News
Decreasing Piracy Stimulates Economy
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 4:24 pm | By Katerina Bricker

A recent study released by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) solidifies the argument that reducing software piracy boosts economic growth. The study included 42 countries which own 93 percent of the world’s PC software currently in use. Click HERE to view the original pdf file of BSA’s publication. You can also click HERE for the study in brief.

 
In the study it states that the faster we reduce piracy, the greater the economic impact the reduction will have. An example given in the study goes as follows: if you were to reduce the piracy rate in the US by 10 percentage points in two years it would add more than $52 billion to the country’s GDP by 2013. It would also boost US tax revenues by more than $8 billion.
 
The International Data Corporation (IDC) says that lowering piracy by 10 points, on average, per country in four years will deliver many benefits, such as, 500,000 new high-tech jobs, more than $142 billion in new spending, and around $32 billion in new tax revenues.
 
The BSA gives an outline on reducing software piracy:
 
1.      Increase Public education & awareness
2.      Implement the WIPO Copyright Treaty
3.      Create Strong and Workable Enforcement Mechanisms as Required by TRIPS (Strong copyright laws are essential)
4.      Step up enforcement
5.      Lead by example (governments actively managing their own software assets and sending a clear message that they will not tolerate piracy)
 
The downside of software is the more it grows the more it infringes on intellectual property (IP) protection. If we do not protect IP then incentives for technological innovation fades away. If we protect IP then technology will accelerate and thus the economy will continue to move forward. 
 
We all want a better economy. So why wouldn’t we want to reduce piracy? Take action in your own lives and buy your software, don’t rely on that friend to let you “borrow” their version.

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Stopping Digital Parasites
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 10:04 am | By Kelsey Zahourek

This week Senator Leahy (D-VT) introduced the “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act.” I applaud Senator Leahy and the bills co-sponsors, Senators Evan Bayh, Richard Durbin, Orrin Hatch, Amy Klobuchar, Herb Kohl, Charles Schumer, Arlen Specter, George Voinovich, and Sheldon Whitehouse for taking a much needed step to ensure that websites and domain names which facilitate and profit from the illegal distribution of intellectual property are shut down before any further infringement can take place.

American industries that rely on intellectual property rights employ over 18 million people and account for over $5 trillion of U.S. gross domestic product. The entertainment industry is perhaps the most visible victim of online infringement through illegal music downloads and video streaming, but there are other industries, including pharmaceuticals, machinery, and clothing that rely on the protection of intellectual property rights in order to not only thrive, but survive.

In a statement, Senator Hatch elaborated on the need for such legislative action:

“In today’s global economy the internet has become the glue of international commerce –- connecting consumers with a wide array of products and services worldwide. But it’s also become a tool for online thieves to sell counterfeit and pirated goods, making hundreds of millions of dollars off of stolen American intellectual property.”

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Medical Community Today, You Tomorrow?
Monday, September 20, 2010 4:16 pm | By Katerina Bricker

The medical field in New Hampshire is facing a serious crisis; the state is trying to take away their private property. People who fund the Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Association (JUA), such as medical doctors, nurses, hospitals, and nursing homes, are plaintiffs in lawsuits against the state of New Hampshire to prevent it from raiding more than $110 million in surplus revenue from the JUA.

The state government, who has not contributed any money to the JUA, is determined to raid the fund to fill its own budget shortfalls. In early September the state commissioner, aided by Gov. John Lynch, enacted new rules for operating the JUA that would take away 25 years of vested policy holders’ rights and appoint the commissioner to run the JUA.
 
Are you surprised? Of course not. This has happened time and time again. States refuse to get their own fiscal house in order so they decide to take money from any source they can possibly find. So here lies the issue; the state notices the JUA and sees that it has surplus money that is being given back to the policy holders and the state wants it.
 
Supporters of the new rules claim they are necessary because they address the issue of the JUA’s tax-exempt status. Lynch is trying to make it so the JUA has to pay taxes and which would then allow for the surplus money to go to the state. This puts policy holders’ future investments in serious jeopardy. Last time I checked this was their money and not the states’ property.
 
Republican candidate for Governor, John Stephen, has come out against this proposal stating that Gov. John Lynch disrespects property rights. He also said that 86% of New Hampshire voters are against this. Today the medical community is getting their property stolen from them, will you be next?

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