This Week in Washington IP: Policing Digital Piracy in Other Countries, Self-Preferencing in Digital Platforms and 2021 Budget Requests for Cybersecurity and Spectrum Auctions

This week in Washington, DC, the House of Representatives kicks off the week’s schedule for technology and innovation hearings with the House Communications Subcommittee marking up bills related to wireless spectrum auctions on Tuesday morning. Spectrum auctions will be discussed in both houses of Congress during hearings to examine the 2021 budget request for the Federal Communications Commission. On Tuesday, the Senate IP Subcommittee will hold a hearing to focus on how other countries counteract digital piracy. The week closes with a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing that will explore biotechnology regulatory frameworks that can impact gene editing and other agricultural technologies.

Tuesday, March 10

House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology

Markup of Eleven Bills Relating to Public Safety, Media Diversity, and C-Band

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday in 2123 Rayburn House Office Building.

On Tuesday morning, the House Communications Subcommittee will convene a markup hearing to look at several bills related to auctions of wireless spectrum to support the buildout of mobile networking infrastructure, including H.R. 4855, the Clearing Broad Airwaves for New Deployment (C-BAND) Act, and H.R. 451, the Don’t Break Up the T-Band Act. Other bills being examined by the subcommittee during this meeting are related to the provisioning of emergency response networks and promoting diversity in the broadcasting industry.

Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights 

Competition in Digital Technology Markets: Examining Self-Preferencing by Digital Platforms

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday in 226 Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Antitrust regulators in D.C. have focused on a number of business activities implemented by major tech firms that may have a sizable impact on discouraging economic competition. This includes the tendency of digital platforms to self-preference their own digital content, like app store providers who ensure that apps they developed themselves are seen more prominently than competitor apps in the same store. The witness panel for this hearing includes Gene Kimmelman, Senior Advisor, Public Knowledge; Sally Hubbard, Director of Enforcement Strategy, Open Markets Institute; Thomas Hazlett, H.H. Macaulay Endowed Professor of Economics, Clemson University; Morgan Reed, President, ACT | The App Association; and Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO, Yelp Inc.

Senate Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government

Review of the FY2021 Budget Request for the FCC

At 10:00 AM on Tuesday in 562 Dirksen.

The 2021 budget request from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seeks nearly $482 million in appropriations, including a $2 million increase to its previous year budgetary request related to spectrum auctions. The witness panel for this hearing will include the Honorable Ajit Pai, Chairman, FCC; the Honorable Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner, FCC; and the Honorable Geoffrey Starks, Commissioner, FCC.

Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property 

Copyright Law in Foreign Jurisdictions: How Are Other Countries Handling Digital Piracy?

At 2:30 PM on Tuesday in 226 Dirksen.

Lawmakers in Congress have been shifting their focus in recent months towards copyright system reforms designed to address the scourge of digital piracy and encourage industry stakeholders to call out bad actors in the sector. While the U.S. legal system tends to lean on civil penalties to deter infringing activity, other jurisdictions like the UK make use of criminal penalties against infringers. There will be two witness panels at this Senate IP Subcommittee hearing. The first panel will include Justin Hughes, Hon. William Matthew Byrne, Jr. Chair Professor of Law, Loyola Marymount University Law School; Pamela Samuelson, Richard M. Sherman Distinguished Professor of Law, Co-Director, Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, University of California Berkeley School of Law; Michael Smith, J. Erik Jonsson Professor of Information Technology and Marketing, Carnegie Mellon University H. John Heinz III College; and Daphne Keller, Director, Program on Platform Regulation, Cyber Policy Center, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Stanford University. The second panel will include Stan McCoy, President and Managing Director, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Motion Picture Association; Julia Reda, Former Member of the European Parliament and Fellow, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University; Jonathan Yunger, Co-President, Millennium Films; and Matt Schruers, President, Computer & Communications Industry Association.

Wednesday, March 11

House Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government 

Federal Communications Commission Budget Request for FY2021

At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in H-309 Capitol Building.

This will be the second hearing on Capitol Hill this week related to the 2021 fiscal year budget request for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The witness panel for this hearing will include the Honorable Ajit Pai, Chairman, FCC; and the Honorable Jessica Rosenworcel, Commissioner, FCC.

House Subcommittee on Research and Technology 

Reauthorization of the National Institute of Standards and Technology

At 10:00 AM on Wednesday in 2318 Rayburn.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. federal government operating as a physical sciences laboratory designed to promote American innovation in key sectors. In recent weeks, NIST has released a data privacy framework to promote the ethical use of artificial intelligence, and the agency will soon be coming out with a privacy framework geared specifically towards small- and medium-sized businesses. The sole witness at this hearing will be the Honorable Walter Copan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology, and Director, NIST.

House Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation 

Resourcing DHS’ Cybersecurity and Innovation Missions: A Review of the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Request for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Science and Technology Directorate

At 11:00 AM on Wednesday in 310 Cannon House Office Building.

The 2021 budget proposed by President Donald Trump would appropriate $18.8 billion to cybersecurity programs across the federal government, including $1.1 billion to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and its Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. However, President Trump’s proposed budget also cuts funding for a large number of science programs. The witness panel for this hearing will include the Honorable Christopher Krebs, Director, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; and William Bryan, Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology, Science and Technology Directorate, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

House Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities

Reviewing Department of Defense Science and Technology Strategy, Policy, and Programs for Fiscal Year 2021: Maintaining a Robust Ecosystem for Our Technological Edge

At 2:00 PM on Wednesday in 2118 Rayburn.

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is very active in incorporating emerging technologies into military operations and in late February, the DoD released guidelines designed to encourage the responsible use of artificial intelligence technologies in national security activities. The witness panel for this hearing will include the Honorable Michael Griffin, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Office of the Secretary of Defense; the Honorable Bruce Jette, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, Department of the Army; the Honorable James Geurts, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, Department of the Navy; and the Honorable William Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Department of the Air Force.

Thursday, March 12

Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry

Agriculture Innovation and the Federal Biotechnology Regulatory Framework

At 10:00 AM on Thursday in 328A Russell Senate Office Building.

The world of agriculture has experienced many exciting technological advances, one of the most recent being gene editing techniques that can improve sustainability for both crops and livestock. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue recently remarked that the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration were looking at the possibility of drafting a regulatory biotechnology framework for gene-edited animals that would be jointly implemented by those agencies. The witness panel for this hearing will include Patrick Johnson, Jr., Producer and Chairman, Environmental Task Force, National Cotton Council; Dr. Wayne Parrott, Professor, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics, University of Georgia; Dr. Michael Paustian, Producer and President, Iowa Pork Producers Association; and Gregory Jaffe, Director of the Project on Biotechnology, Center for Science in the Public Interest.



Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author as of the time of publication and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of Read more.

Join the Discussion

One comment so far.

  • [Avatar for Pro Say]
    Pro Say
    March 9, 2020 03:49 pm

    So while the Senate Subcommittee on Intellectual Property turns its attention to copyright matters . . . the U.S. patent system continues to sink under the unconstitutional weight of Alice / Mayo . . . with China, Europe, and the rest of the world collectively roaring with unfettered delight behind closed doors.