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Our comments filed with the FTC today support an investigation into the secretive world of patent trolls.
For a patent reformer like me, this is an exciting time. Every part of government wants to get involved. The House of Representatives just passed a momentous patent litigation reform bill, the Supreme Court is taking on three major patent cases, and the White House is moving forward with its executive actions. These efforts are all critical, as they target the well-known abusive practices that patent trolls take advantage of to harm startups, small businesses, and the public.
But even with all this going on, there is a looming question: do we really know everything that is going on? Many patent trolls are shady figures, hiding behind shell corporations and sending out mysterious but threatening demand letters. Who knows what abuses might be going on in the shadows.
Enter the Federal Trade Commission. As an agency tasked with consumer protection, the FTC has powers to conduct investigations, and on September 27, the FTC announced it would use this power to investigate patent trolls.
Rumors or announcements of mergers often drop on Friday afternoons, especially around holidays. This time it's the Wall Street Journal reporting that Sprint is considering a bid for T-Mobile.
I have some thoughts on this! Basically, the national wireless market is already too concentrated. We need more, not less competition.
We asked, you delivered. Yesterday we passed 100,000 signature mark on a White House petition to reform a sorely outdated privacy law.
Last week we blogged about a White House petition to reform the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (“ECPA”). We were trying to get to 100,000 signatures, because the White House will issue an official response to every petition that gets at least 100,000 signatures in under 30 days. We asked you to take a moment of your time to sign the petition.
Shutting down controversial services pre-trial does not serve the public interest.
PK just filed a friend of the court brief with the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, arguing that the District Court below should not have granted the broadcaster's request to shut down FilmOn, an Internet video service, prior to trial. We were joined on the brief by our friends at EFF and Engine Advocacy.
Let's get the weird stuff out of the way. PK has filed amicus briefs supporting Aereo, and for a while, FilmOn called itself "Aereokiller"--at least that's what it called its Aereo-like service. For a while it was also using the name "Barry Driller." The man behind FilmOn, Alki David, apparently has some kind beef with Barry Diller, the famous media mogul and Aereo investor. But PK is interested in the legal issues this case raises, not in whatever drama is going on with the names. In particular, we're interested in the standard for preliminary injunctions in copyright cases--more on that below. The Aereo-like service is now called FilmOn Air X, and sometimes just FilmOn X, but to keep things simply I'll just refer to it here as "FilmOn."
As the nations largest carriers pioneer a network upgrade, Public Knowledge and the Center of Media Justice released a toolkit designed to educate Americans about the IP transition’s potential impact on our everyday lives.
While this transition has the potential to lead to a more efficient communications infrastructure, there are still lots of decisions about how the values that made the old system great will apply to the new.
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