy. He is an attorney licensed in Texas and the District of Columbia and has worked previously as a political reporter, in political campaign communications and on Capitol Hill. He holds a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Washington and a J.D. from Villanova Law School, where he focused his studies on Internet and intellectual property law and policy. He lives in Washington, D.C., where he roots for Seattle sports teams and plays guitar in his free time.

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Broadband Breakfast on January 19, 2022 — The Community Broadband Network Approach to Infrastructure Funding

Community broadband networks will play a crucial role in implementation of the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act.

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See Infrastructure Bill Brings New Focus on Decision Making at Community Level, Broadband Breakfast, January 24, 2022

Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place on Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. You can watch the January 19, 2022, event on this page. You can also PARTICIPATE in the current Broadband Breakfast Live Online event. REGISTER HERE.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022, 12 Noon ET — The Community Broadband Network Approach to Infrastructure Funding

Community broadband networks will play a crucial role in the implementation of the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act, particularly the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program, and the Digital Equity Act. This vital session of Broadband Breakfast Live Online will bring our friends from MuniNetworks.org, the Community Broadband Networks Initiative of the Institute for Local Self Reliance, to discuss the issues, trends and concerns they are following. What open questions remain about the IIJA rules? How do the Treasury Department’s rules on the State & Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program interact with the IIJA program? What concerns should community networks have about the next stages of federal funding in their states?

Panelists for this Broadband Breakfast Live Online session:

  • DeAnne Cuellar, Community Broadband Outreach Team Lead, ILSR’s Community Broadband Network Initiative
  • Sean Gonsalves, Senior Reporter, Editor and Researcher, ILSR’s Community Broadband Network Initiative
  • Ry Marcattilio-McCracken, Senior Researcher, ILSR’s Community Broadband Network Initiative
  • Christopher Mitchell, Director, ILSR’s Community Broadband Network Initiative
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Please note: Our event on “State Broadband Officials and the Broadband Infrastructure Surge” has been moved to February 16, 2022.

Panelist resources:

DeAnne Cuellar is a tech equity advocate and communications strategist from San Antonio, Texas. She served as Mayor Ron Nirenberg’s digital inclusion appointee to the City of San Antonio’s Innovation & Technology Committee, resulting in several policy and funding priorities to close the digital divide. As a social impact entrepreneur, she co-founded several cross-sector nonprofit initiatives, advocating for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion for historically underrepresented communities.

Sean Gonsalves is a longtime former reporter, columnist, and news editor with the Cape Cod Times. He is also a former nationally syndicated columnist in 22 newspapers, including the Oakland Tribune, Kansas City Star and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. His work has also appeared in the Boston Globe, USA Today, the Washington Post and the International Herald-Tribune. Sean joined the Institute for Local Self Reliance staff in October 2020 as a senior reporter, editor and researcher for ILSR’s Community Broadband Network Initiative.

Ry Marcattilio-McCracken is Senior Researcher with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Community Broadband Networks Initiative. He is interested in the democratizing power of technology, systems engineering, and the history of science, technology, and medicine. Previously, Ry worked as an Adjunct Professor of American History in Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Minnesota. Ry holds a Ph.D. in American History from Oklahoma State University.

Christopher Mitchell is the Director of the Community Broadband Networks Initiative with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in Minneapolis. Mitchell, a leading national expert on community networks, Internet access, and local broadband policies, built MuniNetworks.org, the comprehensive online clearinghouse of information about local government policies to improve Internet access. Its interactive community broadband network map tracks more than 600 such networks. He also hosts audio and video shows online, including Community Broadband Bits and Connect This!, and Public Knowledge presented Christopher with its Internet Protocol award in 2021, which honors those who have made significant contributions to Internet policy.

Drew Clark is the Editor and Publisher of BroadbandBreakfast.com and a nationally-respected telecommunications attorney. Drew brings experts and practitioners together to advance the benefits provided by broadband. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, he served as head of a State Broadband Initiative, the Partnership for a Connected Illinois. He is also the President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress.

WATCH HERE, or on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook.

As with all Broadband Breakfast Live Online events, the FREE webcasts will take place at 12 Noon ET on Wednesday.

SUBSCRIBE to the Broadband Breakfast YouTube channel. That way, you will be notified when events go live. Watch on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook

See a complete list of upcoming and past Broadband Breakfast Live Online events.

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Broadband Breakfast for Lunch on February 9, 2022 — Harnessing Cryptocurrency

Broadband Breakfast returns to being the “go to” gathering place for broadband policy and internet technology in Washington.

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There are two ways to participate in this event: IN PERSON or LIVE ONLINE. To attend in person, sign up to attend in person through Eventbrite. Please arrive for lunch at Clyde’s of Gallery Place, 707 7th Street NW, Washington, D.C., by 11:30 a.m. to be seated for lunch. The program will begin promptly at 12 Noon ET.

Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place on Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. You can also PARTICIPATE in the current Broadband Breakfast Live Online event. REGISTER HERE.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022, 12 Noon ET — Harnessing Cryptocurrency

Join us in person for a Broadband Breakfast for Lunch on cryptocurrency. In Broadband Breakfast’s premiere session on the subject of decentralized finance, we’ll explore recent developments in the blockchain, consider the ways that that cryptocurrencies are impacting global financial transactions and transfers, and address government officials’ attempts to harness – or to banish – blockchain-based digital coinage.

There are two ways to participate in this event: IN PERSON or LIVE ONLINE. To attend in person, sign up to attend in person through EventbritePlease arrive for lunch at Clyde’s of Gallery Place (The Piedmont Room), 707 7th Street NW, Washington, D.C., by 11:30 a.m. to be seated for lunch. The program will begin promptly at 12 Noon ET.

Panelists for this Broadband Breakfast Live Online session:

  • Guests have been invited
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Panelist resources:

Drew Clark is the Editor and Publisher of BroadbandBreakfast.com and a nationally-respected telecommunications attorney. Drew brings experts and practitioners together to advance the benefits provided by broadband. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, he served as head of a State Broadband Initiative, the Partnership for a Connected Illinois. He is also the President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress.

WATCH HERE, or on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook.

As with all Broadband Breakfast Live Online events, the FREE webcasts will take place at 12 Noon ET on Wednesday.

SUBSCRIBE to the Broadband Breakfast YouTube channel. That way, you will be notified when events go live. Watch on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook

See a complete list of upcoming and past Broadband Breakfast Live Online events.

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Broadband Breakfast on February 2, 2022 — Groundhog Day Special on Broadband Mapping (Part 1)

Mapping will play an essential role in the success of the IIJA.

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Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place on Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. You can also PARTICIPATE in the current Broadband Breakfast Live Online event. REGISTER HERE.

Wednesday, February 2, 2022, 12 Noon ET — Better Broadband Mapping, Part 1

This Broadband Breakfast Live Online event will kick off a series about how we can get better broadband mapping and data for making the most of the Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act funds. We’ll speak with policy-makers, map-makers, state officials and those building out broadband relying on broadband maps.

Panelists for this Broadband Breakfast Live Online session:

  • Kathryn de Wit, Project Director, The Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Eric McRae, Associate Director, University of Georgia Institute of Government
  • Other guests have been invited
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Kathryn de Wit directs The Pew Charitable Trusts’ broadband access initiative, which works to accelerate efforts to connect millions of Americans to affordable, reliable high-speed internet. Before joining Pew, de Wit was an associate with Booz Allen Hamilton, where she focused on broadband deployment, organizational management, and public affairs. De Wit holds bachelor’s degrees in communications and sociology from Penn State University and a master’s in public administration from the University of Pittsburgh.

Eric McRae is responsible for the Institute of Government’s Office of Information Technology Outreach Services (ITOS), which helps state and local governments incorporate into their operations a wide array of geographic information systems (GIS) technology, including parcel mapping, digitizing paper maps, and integrating transportation/addressing systems. He has managed multiple local, state, national, and international GIS projects and initiatives and has served on and chaired numerous GIS and information technology boards and committees, including the National States Geographic Information Council. Eric was integral in the development of the state of Georgia Broadband Map.

Drew Clark is the Editor and Publisher of BroadbandBreakfast.com and a nationally-respected telecommunications attorney. Drew brings experts and practitioners together to advance the benefits provided by broadband. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, he served as head of a State Broadband Initiative, the Partnership for a Connected Illinois. He is also the President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress.

WATCH HERE, or on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook.

As with all Broadband Breakfast Live Online events, the FREE webcasts will take place at 12 Noon ET on Wednesday.

SUBSCRIBE to the Broadband Breakfast YouTube channel. That way, you will be notified when events go live. Watch on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook

See a complete list of upcoming and past Broadband Breakfast Live Online events.

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