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Appeals court to hear US agency's decision to block digital imports

Grant Gross | Aug. 11, 2015
An appeals court will hear arguments this week about the U.S. International Trade Commission's decision to block digital transmissions of 3D dental records into the U.S., an import ban that could have a broad impact on other digital goods.

The MPAA believes the USITC has "broad authority" to protect U.S. industries from copyright infringement, the trade group said in a statement in April. Limiting the USITC's jurisdiction "will hurt the rapid growth of domestic and international marketplaces for distributing content digitally, and ultimately undermine the commission's mandate to protect American businesses," the group said then.

The case has generated comments from both digital rights groups and free-market groups, two constituencies that are not always on the same side on Internet-related issues.

There is "absolutely no need to manufacture new agency powers over digital data," free-market groups the Niskanen Center, the R Street Institute and FreedomWorks wrote in a letter to the USITC this month. "Markets for digital goods have thrived for decades without the commission exercising these powers."

 

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