PRA Applauds IPEC Legislative Recommendations
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 11:46 am | By Kelsey Zahourek

Today, White House Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC), Victoria Espinel, released her recommendations for legislation to improve IP enforcement. PRA applauds the Office of the IPEC for their continued work in recognizing the problem counterfeiting and piracy not only poses to jobs and the economy but more importantly, to the health and safety of the public.

Fake products of all kinds are entering the supply chain in record numbers, posing a serious health and safety risk to this country. From tainted pharmaceuticals to substandard airplane parts, counterfeit products continue to cause serious harm to life and physical property. The IPEC’s recommendations focus on increasing the criminal penalties for specific activities that deal with offenses that put the public in danger including: the sale of counterfeited goods to the military, counterfeiting and piracy that is funded by organized crime, and for counterfeit drug offenses.

We also applaud the IPEC’s recommendation that Congress enact a performance right for sound recording. PRA has long been an advocate of the right of performers to collect royalties from broadcasters when their recordings are played on the radio. Under current law, radio broadcasters are allowed to use copyrighted intellectual property without compensation because of the perceived promotional benefit to the owner of the creative work. Satellite, Internet, and Cable broadcasters are not exempt and must pay for the use of music, regardless of any promotional benefit to the artist.

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Administration Seeks to Expand Federal Control Over Western Lands
Thursday, March 3, 2011 4:03 pm | By Kelsey Zahourek

Federal land in the West could soon come under more control as Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) consider whether to designate millions of acres of federal land as “wild lands.”

Last December, Secretary Salazar announced that the BLM would be tasked with inventorying its 235 million acres of land holdings in an effort to identify wilderness quality lands.
Originally conceived to preserve lands unmarred by human hands, wilderness status (and soon wild lands status) is now used as a tool to block desirable land from energy development, oil exploration, cattle grazing, hunting, farming, mountain biking, and every other form of use and recreation.
This drew the ire (and rightfully so) of several Western lawmakers and governors accusing the administration of circumventing Congress who traditionally has the sole jurisdiction do designate wilderness areas. In House Natural Resources hearing held this week, Chairman Doc Hastings re-iterated this sentiment in his opening statement saying:
“The term “wild lands” may be new, but the Administration’s motives are not. This order is a clear attempt to all the Administration to create de facto Wilderness areas without Congressional approval…
“Before examining the widespread impacts of this order, the Administration’s lack of legal authority to impose such a policy deserves emphasis. The Wilderness Act of 1964 very clearly gives Congress, and only Congress, the statutory authority to create new Wilderness areas.
“Its absurd for the Obama Administration to claim that giving wilderness a different label of “wild lands” will somehow pass legal muster. Clever semantics cannot circumvent the law.”
Idaho Governor Butch Otter and Utah Governor Gary Herbert were also on hand to testify, warning of the economic impact, including significant job losses that could occur should this order take effect.
This Secretarial Order is a serious threat to all property owners in the West.  Over the past several decades, there has been a proliferation of programs dedicated to the preservation of land that has extended the grasp of the federal government and its influence over private property rights. As a result, landowners have seen their property value diminish due to increased land use regulations and outdoor recreation enthusiasts have found new restrictions on both public and private land.


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Save the Date! Launch of 2011 International Property Rights Index
Wednesday, March 2, 2011 12:50 pm | By Kelsey Zahourek

 Followed by a discussion by a panel of experts on what the Index means for property rights in the 112th Congress and around the globe

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

National Press Club
13th Floor -- Lisagor, White, and Murrow Rooms

Confirmed Speakers
Kyle Jackson, 2010 Hernando de Soto Fellow
Stan McCoy, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative, USTR Office of Intellectual Property and Innovation
Terry Miller, Director, Center for International Trade and Economics, Heritage Foundation
Christina Walsh, Director of Activism and Coalitions, Institute for Justice

kzahourek @

Property Rights Alliance has partnered with sixty-seven (67) global institutions to present the 2011 International Property Rights Index (IPRI)

The 2011 International Property Rights Index (IPRI) is an international comparative study that measures the significance of both physical and intellectual property rights and their protection for economic well-being. Property Rights Alliance initiated the IPRI studies for the Hernando de Soto Fellowship Program to contribute to developing accurate and comprehensive measures regarding property rights (PR) on an international scale. The International Property Rights Index will provide the public, researchers and policymakers, from across the globe, with a tool for comparative analysis and future research on global property rights. In order to incorporate and grasp the important aspects related to property rights protection, the Index focuses on three areas: Legal and Political Environment (LP), Physical Property Rights (PPR), and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR). The current study analyzes data for 129 countries around the globe, representing ninety-seven percent of world GDP. Of great importance, the 2011 gauge incorporates data of PR protection from various sources, often directly obtained from expert surveys within the evaluated countries.


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