Imagine that you watched a police officer in your neighborhood stop ten completely ordinary people every day just to take a look inside their vehicle or backpack. Now imagine that nine of those people are never even accused of a crime. They just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Even the most law-abiding person would eventually protest this treatment. In fact—they have.
Yesterday, a new patent reform bill passed out of subcommittee in the House. The bill, called the Targeting Rogue and Opaque Letters Act, or TROL Act, deals with the problem of misleading patent demand letters. While we are pleased that Congress is still taking an interest in patent trolls, this particular bill would achieve very little and is no substitute for real reform.
Due to the unprecedented secrecy surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations taking place this week in Ottawa, there was no formal opportunity to engage with negotiators about the concerns that EFF and many others have expressed—over issues such as the extension of copyright protection by 20 years, and the delegation of ISPs as copyright police with the power to remove content and terminate accounts.
After months of waiting, a Ninth Circuit panel has finally responded to Google's plea, supported by public interest groups (including EFF), journalists, librarians, other service providers, and law professors, to reconsider its disastrous opinion in the case of Garcia v. Google. The good news is that we managed to get the panel to revisit its opinion. The bad news is that it essentially doubled down.