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Digital Liberty blog

EU Study Shows IP Protection Vital to Economic Success By Daniel Savickas | November 02, 2016

A new, recently-released study found that industries dependent on intellectual property rights (IPR) had booming effects on the European Union economy.

The economic effects did not stop there, as the study estimated that these IPR-intensive industries accounted for 42% of the EU economy, a total worth a little over $6.3 trillion. This positive impact also helped the EU garner a trade surplus, as the industries accounted for most of the EU’s external trade.

The benefits of protecting intellectual property rights in the EU, US, or around the globe cannot be understated.

Katie McAuliffe appointed to a second term on the CAC By Andreas Hellmann | October 31, 2016

Today on October 31st the Consumer Advisory Committee announced the renewal of the appointment of members. Digital Liberty Executive Katie McAuliffe was appointed to a second term so serve on the committee.

The mission of the Committee is to make recommendations to the Commission regarding consumer issues within the jurisdiction of the Commission and to facilitate the participation of consumers (including underserved populations, such as Native Americans, persons living in rural areas, older persons, people with disabilities, and persons for whom English is not their primary language) in proceedings before the Commission.  The Committee may consider issues including, but not limited to, the following topics:


Few New Regulations for Self-Driving Vehicles Required By Andreas Hellmann | October 17, 2016

On Sept. 20, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released guidelines for self-driving vehicles. The initial reaction to the guidelines was generally agreeable, but further reflection revealed a more complicated picture and more voices expressed concerns.

Usually the quickest way to stop innovation is for bureaucrats to just outlaw it. The good news is that the NHTSA appears to see the harm government can do by delaying or adding cost to the deployment of automated vehicles: keeping less-safe vehicles on the road longer could otherwise be translates to increased traffic crashes, injuries, and deaths.

FCC Privacy Proposal Latest Effort to Assert Internet Control By Daniel Savickas | October 14, 2016

The FCC is attempting another foray into Internet privacy that will harm competition, and cause unnecessary confusion for consumers across the country.

This is hardly their first intrusion into the Internet, and the Commission has been the crowned jewel of regulatory overreach over the past seven years, hampering American businesses and consumers with mind-twisting rules and regulation. This has placed an immense burden on the American economy.

The FCC is now trying to erect barriers for ISPs to prevent them from entering the online advertising market. As with other proposals, the FCC fails to set forth any definitive example of a market failure other than the fact that it can because it has authority, under the dubious Open Internet Order.

Regulations Hinder Virtual and Augmented Reality By Andreas Hellmann | October 10, 2016

There are many new virtual and augmented reality applications and programs that burst into the markets last year and fascinate its users. But what is the difference between virtual- and augmented reality? Virtual reality are computer technologies that use software to generate realistic images, sounds and other impressions that replicate a real environment or create an imaginary setting. Augmented reality is a live direct or indirect view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented or often supplemented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics and often supported by GPS data.

Senate Committee Holds Hearing on FTC Oversight By Daniel Savickas | September 27, 2016

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Technology held a hearing today with all three Commissioners of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC).

This hearing has inspired hopes that meaningful reform will come to the Commission. According to Berin Szoka, the president of TechFreedom, “Congress has not made any fundamental course corrections to the FTC since 1980. This oversight is long overdue.”

Chairman of the Committee, Senator John Thune (R-SD) started the hearing by expressing that the best solutions are often not government solutions, and that in order for the American business community needs regulatory certainty in order to stay in compliance with the law.

The subject of the hearing ranged over a variety of topics.

A prominent topic of discussion was the FTC’s guidelines on data security. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Haw.) said the Commission needs to do more to explain what is reasonable and what isn’t, and what they are doing now, “simply isn’t working.” Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) added, “Data security doesn’t need to be a Wild West.”

Making the Case for Free Trade By Anthony McAuliffe | September 22, 2016

A group of organizations has written an open letter to Congress to show their strong support for free trade. We are proud to be one of the organizations signing on to this letter, as it reinforces our ideals that supporting free market principles is the only way to achieve prosperity for all people in the U.S. We believe that one of the key components of free trade is the establishment of strong protection for intellectual property.

Attacking Copyright Laws Destroys Business & Innovation By Anthony McAuliffe | September 12, 2016

A recently released report has issued a scathing attack on the U.S. Copyright Office, claiming it protects the interests of big business over the interests of the public. The office is further attacked with the claim that it attempts to further its own interests and make itself relevant in areas beyond its jurisdiction. Finally, industries (and even individual copyright holders) that have an interest in copyright law are portrayed as greedy and self-interested, concerned only with extracting profits from consumers. These attacks against the office (and industries) are dangerous for several reasons.

Victory for States Rights in Municipal Broadband Court Ruling By Daniel Savickas | September 09, 2016

The recent ruling by the 6th Circuit Court that rebuked the FCC’s municipal broadband order is a victory for federalism and the Tenth Amendment.

In an editorial for the Daily Caller, Executive Director of Digital Liberty, Katie McAuliffe elaborated on the heart of the FCC’s history of abuse, and the heart of the municipal broadband issue:

“Under the guise of broadband competition, the FCC actually tried to tell states how to run their finances.  Agencies cannot regulate where Congress did not give them the authority to do so. They knew it was a step too far, but with all of its excesses somehow slipping past the courts, why not go for broke?

But the courts finally nailed the FCC to the wall. The court was so definitive that the FCC isn’t even challenging this one. “A challenge is not a good use of agency resources,” a spokesperson said.