Over the last decade or so, there’s been a growing chorus of people insisting (misleadingly) that the internet is a “wild west” that needs regulation. The reasons stated for this apparently necessary regulation change over time, but the underlying discussion tends to be the same: bad stuff is happening online and it needs to stop. Sometimes, the discussion is more focused on how internet companies are somehow “experimenting” with our lives and our data.
We’ve seen plenty of new internet regulations pop up and — oddly to me, at least — no one seems to comment on how these regulations themselves seem to be experimenting on the way innovation works and our ability to communicate with others around the world.
Over the last few years, there has been an increasing drumbeat for greater internet regulation. But even the most well-intended policy approaches may have completely unexpected negative consequences that may outweigh the benefits sought by the regulation in the first place. Those benefits can be difficult to achieve and difficult to measure, while this paper finds that such regulations frequently have a negative impact on investment in covered internet companies, with declines ranging from 15% to 73%.
Read the full report below, or download the info sheet.
Published by The Copia Institute & CCIA Research Center. Written by Mike Masnick.
As debates have increased over the appropriate levels of liability that should be placed on internet platforms, there has been precious little research looking into the actual impact of strong intermediary and platform protections from liability on innovation and investment. This paper takes an initial look at different legal regimes across different times and regions to attempt to separate out the impact. By using cross-regional comparisons, as well as changes over time within certain countries, we explore the actual impact of different levels of platform protection and how it impacts investment in innovation.
Section 230 Matters Help Protect Safe Harbors For Internet Platforms The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017, recently introduced in the US Senate, has a laudable goal — but The Copia Institute and Engine Advocacy, along with a variety of internet platform operators, firmly believe that its specific proposals will be counterproductive to that […]
Last month, we noted that a ton of tech companies — including us at the Copia Institute — had signed on to amicus brief opposing the Trump Executive Order on immigration. As you know, the administration came out with a new executive order a few weeks later, trying to get around the multiple courts that had blocked the original order. The new order is just a cosmetic rewriting of the original one with a few small changes that the administration hopes will survive judicial scrutiny. A number of challenges have already been filed to the new order, and in one of them, brought by the state of Hawaii, a bunch of tech companies (again, including the Copia Institute) have now filed an amicus brief opposing the order. In particular, this brief focuses on the harms to the tech industry, including actual examples of harms created by this exec order:
The Copyright Office’s study concerning Section 512 of the DMCA (the notice-and-takedown/safe harbors part of the law) had its second comment period end this week — which is why you’re seeing stories about how the RIAA is suddenly talking about piracy filters and notice-and-staydown. The Copia Institute has filed its own comments, pointing out the already problematic First Amendment issues with the way the current notice-and-takedown system works. Remember, there’s a very high standard set by the Supreme Court before you can take down expressive content. But the notice-and-takedown system ignores all of that:
Late Sunday night, virtually the entire technology industry (plus some companies from other industries as well) signed onto an amicus brief for the Ninth Circuit appeals court, calling Donald Trump’s executive order banning travelers and refugees from certain countries illegal and unconstitutional.
We were thrilled to be a part of the process that helped bring together nearly every major technology company (all put together somewhat frantically on Super Bowl Sunday) to stand up for what we believe is right and against what we find to be an insult to basic humanity and the Constitution.
Several years ago, we hosted a series of really fun events called the Techdirt Greenhouse, which involved getting a lot of smart people together and actively brainstorming on a variety of topics. We’ve been wanting to bring back the Greenhouse events for a while now, and we’re finally going to do so with a new series of evening Greenhouse Salons hosted by the Copia Institute. Today we’re announcing the very first of these new Greenhouse Salons, The Battle For Copyright Reform. As you know, there are ongoing efforts to reform copyright around the globe, with a proposal leaked for the EU and one expected shortly in the US.
We’re more than a bit concerned about the direction copyright reform may be moving in, especially after the leaked European draft, and thus this Greenhouse Salon will be a gathering to not just discuss issues related to copyright reform, but to actively strategize on how best to both respond to the efforts that are currently underway, and take a much more long-term view on how to really reform copyright in a much more useful way — one that isn’t anti-public and anti-innovation, but which recognizes that there are ways to build policies that align the interests of content creators, the public and innovators together. The event, in partnership with Automattic (creators of WordPress) and sponsored by Pinterest, will be held on September 12th at 6pm in San Francisco. It’s what we consider a working event, where everyone will be expected to participate in discussion groups. The event is invite only (and we’ve already invited a bunch of great people to take part), but we’re now opening it up for others to request an invite as well. We’ll do our best to accommodate requests for invites, while maintaining our goal of keeping the overall attendance at a manageable number to ensure that the group can actually function and accomplish things, and to involve people who have something productive to contribute to the overall discussion.
If you’re interested, please fill out the form to request an invite. We’ll be having more Greenhouse Salons on other topics (and probably in other locations) in future months, so stay tuned…
Facts, Not Fear: The Truth About Encryption Crowdfunding To Support Techdirt’s Encryption Reporting Today’s encryption debate is based on fiction and fear. Americans are worried about terrorism and crime, and the potential for the Internet to help them spread. Encryption has become an easy target. Politicians make a simple argument: less encryption means more safety. But […]
Last month over at Techdirt, we noted that the new IP Enforcement Coordinator, Danny Marti, is now accepting comments for the administration’s next “Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement” plan. While I know it’s easy to roll your eyes at participating in these things, in years past we sent in comments and were pleasantly surprised to see the resulting plan actually take many of those comments into account, and turn out to be something that was mostly reasonable. We do have some concerns about Marti, given that the comments he’s made to date seem to reflect a very… one-sided view of copyright enforcement. However, we’re hopeful that he’s open to evidence and reason. Below are the comments that we’re submitting, much of which was based on the Carrot & Stick research report we released last week. If you’d like to submit your own comments, all the details are here. The deadline is today, October 16th.