Engine supports congressional Democrats’ efforts to adopt legislation that would reinstate the Federal Communications Commission’s 2015 Open Internet rules.
Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Mark Warner (D-VA) reintroduced their Startup Act, bipartisan legislation intended to encourage job growth and the creation of new innovative businesses. In 2017, the senators last introduced this legislation, which would accelerate the commercialization of university research, review and improve the regulatory processes at the federal, state and local levels, and modernize an Economic Development Administration (EDA) program designed to promote innovation.
Last week, United States Patent and Trademark Office Director Andrei Iancu gave a speech to the Eastern District of Texas Bar Association, where he implied that patent trolls were not a real problem faced by innovators, but instead just a “narrative” made up to scare away innovators. Not only is this factually inaccurate, but it is troubling that Director Iancu would ignore the overwhelming data showing that low-quality patents have led to a rash of abusive patent litigation directed towards small companies and entrepreneurs over the past decade.
The Trump Administration’s decision to rescind the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) is deeply disappointing for startups across the country. The rule was enacted to create a pathway for immigrant entrepreneurs to build companies and create jobs in the United States. For an Administration that has promised to spur job growth, this decision is incredibly short-sighted and detrimental to our long-term economic prosperity.
The following can be attributed to Engine Executive Director Evan Engstrom:
"We applaud Sen. Wyden's work to address some of our concerns with this legislation. We all support efforts to stop sex trafficking, but it is important to do so in a way that doesn't create unintended consequences for smaller internet companies that feature user-generated content. Sen. Wyden's amendments would help clarify that companies honestly engaging in content moderation won't face unexpected or unfair liability. That would make it substantially easier for platforms to proactively contribute to the fight against sex trafficking without fear of negative consequences."
Engine's statement following the announcement from the House Committee on Rules to consider H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA) on Monday, February 26th and the proposed amendment by Rep. Walters to include language from the Senate’s Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act (SESTA)
“The Federal Communications Commission voted today to strip the critical protections that made the Internet a level playing field for startups. With its rushed, party-line decision to repeal the 2015 Open Internet Order, the Commission is ignoring the pleas of innovators, investors, and everyday users to keep the Internet free and open"