There’s been a tremendous amount of discussion about the allegedly negative effects of “patent trolls.” While this may or may not be a real issue it has attracted considerable attention, resulting in a significant amount of anti-patent rhetoric from some in Washington, including the highest levels of government. Unfortunately, this torrent of patent system bashing has done little in terms of proposing fair and balanced means of addressing the perceived problems while protecting true innovation. Worse, the one-sided patent dialogue has served to embolden companies, many of them foreign-based, that knowingly appropriate American innovation yet refuse to license technologies and patents under any circumstance.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is holding hearings on an overhaul of the Copyright Act. Goodlatte is getting a lot of advice requiring considerable bureaucratic resources. It would be a missed opportunity to focus on the complex and not see the relatively simple reforms to better the lot of creators. Here’s a few ideas that not only could be quickly implemented but also could make a big difference in the lives of music artists and songwriters.
As of November 24, 2003, consumers have been given the right to change providers while keeping their wireless number. Since 2007, consumers have also had the right to "unlock" their wireless device. But the Librarian of Congress recently made a bureaucratic ruling eliminating consumers' right to use their device as they see fit after their contract expires. This Congress is now forced to act to protect the rights of the owners of wireless phones to use them as they choose.
This critical issue affects millions of Americans and ultimately the future of the wireless market.
Today we know cable as that essential amenity in our home that keeps us laughing, captivated and informed. It’s the way in which we learn about diverse cultures and people, whether by watching a novela hoping to learn a bit of Spanish, or by watching the Travel Channel to learn about distant lands. But behind the television screen and numerous reality shows that feature the lives of celebrities here in my home state of California exists an industry that stands for so much more than what we see on TV.