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UCLA Streaming Video Case Dismissed

On Monday, October 3rd, a federal judge in Los Angeles dismissed the copyright infringement lawsuit brought by AIME (Association for Information Media and Equipment, whose members include Ambrose Video) against UCLA.  The suit alleged that UCLA was infringing copyright and violating the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA by ripping DVDs, which were subsequently streamed via a course management system to students in a particular class (to which the students had to authenticate before gaining access).  

Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) Signed by United States

The United States and other countries signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement in Tokyo on October 1, 2011.  Those attending included representatives from Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, and the United States; although not all countries have signed the agreement as of now.

Understanding ACTA

Implementing the New Patent Law: What It Could Mean for Campuses

Recently, President Obama signed into law the “America Invents Act (AIA).”  Intended to reduce patent backlog at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and to foster innovation through improved patent quality, the legislation has supporters and detractors, but most academic organizations consider it a positive step toward much needed patent reform (see blog posts of  9-9-11 and 9-16-11 for further information).  The Act has the potential to affect all patent applicants and patent holders.  Some of the changes have already come into force and others will be implemented over next the 18 months to two years.

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Status Update on Data Privacy Legislation

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved three bills on Thursday, September 22nd aimed at setting national standards for security breaches involving personal data.   The bills were the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act of 2011 (S. 1151) introduced by Sen. Leahy (D-VT), the Data Breach Notification Act of 2011 (S. 1408) introduced by Sen. Feinstein (D-CA), and the Personal Data Protection and Breach Accountability Act of 2011 (S. 1535) introduced by Sen. Blumenthal (D-CT). 

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President Signs Patent Reform Law

Today, September 16, 2011, President Obama signed the America Invents Act, the first major revision of the patent system in almost 60 years.  The legislation had strong support from many higher education groups since it should enable universities to more easily and more competitively transfer research innovations into the commercial sector (see blog post of 9-9-11). 

At today’s signing, the President also announced efforts to help research institutions and universities monetize their inventions.  These initiatives include:

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Google Announces Accessibility Improvements for Visually Challenged Users

Google has announced a new initiative to increase accessibility for visually challenged users on its major Web services.  At the outset of a new school year, Google is rolling out accessibility improvements to Docs, Sites and Calendars.  Google is hosting a live webinar for enterprise customers - which include educational institutions - on Wednesday, September 21 at 12:00 pm (Pacific Time).

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The Orphan Works Controversy Heats Up Again

On Monday, September 12th, the Authors Guild filed a copyright infringement suit against the HathiTrust, a non-profit digital repository partnership between major research institutions and libraries, the University of Michigan, the University of California, the University of Wisconsin, Indiana University, and Cornell University.  The suit alleges that the HathiTrust and the universities are violating the rights of rightsholders by systematically digitizing, storing, and distributing copies of books held by these institutions without permission.

What’s on Washington’s Technology Agenda?

Congress and other Washington policy makers have returned to work after the August recess where they face a number of technology policy issues.  The Center for Democracy and Technology has published a top ten list of these issues, including Protect IP, privacy, data retention, cybersecurity, ECPA, and more.  EDUCAUSE has been following many of these issues and reporting on them as developments occur.  We will continue to do so throughout the fall term.

Global Congress on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest

Intellectual property and information policy experts from around the world recently met in Washington, DC and have released the Washington Declaration on Intellectual Property and the Public Interest that challenges the dominant direction of the negotiations on intellectual property in U.S. trade agreements. 

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Congress Approves Historic Patent Legislation

The Senate approved the first major overhaul of the United States patent system in nearly 60 years, voting 89-9 on Thursday, September 8th to send the America Invents Act of 2011 to the President for signature.

The bill changes the U.S. patent system by creating a “first-to-file” system, which will clarify and simplify the application process and harmonize the patent system with global trading partners.  Provisions in the new law will improve patent quality and reduce patent litigation costs, including expanding the opportunity for the public to submit information to the Patent and Trademark Office concerning patents under examination that could eliminate weak patents and strengthen those patents that survive a challenge.

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