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  • The Never-Ending CCTLD Story

    Yu, Peter K. (Texas A&M Law Scholarship, 2003-01-01)
    Country-code top-level domains (ccTLDs) are the two-letter suffixes used by countries to denote their Internet addresses. Examples include .fr (for France), .tv (for Tuvalu) and .uk (for the United Kingdom). When ccTLDs were first developed, ccTLD policymaking was not high on the international lawmaking agenda. However, as the Internet explodes and as countries begin to realize the potential of this key information infrastructure, ccTLDs have received significant attention from the international community. Added to the ccTLD policymaking debate is the creation and development of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit corporation formed to assume responsibility for the IP address space allocation, protocol parameter assignment, domain name system management, and root server system management functions previously performed under U.S. Government contract by IANA and other entities. This book chapter recounts the power struggle over the control of the Domain Name System and authority to delegate and administer ccTLDs. It traces how ccTLD policymaking has been transformed from ad hoc, informal coordination to international, contract-based governance. It also discusses the various major players in the ccTLD debate: ICANN, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), ccTLD managers, national governments, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
  • P2P and the Future of Private Copying

    Yu, Peter K. (Texas A&M Law Scholarship, 2005-01-01)
    Since the beginning of the P2P file-sharing controversy, commentators have discussed the radical expansion of copyright law, the industry's controversial enforcement tactics, the need for new legislative and business models, the changing social norms, and the evolving interplay of politics and market conditions. Although these discussions have delved into the many aspects of the controversy, none of them presents a big picture of the issues or explains how they fit within the larger file-sharing debate. Using a holistic approach, this Article brings together existing scholarship while offering some thoughts on the future of private copying. The Article does not seek to advance a new theory or model, which could quickly become obsolete, given the rapid advance of digital and P2P technologies. Rather, it provides guidelines to help policymakers to craft an effective solution to the unauthorized copying problem. This Article begins by examining the RIAA's enforcement tactics, developments in copyright law in 2003, and possible challenges the entertainment industry will face in ensuing years. The Article then evaluates critically proposals commentators have put forward to solve the unauthorized copying problem: (1) mass licensing, (2) compulsory licensing, (3) voluntary collective licensing, (4) voluntary contribution, (5) technological protection, (6) copyright law revision, (7) administrative dispute resolution proceeding, and (8) alternative compensation. Acknowledging the provisional nature of these proposals, this Article contends that policymakers need to adopt a range of solutions that meet the needs of consumers while taking into account the Internet's structural resistance to control, its immutable characteristics as a network, and the changing social norms in the digital copyright world. This Article concludes by challenging policymakers and commentators to step outside their mental boundaries to rethink the P2P file-sharing debate. By presenting thought experiments that compare the ongoing P2P file-sharing wars to (1) a battle for self-preservation between humans and machines, (2) an imaginary World War III, and (3) the conquest of Generation Y, this Article demonstrates that policymakers should not focus on legal solutions alone. Instead, they should pay more attention to market forces, technological architectures, and social norms, which also play very important roles in crafting an effective solution to the unauthorized copying problem. The Article concludes by offering some guidelines that may point the way to this solution.
  • Four Common Misconceptions About Copyright Piracy

    Yu, Peter K. (Texas A&M Law Scholarship, 2003-01-01)
    Copyright piracy is one of the most difficult, yet important, transnational problems in the twenty-first century. Although legal literature has discussed copyright piracy extensively, commentators rarely offer a "grand unified theory" on this global problem. Rather, they give nuanced analyses, discussing the many aspects of the problem-political, social, economic, cultural, and historical. This nuanced discussion, however, is missing in the current public debate. To capture the readers' emotion and to generate support for proposed legislative and executive actions, the debate often oversimplifies the complicated picture by overexagerrating a particular aspect of the piracy problem or by offering an abbreviated, easy-to-understand, yet somewhat misleading version of the story. Such oversimplification is dangerous, for it creates misconceptions that not only confuse the public as to the cause and extent of the problem, but also mislead policymakers into finding solutions that fail to attack the crux of the piracy problem. In light of this shortcoming, this Article discusses four common misconceptions about copyright piracy: (1) Copyright piracy is merely a cultural problem; (2) copyright piracy is primarily a development issue; (3) copyright piracy is a past phenomenon for technologically-advanced countries; and (4) copyright piracy is a necessary byproduct of authoritarian rule. It then attempts to reconfigure the misguided public debate on copyright piracy by underscoring the need to focus on the copyright divide - the gap between those who have stakes in the copyright regime and those who do not. This Article concludes by warning that the United States might not be able to eradicate the piracy problem unless its legislators and policymakers are willing to change the lawmaking process by taking into account the interests of both the stakeholders and nonstakeholders.
  • Anticircumvention and Anti-anticircumvention

    Yu, Peter K. (Texas A&M Law Scholarship, 2006-01-01)
    In today's debate on digital rights management systems, there is a considerable divide between the rights holders, their investors and representatives on the one hand and academics, consumer advocates, and civil libertarians on the other. These two groups often talk past each other, concocting their own doomsday scenarios while arguing for laws and policies that vindicate their positions. Unfortunately, neither side has sufficient empirical evidence to either support its position or disprove its rivals'. As the digital economy grows, the debate intensifies, and the divide between the two sides widens. Today, there has emerged an urgent need to find the common ground on this very divisive issue. Published as part of the Inaugural Summit on Intellectual Property and Digital Media, this article begins by examining the positions taken by the proponents and critics of DRM systems and related laws. It then focuses on anticircumvention laws, highlighting their harms at both the domestic and international levels. Contending that an unbalanced international anticircumvention regime is more harmful than its domestic counterpart, this article calls for countries, in particular less developed countries, to be more cautious about the ratification and subsequent implementation of the WIPO Internet Treaties. This article concludes with four observations which provide insight into the development of the next generation of DRM systems and the supporting legal regime.
  • Enforcement: A Neglected Child in the Intellectual Property Family

    Yu, Peter K. (Texas A&M Law Scholarship, 2016-01-01)
    Effective enforcement is essential to the protection of intellectual property rights. Without enforcement, these rights will be of little value. Although intellectual property enforcement has been around for as long as intellectual property rights have existed, this topic has not caught much attention from intellectual property commentators and instructors until the past decade.Today, there remains a dearth of theoretical literature on intellectual property enforcement, and specialized courses on this topic remain rare. Even when enforcement is covered as part of an intellectual property course, the topic tends to be discussed either at the end of the course or in conjunction with infringements.This chapter begins by identifying four different types of enforcement issues that intellectual property commentators and instructors usually explore. It then discusses why enforcement remains a neglected child in the intellectual property family. It further suggests two different tracks — the digital track and the global track — to help integrate enforcement back into its larger family. The chapter concludes with a cautiously optimistic view on the prospects of such integration.

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