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Federalist Society Asks: What’s the Right Amount of Censorship?

I received the email below from the Federalist Societyabout a Teleforum its Intellectual Property Practice Group is putting on tomorrow on “Stopping Online Piracy: Where Should We Draw the Line?”. It’s free and no registration is necessary. To attend just dial 888-752-3232 at 1:00 p.m. (EST), Thursday, February 2, 2012.

The speakers are Larry Downes, “Consultant and Author, Technology, Strategy and the Law,” and Steve Tepp, “Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, Global Intellectual Property Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce”. Now which one do you think will be the IP shill, eh? Not hard to guess, is it. Hint: Tepp. The US Chamber of Commerce is horrible on this. Here’s what their site is promoting:

U.S. Chamber Calls for Immediate Action on Rogue Sites Legislation

We all agree—theft of American jobs and innovation is not a business model we can continue to allow. Congress cannot ignore this massive loophole in enforcement of intellectual property online. Foreign e-criminals are bleeding our most creative industries in this critical time of economic recovery. A vote for rogue sites legislation is a vote for American jobs and American consumers.

Visit www.fightonlinetheft.com to learn more about the campaign against rogue sites.

If even Tepp comes out against SOPA and in favor of more “reasonable” anti-piracy laws, I’d be surprised. And I’d be even more surprised if Downes comes out against copyright or for a radical scaling back of copyright. He’ll probably say we need more “balance” and while piracy is a “real problem” and while intellectual property is “important” laws “like SOPA” “go too far.” Wow, what a debate.

No one is calling for the real reform we need. Let’s hope Downes surprises me and attacks the disease (copyright), not merely the SOPA-censorship-police state symptom. But I’m not betting on it.

Don’t believe me? Tune in and see for yourself. Here’s the FedSoc email:


The Federalist Society
Stopping Online Piracy: Where Should We Draw the Line?

A Teleforum Sponsored by the

Intellectual Property Practice Group


Mr. Larry Downes, Consultant and Author, Technology, Strategy and the Law*


Mr. Steve Tepp, Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, Global Intellectual Property Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce**



Thursday, February 2, 2012

at 1:00 p.m. (EST)

No registration is necessary.
To participate in this practice group Teleforum, please dial 888-752-3232
on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. (EST) via telephone.

SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, is a bill before the U.S. Congress that is designed to expand the authority of U.S. law enforcement to police and stop online trafficking in copyrighted material. But what are the exact contours of the government’s authority under the proposed legislation? Under what circumstances can the government shut down, or order the shut down, of a website? Why has the bill produced so much controversy? Who are the winners and losers if the bill is enacted? These and other questions will be discussed on our Teleforum.

*Larry Downes is a consultant and speaker on developing business strategies in an age of constant disruption caused by information technology. Downes is author of the Business Week and New York Times business bestseller, “Unleashing the Killer App: Digital Strategies for Market Dominance” (Harvard Business School Press, 1998), which has sold nearly 200,000 copies and was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the five most important books ever published on business and technology. His new book, “The Laws of Disruption: Harnessing the New Forces that Govern Business and Life in the Digital Age” (Basic Books 2009) offers nine strategies for success in the emerging world of information law. It combines Downes’s unique perspective on economics, law, and innovation in the digital age. Downes is also a Partner with the Bell-Mason Group, which works with Global 1000 corporations, providing corporate venturing methodologies, tools, techniques and support that accelerate corporate innovation and venturing programs. He has written for a variety of publications, including USA Today, Harvard Business Review, Inc., Wired, CNet, Strategy & Leadership, CIO, The American Scholarr and the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology. He was a columnist for both The Industry Standard and CIO Insight. He writes regularly for both Forbes and CNET, covering the intersection of technology, politics and business. Downes has held faculty appointments at The University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, Northwestern University School of Law, and the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, where he taught courses on corporate strategy and technology law. From 2006-2010, he was a nonresident Fellow at the Stanford Law School Center for Internet & Society. He is currently a Senior Fellow with TechFreedom, a non-profit, non-partisan technology policy think tank.

**Steve Tepp is the chief intellectual property counsel for the Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Tepp, who joined the Chamber in July 2010, provides expert legal counsel across the GIPC at the strategic and operational levels. He is also responsible for leading the GIPC’s efforts, long term and short term, foreign and domestic, to reduce trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy, especially in the digital and online environments. Previously, Tepp served as senior counsel for Policy and International Affairs at the U.S. Copyright Office, where he negotiated numerous free trade agreements and played a major role in drafting and negotiating the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. Tepp had principal responsibility for all copyright matters in the Asia-Pacific and Latin America regions and litigated the U.S.-China IPR dispute before the World Trade Organization. He also worked on domestic legislative matters and litigated many federal court cases. Tepp co-authored the Copyright Office’s Digital Millennium Copyright Act Section 104 Report to Congress (2001), as well as its 2003 and 2006 Section 1201 Rulemakings. Earlier in his career, Tepp was an attorney for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the staff of the chairman, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), specializing in intellectual property. Collectively, Tepp has been in or around every copyright-related matters before the U.S. Congress since the mid-1990s. Tepp taught copyright law at the Georgetown University Law Center and the George Mason University Law School. He is a graduate of American University’s Washington College of Law and received his undergraduate degree from Colgate University. He resides in Virginia with his wife and children.

Upcoming Calls 

Monday, February 6, 12:00pm
Golan v Holder
with Adam Mossoff, Chris Newman and David Olson
**All calls listed are EST.

No registration is necessary. 


Dial in number is 888-752-3232.   

The Federalist Society
1015 18th Street, NW, Suite 425
Washington, District of Columbia 20036

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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Larry Downes February 1, 2012, 6:05 pm

    Have you bothered to read my work before making such ridiculous assumptions about what I will or won’t say? I have consistently and repeatedly called for radical and specific scaling back of copyright. You might not be “surprised” if you actually knew something about people you feel so confident pre-bashing.

To the extent possible under law, Stephan Kinsella has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to C4SIF. This work is published from: United States. In the event the CC0 license is unenforceable a  Creative Commons License Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License is hereby granted.