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February 26, 2007

Technology Policy

The Democratic agenda
The Washington Post looks at how net neutrality is becoming an issue for Democrats this year, "largely because its most fervid advocates are liberal bloggers and other Internet activists who play a big role in the early stages of choosing a Democratic presidential nominee. Unlike their Republican counterparts, every major Democratic presidential candidate has endorsed net neutrality. The move keeps them in good standing with powerful grass-roots groups, such as MoveOn.org, and costs them little in return."

House Passes Bill to Establish a Pilot Program on Patent Law in Some District Courts
The House quickly passed legislation Monday that aims to encourage district judges to develop an expertise in patent cases.

House OKs specialized patent judges
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill that would allow certain federal judges to defer patent cases to colleagues considered better-versed in the complex area.

Senate bill urges e-voting paper trail
Under a bill introduced Tuesday in the U.S. Senate, all electronic voting machines would have to allow voters a way to verify their picks on paper before casting their ballots.

House plans hearing with Sirius exec
A proposed merger between XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio has only been officially public for a few days, but it's already stirring questions on Capitol Hill.

Cleaner tech: Transforming transformers
Don't look now but there be some action, ever so slowly, in Washington to increase America's energy efficiency.

Congress Tackles Patent Reform
"Wired's Luke O'Brian recently reported about Congress' latest attempt to reform the patent system. In the article O'Brian tells of how 'witnesses at Thursday's hearing painted a bleak picture of that system. Adam Jaffe, a Brandeis University professor and author of a book on the subject, described the system as 'out of whack.' Instead of 'the engine of innovation,' the patent has become 'the sand in the gears,' he said, citing widespread fears of litigation. The House Oversight Committee website has more details. How would you fix the patent system?"

FCC Report - TV Violence Should be Regulated
"CNN reports that a draft FCC report circulating on Capitol Hill 'suggests Congress could craft a law that would let the agency regulate violent programming much like it regulates sexual content and profanity — by barring it from being aired during hours when children may be watching' The article goes on to quote from studies showing a link between violent imagery and violence in life, and discusses the 'huge grey areas' that could result from ill-defined concepts of excessive violence."

Bill Introduced: Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Act
S.522 "Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement Act," introduced 2/7/07.

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