ArtsWatch: China's IP Fix

Authorities announce new center to promote mediation of intellectual property disputes
January 28, 2013 -- 7:21 am PST
By Philip Merrill / GRAMMY.com

In recent news ...

China Plans Improved Handling Of IP Disputes And Support For E-commerce
China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced on Jan. 22 plans to launch a center later this year specializing in the resolution of disputes over digital intellectual property. With a growing number of IP lawsuits arising from online piracy, third-party mediation services for IP are expected to support China's growing high-tech economy. Separately on Jan. 22, Microsoft added another 13 China-based computer resellers to its growing list of businesses selling counterfeit versions of its operating system. "We have reached out to them to discuss a solution to their infringement activity," the company said. On Jan. 25 Chinese media reported that Alibaba Group is leading a logistics investment partnership aiming to provide national next-day delivery of products purchased online.

Coble To Chair House Judiciary's Internet Subcommittee
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) announced on Jan. 23 that Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.) has been appointed chairman of the influential Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet. Coble, who received The Recording Academy's GRAMMYs on the Hill Award in 2002, introduced key provisions to the FAA Modernization And Reform Act Of 2012, which standardized airline carry-on policy for musical instruments.

FCC To Promote Gigabit Broadband Nationwide By 2015
On Jan. 18 Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowksi challenged the U.S. Conference of Mayors to collaborate with the FCC to meet the "Gigabit City Challenge," bringing ultra-fast broadband Internet networks to communities in all 50 states by 2015. The FCC will establish an online clearinghouse of best practices and conduct a series of workshops to help stakeholders reach this goal. Only 14 states presently host gigabit communities. "American economic history teaches a clear lesson about infrastructure. If we build it, innovation will come," said Genachowski. "The U.S. needs a critical mass of gigabit communities nationwide so that innovators can develop next-generation applications and services that will drive economic growth and global competitiveness."

Mega Launch Poses Huge Questions
Criminal copyright defendant Kim Dotcom launched Internet cyberlocker service Mega on Jan. 20, boasting more than 500,000 users within its first 24 hours. The service's use of encryption enables Dotcom to claim users will bear all of the responsibility for any infringing content that's uploaded. Industry observer Paul Sweeting blogged, "The mainstreaming of encryption will likely leave antipiracy groups with little choice but to challenge the practice, whether in a new case against Dotcom or against some other operator." Even more skeptical, the Copyright and Technology blog wrote that Mega offers "privacy from the kinds of piracy monitoring services that media companies use to generate takedown notices ... It will be impossible to use content identification technologies, such as fingerprinting, to detect the presence of copyrighted materials on Mega's servers." Dotcom is planning to sell ads and launch related services, asserting that 90 percent of earnings will be used to remunerate artists.

The Recording Academy actively represents the music community on such issues as intellectual property rights, music piracy, archiving and preservation, and censorship concerns. In pursuing its commitment to addressing these and other issues, The Recording Academy undertakes a variety of national initiatives. ArtsWatch is a key part of an agenda aimed at raising public awareness of and support for the rights of artists. To become more involved, visit Advocacy Action @ GRAMMY.com and sign up for Advocacy Action E-lerts.

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