[Video] Should Congress Close the “Streaming Loophole”?

Copyright infringement laws dictate serious penalties for digital works that have been reproduced and downloaded. However, streaming has become the new method of choice for illegal piracy. “Display and public performances” laws – which cover streaming – only carry trivial penalties. This is called the “streaming loophole.” Copyright advocates say that new laws must be passed to close the loophole, while internet freedom advocates insist that new laws could harm consumers.

Kevin Madigan is VP, Legal Policy and Copyright Counsel at the Copyright Alliance.

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[Video] Washington or the States: Who Has the Authority to Regulate Commercial Drone Flights?

Commercial drone services are evolving rapidly but who regulates how and where they operate? The Federal Aviation Administration is authorized to oversee “navigable airspace.” On the other hand, drones fly low to the ground which would implicate property rights, which are governed by state laws. How might these regulatory issues be assessed and resolved, and how could they affect the future of drone technology and usage?

Brent Skorup is a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

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[Video] California’s AB-5 Law: Who can be considered an “independent contractor”?

In 2019, California passed AB-5, a law that mandates that most workers should be considered “employees” rather than “independent contractors.” Advocates claim that this law will offer more protection for all workers. Opponents state that this law will stifle innovation and deprive workers of the independence to structure their own relationships.

Alida Kass of the New Jersey Civil Justice Institute explores how the California law compares to other states and the issues that it may raise for workers.

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[Video] Do Certificate of Need Laws Help Control Healthcare Costs?

Certificate of need laws are state regulations designed to control medical costs. New medical facilities must be assessed and approved by a state board which determines whether such a facility is needed by the community.

Christina Sandefur of the Goldwater Institute explores whether such laws have successfully controlled costs or if they have hindered the competition required to balance healthcare prices.

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[Video] Government Surveillance: The National Security Perspective

Many national security experts argue that lawful surveillance activities, such as those authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), are necessary to protect the national security of the United States.

In this Fourth Branch video, Matthew Heiman takes a deep dive into this issue from the national security perspective.

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[Video] FDA Regulation of Diagnostic Testing and COVID-19

Did Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations hamper the fight against COVID-19 at a critical juncture? In this short video narrated by Roger Klein, we explore the relationship between the FDA and the CDC in regulating and conducting diagnostic tests.

In 2016, in response to the Zika virus, the FDA designated the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the country’s only diagnostic test manufacturer. In early February 2020, the CDC was ordered to distribute tests for COVID-19 which were faulty and had to have results verified by the CDC laboratory. Only in mid-March 2020, did the CDC loosen regulations which then allowed private hospitals and labs to develop and conduct their own tests.

Could more have been known about the disease at an earlier date if private testing and treatment had been allowed and encouraged? Should the COVID-19 emergency force us to reevaluate the purpose and use of public health regulations and policies?

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[Video] Big Cities and Zoning: The Search for Affordable Housing

Across the country, housing in larger cities is becoming more expensive. Lower and middle-class families are being priced out of many of them. This video tells the story of Seattle residents Kip and Michelle Klemz and discusses the role that zoning regulations, specifically those that limit housing density, play in this trend.

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[Video] Does Federal Permitting Under the National Environmental Policy Act Need Reform?

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was designed to regulate federal infrastructure projects to minimize harmful environmental impact. Over time, the review process has become lengthy and costly. This process has delayed or condemned needed construction of roads, pipelines, and power lines.

In this video, Professor James Coleman discusses possible benefits of NEPA reform, while explaining why the issue is hotly debated. He proposes a new way of formulating the question that could be discussed without resorting to partisanship.

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[Video] Government Surveillance: Security v. Liberty?

In this Fourth Branch video, Matthew Heiman and Julian Sanchez debate the pros and cons of government surveillance and Faisal Gill, a former Department of Homeland Security official who was surveilled by the federal government beginning in 2006, tells his story.

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[Video] Public Piracy of Private Property? Allen v. Cooper

The wreck of the Queen Anne’s Revenge, a ship captained by Blackbeard that sank in the early 18th century, sits underwater just off the coast of North Carolina.

Frederick Allen is the exclusive photographer and videographer of the wreck. In 2013, he found that North Carolina was using his footage on state websites without paying royalties – even though he had federal copyright protection for the material. After a settlement, the state continued to use the footage, and in a dispute now before the Court, Allen claims that the state agency officials are using video/photography materials disregarding due process and copyright law.

North Carolina argues that it is covered by sovereign immunity, and thus shielded from a suit over copyright violations.

Are members of a state agency exempt from copyright lawsuits in the name of state sovereign immunity?

The case will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on November 5.

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