Re:Create Recap – Week of August 3rd

Free Market Groups Warn International Trade Commission On Digital Data Authority. Re:Create members R Street and FreedomWorks along with the Niskanen Center sent a letter to the chairwoman of the International Trade Commission expressing their deep concern over categorizing the transmission of digital data as an “importation.” The August 3 letter cites specific concerns that treating digital data in such a way is “an injudiciously broad interpretation of the Tariff Act” and it would “undermine traditional legal structures and encumber a broad slice of the innovation economy with unnecessary government strictures.”

Deja Vu With Another Doomed Tech Policy? More on the International Trade Commission’s digital data authority – The Wall Street Journal’s Brent Kendall examines the importation of intellectual property and whether the ITC should have the ability to halt international digital transmissions in his August 2 article, “Imports of Digital Goods Face Test.” Charles Duan with Public Knowledge is quoted in the story raising similarities to the SOPA battle. “The concern is that ITC is opening the door to Internet site-blocking, the policy that killed SOPA…Blocking data transmissions based on their content cuts against the general principles of the openness of the Internet, which been a foundation of its success.” Duan is a Re:Create member and has used his copyright knowledge to author a short story titled, Stop the Music, on the future if copyright expands on its current course.

“Happy Birthday To You” Court Case Shows Problems Of Copyright Overreach. As the case over the “Happy Birthday To You” song continues to unfold, an August 5 New York Times story connects the case to the broader issue of copyright overreach. In “An Old Songbook Could Put ‘Happy Birthday’ in the Public Domain,” University of Iowa Professor Kembrew McLeod says, “The fact that ‘Happy Birthday to You’ is still under copyright is the most symbolic example of how copyright has expanded and overreached beyond its Constitutional purpose.”

Behind The Scenes Attempts To Hit YouTube. Re/code raises interesting connections between movie studio efforts to disrupt YouTube in the July 31 post: “Group Accusing YouTube of Helping Hackers Has Ties to Film Lobby.” According to the article, “The group behind a study blaming Google’s YouTube for helping Peeping Tom hackers failed to mention its connections to the film industry lobby.”

New Attempts To Assume SOPA Power In MovieTube Lawsuit. The Electronic Frontier Foundation raises concerns over recent court actions by major movie studios to enforce the very court powers already defeated in the 2012 SOPA bill. In the recent court order, MPAA companies are trying to block MovieTube sites. According to Mitch Stoltz’s August 3 blog, “That precedent would create a powerful tool of censorship—which we think should be called SOPApower, given its similarity to the ill-fated SOPA bill…If the court signs this proposed order, the MPAA companies will have the power to force practically every Internet company within the reach of U.S. law to help them disappear the MovieTube websites.”