Judiciary Committee Considers Bill to Eliminate Eminent Domain Abuses
Monday, April 3, 2017 11:35 am | By Elizabeth McKee

The House Judiciary Committee’s  Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice held a hearing March 30 regarding the Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2017 (H.R. 1689). The bill, which was sponsored by Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis), would prohibit states from using eminent domain over property to be used for economic development. 

The Fifth Amendment provides the constitutional framework for the practice of eminent domain, detailing, “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” The controversial Kelo v. City of New London Supreme Court case in 2005 determined that seizing a property to be developed and generate increase tax revenue fell under the definition of “public use.” Thus, the Supreme Court affirmed the constitutionality of using eminent domain to transfer property to private developers.   

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Reps. Goodlatte and Conyers Introduce Bill to Increase Accountability in U.S. Copyright Office
Monday, March 27, 2017 2:42 pm | By Elizabeth McKee

Representatives Bob Goodlatte and John Conyers introduced a bill in the House of Representatives today that would increase transparency and Congressional oversight in the U.S. Copyright Office. The Register of Copyrights Selection and Accountability Act would change the selection process for the head of the U.S. Copyright Office, requiring that the Register of Copyrights be appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The term of limits for the Register would be limited to 10 years, with the possibility of renewal by the president. 

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How Bitcoin is Revolutionizing IP Protection
Thursday, March 23, 2017 3:04 pm | By Elizabeth McKee

States and security firms are engaged in a digital war against content pirates. Historically, advances in file-sharing technology have created new mechanisms for content piracy, allowing 141 billion users to frequent pirate sites every year. However, IP enforcement technology may be catching up with that of pirates. Some cybersecurity firms are using Bitcoin’s blockchain technology to monitor and reduce digital piracy.

Bitcoin’s blockchain is a shared public ledger that tracks every transaction made using the digital currency. Bitcoin wallets use this ledger to calculate the balance of each user’s account, making the integrity of the blockchain valuable. Currently, one bitcoin is worth over $1,000 precisely because hackers remain unable to manipulate the blockchain.


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