Monthly Archives: January 2013

January 31, 2013 | ICYMI, News

ICYMI- The Internet: An innovation engine

Colorado Business
The Internet: An innovation engine
It is vital to Colorado’s economy.
Posted: January 31, 2013 01:53

As our nation begins its path towards economic recovery, lawmakers and citizens alike must protect one of our country’s greatest economic accelerators, the Internet. The Internet is the fastest growing sector of the U.S. economy, accounting for nearly 5 percent of our national GDP. The Internet is not just Silicon Valley anymore; it helps create jobs and grow small businesses here in Colorado. In order to ensure our nation’s economic success, we must continue to promote an innovative and free Internet.

While Washington grapples with budgets, spending, and partisan politics, lawmakers must agree on one thing – Internet innovation is key to economic prosperity. In the long term, protecting a thriving Internet will only continue to benefit our nation.

The elected leaders of Colorado have already taken steps to preserve Internet innovation. For instance, the Colorado congressional delegation fought against Congress’ misguided attempts to censor the Internet through SOPA and PIPA last year. Specifically, U.S. Sen. Mark Udall and U.S. Rep. Jared Polis took strong stances against these bills by explaining their potential detrimental effects to the Internet ecosystem, particularly its effect on jobs in Colorado. These bills spurred a global grassroots movement, with significant participation from small businesses and students at colleges and universities in Colorado, illustrating the necessity of a free, innovative and decentralized Internet.

Last year, Colorado leaders like Polis and U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette co-sponsored a House bill to preempt the United Nations’ attempt to expand its authority over the Internet. Unfortunately, this debate will continue.

The Internet is vital to Colorado’s economy: Nearly three out of four Coloradans use the Internet, ranking it 9th in the nation for overall usage, significantly outpacing the state’s population, which ranks 22nd. It inspires entrepreneurs of tomorrow while successfully growing Colorado’s small businesses community. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said that “Denver is the number one destination for 25- to 34-year-olds who are moving to Denver on a scale that is not being matched anywhere else in the country.”

In Colorado, government officials and business leaders alike understand that investing in America’s innovation is key. This keen understanding cultivates an environment that promotes the development of innovative startups like Boulder’s Modular Robotics, a company that creates toy robots that encourage children to form an interest in engineering by learning how to create, revise and innovate.

The Internet provides advantages beyond the technology space. Ski resorts use Internet marketing to attract millions of tourists each year. Professors at the University of Denver and the University of Colorado are using the Internet to encourage students to be leaders of tomorrow. The ingenuity, intellect and passion for innovation and economic growth in Colorado is abundantly clear.

The Internet is a catalyst for fostering innovation and economic growth. Ensuring legislators, regulators and all stakeholders understand the profound positive impacts of the Internet on jobs, commerce and freedom is critical. The Internet Association believes that a careful and vigilant look into Internet policy must be a priority for Colorado. We must guard against misguided attempts to handcuff this incredible engine of economic growth and prosperity. Preserving the innovative Internet will help Colorado continue to thrive and in turn help America find our footing on the road to recovery.

Spread the word and make your voice heard.

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January 30, 2013 | ICYMI, News

ICYMI- Senators Coons, Rubio, Klobuchar and Hatch Introduce Bill to Boost U.S. Competitiveness

TMCnet.com
Senators Coons, Rubio, Klobuchar and Hatch Introduce Bill to Boost U.S. Competitiveness
Posted January 30, 2013 4:39

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 — The office of Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., issued the following news release: U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) teamed up with Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) today to introduce the Immigration Innovation (I2) Act of 2013 to bring long-overdue reforms to the nation’s immigration laws for high-skilled workers and maintain the United States’ global leadership in innovation.

The bill focuses on areas vital to ensuring the United States can attract the type of workers needed to grow its economy: the quantity of employment-based nonimmigrant visas (H-1B visas), allowing for their growth depending on the demands of the economy; increased access to green cards for high-skilled workers by expanding the exemptions and eliminating the annual per country limits for employment based green cards; and reforming the fees on H-1B and green cards so those fees can be used to promote American worker retraining and education.

It is the first legislation introduced since a bipartisan group led by Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) introduced a major framework for comprehensive immigration reform on Monday.

“The creativity, ingenuity, and determination that immigrants have brought to this country have been a large part of our economic success,” Senator Coons said. “Our immigration system is broken, though, and as the Senate gets to work on comprehensive immigration reform, it’s important that we take steps to ensure that the world’s best and brightest do their work here in the United States. Inspiration is a precious resource, and if we want those ideas to be turned into job-creating innovations here in the U.S., we need to make it easier for those individuals to earn status here. It is my hope that this legislation finds a home in the balanced immigration reform package ultimately considered by the Senate this year.” Senator Coons is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“This bill is a common sense approach to ensuring that those who have come here to be educated in high-tech fields have the ability to stay here with their families and contribute to the economy and our society,” Senator Hatch said. “It’s a market-driven path forward to fulfilling a need in our immigration system and growing the economy. It’s good for workers, good for businesses trying to grow, and good for our economy.” Senator Hatch is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee “America must be a country that makes things again, that invents things, that exports to the world, and to do that we need the world’s talent,” Senator Klobuchar said. “Right now we’re educating and training our competition by sending students who obtain advanced degrees here in the U.S. back to their home countries. We don’t want them creating the next Medtronic or 3M in India, we want them creating it right here in Minnesota and across America.” Senator Klobuchar is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“Our immigration system needs to be modernized to be more welcoming of highly skilled immigrants and the enormous contributions they can make to our economy and society,” Senator Rubio said. “This reform is as much about modernizing our immigration system as it is about creating jobs. It’ll help us attract more highly skilled workers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, which will help our unemployed, underemployed, or underpaid American workers find better jobs.” Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.) are all original cosponsors of the bill.

The bipartisan legislation is the result of constant outreach with leaders in the immigration community and high-tech industry. The legislation has been endorsed by Microsoft, Oracle, Intel, IBM, Hewlett-Packard Company, Facebook, Texas Instruments, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, The National Association of Manufacturers, BSA – The Software Alliance, Compete America, The Semiconductor Industry Association, TechNet, TechAmerica, The Consumer Electronics Association, The Software & Information Industry Association, The Internet Association, The Computer & Communications Industry Association, The Information Technology Industry Council, The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, TechServe Alliance, The Association for Competitive Technology, The Telecommunications Industry Association, CTIA – The Wireless Association, Sabre Holdings, The Council of Chief State School Officers, and Immigration Voice.

A summary of the bill is below: * Employment-Based Non-immigrant H-1B Visas ** Increase H-1B cap from 65,000 to 115,000 ** Establish a market-based H-1B escalator so that the cap can adjust – up or down – to the demands of the economy (includes a 300,000 ceiling on the ability of the escalator to move) – If the cap is hit in the first 45 days when petitions may be filed, an additional 20,000 H-1B visas will be made available immediately – If the cap is hit in the first 60 days when petitions may be filed, an additional 15,000 H-1B visas will be made available immediately – If the cap is hit in the first 90 days when petitions may be filed, an additional 10,000 H-1B visas will be made available immediately – If the cap is hit during the 185-day period ending on the 275th day on which petitions may be filed, an additional 5,000 H-1B will be made available immediately ** Uncap the existing U.S. advanced degree exemption (currently limited to 20,000 per year) ** Authorize employment for dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders ** Increase portability of high skilled foreign workers by: – Removing impediments and costs of changing employers; – Establishing a clear transition period for foreign workers as they change jobs; and, – Restoring visa revalidation for E, H, L, O, and P nonimmigrant visa categories * Student Visas ** Allow dual intent for foreign students at U.S. colleges and universities to provide the certainty they need to ensure their future in the United States * Immigrant Visas and Green Cards ** Enable the recapture of green card numbers that were approved by Congress in previous years but were not used ** Exempt certain categories of persons from the employment-based green card cap: – Dependents of employment-based immigrant visa recipients – U.S. STEM advance degree holders – Persons with extraordinary ability – Outstanding professors and researchers ** Provide for the roll-over of unused employment-based immigrant visa numbers to the following fiscal year so future visas are not lost due to bureaucratic delays ** Eliminate annual per-country limits for employment based visa petitioners and adjust per-country caps for family-based immigrant visas * U.S. STEM Education & Worker Retraining Initiative ** Reform fees on H-1B visas and employment-based green cards; use money from these fees to fund a grant program to promote STEM education and worker retraining to be administered by the states Full text of the legislation can be found here:http://coons.senate.gov/download/immigration-innovation-act The Immigration Innovation Act is the fourth high-skilled immigration bill Senator Coons has introduced since becoming a senator.

* In November 2011, Senators Coons and Rubio introduced the AGREE Act, which would eliminate the per-country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrant visas and adjust the limitations on family-based visa petitions from 7 percent per country to 15 percent.

* In May 2012, Senators Coons and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) introduced the SMART Jobs Act to create a clear path forward for foreign-born, American-educated holders of masters and doctoral degrees in STEM fields to remain in the U.S. to work and create jobs. Upon earning their graduate degrees, these students would be allowed to remain in the U.S. for up to 12 months while they look for work related to their field of study. Once employed, the students would be allowed to change their immigration status and receive a green card. These new STEM green cards would not count toward any existing green card caps or limits.

* In May 2012, Senators Coons and Rubio, with Senators Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) introduced the Startup Act 2.0, which would create a new STEM visa so that U.S.-educated foreign-born students who graduate with a masters or Ph.D. in science, technology, engineering or mathematics can receive a green card. It would also create an Entrepreneur’s Visa for legal immigrants so they can remain in the United States and launch businesses, and would eliminate the per-country caps for employment-based immigrant visas, which hinder U.S. employers from recruiting the top-tier talent they need to grow.

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January 28, 2013 | Letters

The Internet Association Submits Letter of Support for I-Squared Act of 2013

Excerpt:  The Internet Association appreciates the opportunity to offer a letter of support for the Immigration Innovation Act of 2013, also known as the I-Squared Act of 2013. We represent the interests of the leading U.S. Internet companies that have a significant impact on job creation and the U.S. economy.  The Internet Association understands the importance of sound and balanced immigration reform.

To read the letter The Internet Association submitted today, click here

 

January 28, 2013 | ICYMI, News

ICYMI- The Internet Association Celebrates 2013 Data Privacy Day

The Huffington Post
The Internet Association Celebrates 2013 Data Privacy Day, Urges 113th Congress to Pass Electronic Privacy Reform
Posted: January 28, 2013 11:33 am

Did you know that a law written before email was commercially available governs the way the government can access your data online? Did you know that the search warrant protections afforded by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution do not apply to the cyberspace for your data? Did you know that while law enforcement needs a search warrant to obtain a letter in your home study, it may in certain cases obtain the same letter stored on a web-based email server without a warrant?

Today marks the 5th year anniversary of the United States recognizing Data Privacy Day, an international effort used to raise awareness and educate online users about data privacy.

Currently, all law enforcement officers need to access your private data is a subpoena with no judicial oversight. For instance, if they want access to your emails or social media messages that are more than 6 months old, they can claim access without a search warrant. Compare that to law enforcement seeking access to your home mailbox. In this case, they would need a search warrant. In our digital age, why should there be a difference between an email and a printed letter?

Congress originally passed, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”) in the eighties to protect citizens’ privacy in electronic communications for telephone calls, facsimile, and electronically stored data. Before email exchanges became a prevalent mode of communication commercially, many viewed emails kept for more than 6 months as inconsequential information that did not require a search warrant. However, changing times reveal that many Internet users choose to use web-based email as their personal lock box. Now, government may rely on lesser privacy standards to access your personal information in cyberspace that would otherwise require a search warrant in the physical world.

Recognizing this alarming fact, Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, recently announced that one of his committee’s “big-ticket” items for the year includes reform of ECPA. Notably, this is the very reason he chose to remain Chairman of this powerful committee.

Last Congress, Senator Leahy introduced an amendment to update ECPA to strengthen its privacy protections for Internet users. The amendment sought to eliminate ECPA’s original 180-day rule, which permits government to access information stored in web-based email with merely a subpoena after more than a 6-month period. We commend Leahy’s efforts to modernize ECPA and encourage policymakers to effectively govern the current and future technological environment.

The Internet Association supports ECPA reform. Our industry understands and supports law enforcement’s important mission to maintain the safety of citizens but believes that they should obtain a warrant before gaining access to content albeit in cyberspace or physical-space. The Constitution does not end at the gateway to the Internet.

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January 28, 2013 | Op-Eds

Internet Vital to Arkansas’ Growth (Michael Beckerman Commentary)

Arkansas Business
Internet Vital to Arkansas’ Growth (Michael Beckerman Commentary)
Posted 01/28/2013

The Internet is a catalyst for job creation and an amazing accelerator for innovation. The Internet not only drives economic growth across the globe, but also increases the success of small businesses and job creators across the U.S. As our nation continues its economic recovery, Arkansas has a vested interest in protecting the Internet and its ability to bolster economic growth.

Washington is often locked in partisan gridlock that is heavy on rhetoric but light on solutions. Congress can reach bipartisan solutions by supporting policies that promote a free and innovative Internet. We urge all lawmakers at every level of government — from mayors to state representatives to our federal representatives in Washington — to press for pro-Internet legislation that rewards entrepreneurs who create jobs right here in Arkansas.

Elected officials from Arkansas have already taken action. When Congress attempted to censor the Internet through two misguided bills, the Arkansas congressional delegation fought back. These bills spurred an expansive grassroots movement, illustrating the importance of an innovative, free and decentralized Internet.

And again, later that same year, when the United Nations attempted to expand its authority over the Internet, U.S. delegates, backed by support from Arkansas leaders and many international allies, protested by walking out of treaty talks.

Sens. Mark Pryor and John Boozman have supported Internet freedom. Now, all of the members of the Arkansas congressional delegation must continue this fight to protect the Internet ecosystem. We appreciate the efforts of the Arkansas delegation and encourage all policymakers to continue working in a bipartisan manner to protect Internet freedom and promote local economic development.

Internet jobs are no longer found solely in Silicon Valley; they are on Main Street America, in every state. The Internet is a critical tool for economic success as it creates jobs in Arkansas, inspires entrepreneurs of tomorrow and promotes Arkansas small businesses.

It helps retailers like Gearhead, Nativ and Country Outfitters expand their businesses to markets across the country. It also helps working moms and students achieve success. For instance, a central Arkansas mother of three sells multi-med therapy skin care products across the state as an independent consultant with Rodan & Fields, an entirely e-commerce-based national direct sales company. Dental student William Wilson pays his school tuition by using profits from Ruf Nek, his dog collar startup business in northwest Arkansas.

The Internet affects many of Arkansas’ economic sectors. Thanks to increased online ad campaigns and help from the online community, Arkansas’ tourism industry is booming. The state’s tourism website earned a No. 1 market share among neighboring states with website visits of more than 4.7 million last year, positioning it in the top 10 among tourism websites nationwide.

The Internet also contributes to the education sector by increasing access to education and enabling the University of Arkansas’ global campus with online undergraduate and graduate courses for anyone in the world to experience.

Internet policy must be a priority for Arkansas. We believe that to continue to protect Arkansans — your jobs, your businesses, your Internet — we must pave the way for a free and innovative Internet. We must not stifle the Internet’s potential; rather, we must help accelerate its growth for America’s future.

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January 28, 2013 | ICYMI, News

ICYMI- Internet Vital to Arkansas’ Growth (Michael Beckerman Commentary)

Arkansas Business
Internet Vital to Arkansas’ Growth (Michael Beckerman Commentary)
Posted:  Jan. 28, 2013 12:00 am

The Internet is a catalyst for job creation and an amazing accelerator for innovation. The Internet not only drives economic growth across the globe, but also increases the success of small businesses and job creators across the U.S. As our nation continues its economic recovery, Arkansas has a vested interest in protecting the Internet and its ability to bolster economic growth.

Washington is often locked in partisan gridlock that is heavy on rhetoric but light on solutions. Congress can reach bipartisan solutions by supporting policies that promote a free and innovative Internet. We urge all lawmakers at every level of government — from mayors to state representatives to our federal representatives in Washington — to press for pro-Internet legislation that rewards entrepreneurs who create jobs right here in Arkansas.

Elected officials from Arkansas have already taken action. When Congress attempted to censor the Internet through two misguided bills, the Arkansas congressional delegation fought back. These bills spurred an expansive grassroots movement, illustrating the importance of an innovative, free and decentralized Internet.

And again, later that same year, when the United Nations attempted to expand its authority over the Internet, U.S. delegates, backed by support from Arkansas leaders and many international allies, protested by walking out of treaty talks.

Sens. Mark Pryor and John Boozman have supported Internet freedom. Now, all of the members of the Arkansas congressional delegation must continue this fight to protect the Internet ecosystem. We appreciate the efforts of the Arkansas delegation and encourage all policymakers to continue working in a bipartisan manner to protect Internet freedom and promote local economic development.

Internet jobs are no longer found solely in Silicon Valley; they are on Main Street America, in every state. The Internet is a critical tool for economic success as it creates jobs in Arkansas, inspires entrepreneurs of tomorrow and promotes Arkansas small businesses.

It helps retailers like Gearhead, Nativ and Country Outfitters expand their businesses to markets across the country. It also helps working moms and students achieve success. For instance, a central Arkansas mother of three sells multi-med therapy skin care products across the state as an independent consultant with Rodan & Fields, an entirely e-commerce-based national direct sales company. Dental student William Wilson pays his school tuition by using profits from Ruf Nek, his dog collar startup business in northwest Arkansas.

The Internet affects many of Arkansas’ economic sectors. Thanks to increased online ad campaigns and help from the online community, Arkansas’ tourism industry is booming. The state’s tourism website earned a No. 1 market share among neighboring states with website visits of more than 4.7 million last year, positioning it in the top 10 among tourism websites nationwide.

The Internet also contributes to the education sector by increasing access to education and enabling the University of Arkansas’ global campus with online undergraduate and graduate courses for anyone in the world to experience.

Internet policy must be a priority for Arkansas. We believe that to continue to protect Arkansans — your jobs, your businesses, your Internet — we must pave the way for a free and innovative Internet. We must not stifle the Internet’s potential; rather, we must help accelerate its growth for America’s future.

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January 25, 2013 | Other

Comments to PTO Regarding Proposed Requirements for Recordation of Real-Party-in-Interest Information Throughout Pendency of Patent Term

Excerpt: These comments address the Notice of Roundtable (“Notice”) discuss its proposal to require the recordation of real-party-in-interest information States patent applications and patent files.

To read the comments The Internet Association filed today, click here.

January 18, 2013 | ICYMI, News

ICYMI- Tweet! It’s Internet Freedom Day

Adweek
Tweet! It’s Internet Freedom Day Celebration of the largest website blackout in U.S. history
Posted January 18, 2013, 1:30 PM EST

One year ago today websites like Wikipedia and Reddit went dark to protest two anti-piracy bills that no one outside the Beltway had ever heard of before. Today, because of that blackout, the acronyms SOPA and PIPA are practically household names. The blackout and 15 million phone calls forever changed how Congress would approach legislation that impacts the Internet. A number of lawmakers, including Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), have made themselves into Internet heros on the Hill, serving as the Internet community’s internal watchdogs in Congress.

While the Internet community has left its mark on Congress, Washington has also left its mark on the Internet community. More than a dozen of the biggest names in the Internet—including Google, Facebook, Yahoo and AOL—came together to form the Internet Association, which has as its mission keeping the Internet free from censorship and regulation.

These are a few of the more than a million tweets (so far) celebrating that digital voice. Of all of them, the first tweet below from advocacy group Fight for the Future, is emblematic of the fight to define the scope of intellectual property on the Internet.

Many tweets invoke the memory of Aaron Swartz, who co-founded Demand Progress to advocate greater freedom on the Internet during the SOPA/PIPA fight.

In the midst of the the Twitter flurry, it may be tough to remember that there is another side to the story. As Los Angeles Times media reporter Joe Flint so bravely tweeted, “It’s Internet Freedom Day, also known as ‘steal my work day.'”

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To view the article and tweets visit the original post here.

January 18, 2013 | News, Press Releases

The Internet Association Statement on SOPA/PIPA Internet Blackout Anniversary

The Internet is a revolutionary tool for innovation, job-creation, and democratic discourse.

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, The Internet Association issued the following statement regarding the one-year anniversary of the SOPA and PIPA Internet blackout, the day the American people blocked Congress from advancing the SOPA and PIPA bills. Had these bills become law, it would have been devastating to the Internet users and the Internet economy.

“Today marks the one year anniversary of the online community’s grassroots movement that blocked a Congressional attempt to censor the Internet. SOPA and PIPA’s defeat demonstrated the Internet’s ability to give every user and every constituent a voice in the political process. The Internet is a revolutionary tool for innovation, job-creation, and democratic discourse. Censoring or regulating the Internet would have a devastating impact on countless families, small businesses, and entrepreneurs worldwide. The Internet Association looks forward to working with policy makers, innovators, and all Internet users to ensure that future proposals affecting the Internet do not harm the Internet’s central role in our lives.”

About The Internet Association:  The Internet Association is the unified voice of the Internet economy representing the interests of the leading Internet companies including Amazon.com, AOL, eBay, Expedia, Facebook, Google, IAC, LinkedIn, Monster Worldwide, Rackspace, salesforce.com, TripAdvisor, Yahoo!, and Zynga.  The Internet Association is dedicated to advancing public policy solutions to strengthen and protect Internet freedom, foster innovation and economic development, and empower users.  The Internet Association is headquartered in Washington, D.C. www.InternetAssociation.org.

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January 9, 2013 | ICYMI, News

ICYMI- At CES, Internet Lobby Gets Ready for Fights in Washington

Inc.com
At CES, Internet Lobby Gets Ready for Fights in Washington
Posted January 9, 2014 12:46

On the face of it, policy debates probably seem like the least exciting part of International CES–especially if you’re here, like most people, to see gadgets.  

But in a quiet hallway that feels miles away from the electronics frenzy that goes on annually at the Las Vegas Convention Center, a number of tech policy debates go on. This year picked up right where last year left off on the hot-button issue of anti-piracy legislation and Internet regulation. The message was clear: The Stop Internet Piracy Act (SOPA) might have been defeated in 2012, but there are more bills where that came from.

“Absolutely we will see the son of SOPA,” said Gigi Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge, an Internet advocacy group. “The best defense is offense.”

On Tuesday, at least two sessions were devoted to thinking about potential future legislative threats to the Web community. The first was a screening of a short documentary called “Silicon Prairie: America’s New Internet Economy.” The film chronicled the Midwestern bus travels of Alexis Ohanian, the founder of Reddit and one of the most vocal critics of SOPA. To promote the idea of an open Internet, he went on a road show during the same time as the presidential and vice presidential debates. The resulting feel-good film was produced to make the case that this Internet privacy isn’t just an issue for Silicon Valley or Hollywood, but also for budding entrepreneurs in the rest of the country who depend on the Internet for business survival.

The second session gathered some of the Internet lobby’s biggest players, including Public Knowledge’s Sohn, on a panel called “Beyond SOPA: Creating a Pro-Innovation, Pro-Artist Copyright Policy.” It’s worth noting that the panel didn’t include any participants who work in the entertainment or copyright industry–the strongest proponents of SOPA. The moderator began the discussion by acknowledging the make-up of the panel was “flawed” but claimed that although the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America had been invited both declined to participate.

Both policy sessions focused on the idea that the next threats to Internet businesses will arrive in more subtle legislative packages than SOPA or the Protect IP Act. “The entertainment industry has learned they can’t be that brazen again,” Ohanian said. That means the Internet community may have a tougher time galvanizing average Web users the way it did to defeat those previous bills (14 million people signed petitions against them).

And there are lots of other Internet issues that could come up in Washington in the near future. Sohn cited Fair Use, which determines how a copyrighted work may be used; digital “first sale” rights, which determine whether or not it’s legal to sell or lend things like music or movies that you buy online; and the Internet Radio Fairness Act, a bill that could affect start-ups like Pandora and Spotify.

Privacy is an issue that’s top of mind for Wilson Holmes, co-director of Fight for the Future. “The hard part is there’s a different level of public interest in privacy,” he said. “With SOPA it was easier to see how it would impact people.”

But of potential greater concern, said the panelists, is something called the Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). “That’s where trade policy really goes off the rails,” Sohn said.

The TPP is a free trade agreement currently being negotiated between the U.S., Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malyasia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. According to the Public Knowledge informational site, a portion of TPP focuses on intellectual property and “threatens to impose more stringent copyright without public input.” Tech companies that are involved in content creation and sharing could be affected by such an agreement. The full extent of how they might be affected is unknown, however, because the negotiations and the text of the agreement are not open to the public. But it could include things like–according to two provisions that appeared in leaked versions of the text–criminalizing small-scale copyright infringement (downloading music, for instance) and requiring companies to obtain more licenses from copyright owners.

So what are entrepreneurs to do about looming threats, some of which they can’t even see coming yet? Although the tech industry may be sending more lobbyists than ever to Washington, as AdWeek‘s Katy Backman notes, this may still be very much a grassroots fight.

“Every district and every state is an Internet district and Internet state,” said Michael Beckerman, president and CEO of The Internet Association. In other words, any future fight must be fought by getting as many Internet companies and individual users involved as possible.

A flash mob in Washington was mentioned as one possible tool. As was a hashtag. And a contact Congress app.

“The onus is on us as citizens,” Ohanian said. “These people are our employees–I’m talking about [members of Congress]. In this era of radical transparency, if I can find out what Kim Kardashian had for breakfast, I need to know what my senator is doing.”

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Latest News

Top Internet Business Leaders Confirmed To Speak At Internet Association’s Third Annual Virtuous Circle Summit BECKERMAN: “The value of the Virtuous Circle Summit is the conversations that take place when you bring together the leading voices in the internet innovation and policy space.” Washington, DC — Today, Internet Association announced its initial list of confirmed speakers Read more »

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