The Internet and IP Rights Enforcement

Categories: Events

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Last night, Steve and I attended “The Internet and IP Rights Enforcement: Current Landscape, Possible Future” event. PANMA assembled a panel of lawyers to inform attendees about the recent public backlash against the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), the introduction of the new Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN Act) in response to criticisms of the former acts,  as well as other areas of IP law.

The panel’s presentation covered a broad range subjects in just under 2 hours, ranging from the differences between a copyright and a trademark to describing what the Open Act looks like and how it affects the future. The current environment of the Internet is essentially a “giant photocopier” (as paraphrased by one of the panelists), with data traveling back and forth between peers and servers, being copied over and over. People can so easily obtain copies of music, articles, photographs, software, and just about any other creative work. Balancing the free flow of information with protection for original content creators is a delicate act that governments around the world are still fine-tuning with treaties such as Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

After hearing the panel, I have a better understanding that the OPEN Act represents a new way of thinking about the legislative process. And even though you haven’t heard much about the SOPA and PIPA Acts lately, they are not dead. The next few months will definitely be an interesting time for Internet privacy and freedom.

If you want to find out more about the OPEN Act, you can view the full text of the proposed bill at You can comment and make suggestions to the author, just like a Wikipedia document. You can also subscribe to email updates about changes to the bill.