Today, Public Knowledge joins millions of people from across the country in filing comments at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on the subject of net neutrality. Public Knowledge's comments reflects the concerns of many Americans, and call on the Commission to enact net neutrality rules that stop paid prioritization and the prospect of a two tiered internet by reclassifying the internet as a Title II service.
Tomorrow, Public Knowledge President and CEO, Gene Kimmelman will testify before the Senate Science, Commerce, and Transportation Committee hearing titled, "At a Tipping Point:Consumer Choice, Consolidation and the Future Video Marketplace."
Today the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet is holding a hearing entitled "Moral Rights, Termination Rights, Resale Royalty, and Copyright Term." The copyright termination right allows artists to reclaim their rights 35 years after selling or licensing them away. Public Knowledge filed written testimony discussing the importance of copyright termination and limited copyright terms.
Yesterday, Public Knowledge, the Open Technology Institute at New America Foundation, the Benton Foundation, and Common Cause filed comments at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in support of T-Mobile's petition for expedited declaratory ruling. The comments uphold T-mobile's claim that the Commission's framework has failed to fix the problems within the data roaming market. Now the problems with data roaming prices are beginning to leak into the services that T-Mobile offers its consumers.
Earlier today, the Senate Judiciary Committee, led by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), approved S 517, the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act. The bill allows consumers to "unlock" their cell phones so they can take a phone with them from one service provider to another.
Today, Public Knowledge, the Consumer Federation of America (CFA), and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) submitted written testimony to the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet for the hearing titled, "Music Licensing Under Title 17 Part Two."
Today, Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) moved forward on new language for the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act. The updated version of the bill restores the exemption granted by the Copyright Office under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) allowing customers to "unlock" their cell phones.
Today, Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA) and Senator Patrick Leahy ( D-VT) introduced the Online Competition and Consumer Choice Act to stop paid prioritization from making its way into the Federal Communication Commission's new neutrality rules. Paid prioritization would allow ISPs to split their internet services into tiers with a single tier reserved for those who could afford to pay extra for higher speeds.
Please join Public Knowledge and an expert panel, featuring Corynne Mcsherry of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Blake Reid of the University of Colorado Law School, and Kyle Weins of right to repair group iFixit, in a discussion of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The panel will discuss problems the DMCA gives consumers, innovators, researchers, farmers, and even disabled Americans.
On June 16, Public Knowledge will host the DC launch of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ (IACHR) Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Catalina Botero’s 2013 report on Freedom of Expression and the Internet.
Public Knowledge's Senior Staff Attorney, Jodie Griffin, will testify before the Senate Commerce Committee's subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet in the hearing titled, "Preserving Public Safety and Network Reliability in the IP Transition."
Today, a letter was sent to the Senate supporting the National Telecommunications Information Administration's (NTIA) intent to shift the stewardship of the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) functions to an international multi-stakeholder model of internet governance. The letter also voices concerns with the House of Representative's approval of the Shimkus (R-KS) amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which reflects the language of the Domain Openness Through Continues Oversight Matters Act (DOTCOM Act) of 2014.
On Monday Public Knowledge's Vice President of Legal Affairs, Sherwin Siy, will testify before the House Judiciary Committee in New York in the hearing titled, "First Sale under Title 17." Siy will explain that the first sale doctrine is a fundamental principle that balances people's basic rights to their personal property with authors' rights to their intellectual property.
Today, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and Rep. George Holding (R-NC) introduced the Respecting Senior Performers as Essential Cultural Treasures Act (Respect Act). The Respect Act would require webcasters to pay statutory license fees for pre-1972 sound recordings as a condition of using the statutory license for sound recordings made in 1972 and later, which receive federal copyright protection. The bill would not preempt the patchwork of existing state law protections.
Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a plan for the upcoming "Incentive Auction" of television spectrum, under which broadcasters willing to give up some or all of their spectrum rights for auction will receive a portion of the auction proceeds. The incentive auction includes something called a "band plan," that has implications for the unlicensed use of spectrum
Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) introduced their proposal for new net neutrality rules. While these rules to appear to represent a response to public outcry in support of net neutrality, they do not go far enough.
Today, Public Knowledge, The Utility Reform Network (TURN), and ten other public interest groups and state consumer advocates asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to investigate reports indicating carriers are forcing customers off of traditional copper-based phone service. In their letter, the groups list examples of complaints from California, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, and D.C., where customers say they have been told their copper lines will not be repaired and have been pressured to move onto fiber-based or wireless service without notice of the differences between those products and the traditional copper-based service they have relied on.
Today, the Public interest Spectrum Coalition (PISC) submitted a letter supporting the FCC's plan to ensure that competitive carriers can bid on spectrum in the upcoming Incentive Auction. The letter was signed by the following organizations:
Today the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Wireline Competition Bureau Chief reaffirmed in a blog post the FCC's commitment to ensuring the phone network's transition to new technologies is guided by the fundamental values of public safety, competition, consumer protection, and universal service. The post specifically noted that new networks may offer better speeds or lower costs, but fail to work during power outages or support features like medical alerts, security systems, credit card processing, and faxes. Finally, the blog post confirmed the Commission's commitment to receiving public comment on network changes.
Today, FCC Commissioners Rosenworcel and Clyburn issued comments supporting meaningful Open Internet rules. These comments follow on statements from Chairman Wheeler indicating that he remains open to Title II, or "reclassification" of broadband access as a telecommunications service.
NETmundial's global gathering on Internet governance marked a historical moment. Brazil aligned itself not just rhetorically, but politically with those pushing for an open, neutral, and free Internet. The signing of the landmark Marco Civil bill at the opening session, after years of mobilization and multi-stakeholder engagement, should serve as an example for civil society and inspiration for governments around the world.
According to press reports the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will propose new net neutrality rules this Thursday. It's been reported that the updated rules will prevent internet service providers (ISPs) from discriminating or blocking websites. However, ISPs would be able to charge companies for preferential treatment if the ISPs' discrimination is commercially reasonable.
Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it would delay implementing an increase in the rate floor for high cost area funding until January 2015. At that point the The FCC will increase the rate floor incrementally instead of increasing the rate floor from $14 to $20.46 for phone service. The FCC will also conduct a new urban rate survey, and it will not apply the rate floor increase for lines with customers using the Lifeline program.
Yesterday, Charles Duan, Director of Public Knowledge’s Patent Reform Project, released a white paper that details our goals for patent reform. It’s clear that the patent system is an important motivator for new technologies. But there are many loopholes in the system, making it a hot spot for exploitation and abuse. This harms new technologies rather than promoting them. In the paper, Duan presents five areas that people should look to when talking about potential reforms.
Tomorrow, Public Knowledge President and CEO, Gene Kimmelman, will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the hearing titled, "Examining the Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger and the Impact on Consumers."
Today, Public Knowledge joined the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), and Engine Advocacy in filing an amicus brief in the Supreme Court's American Broadcasting Company (ABC) v Aereo case.
Today Public Knowledge, joined by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Engine Advocacy, and the Application Developers Alliance, sent a letter to Senate leadership calling for comprehensive patent reform.
John Bergmayer, Senior Staff Attorney at Public Knowledge, will testify tomorrow before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the hearing titled, "Reauthorization of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA)." Bergmayer's testimony will recommend that Congress reauthorize STELA to ensure that customers can continue to receive the programming they pay for.
Today, Public Knowledge, joined by Common Cause, submitted comments in the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Open Internet proceeding. The comments explain the importance of strong and enforceable Open Internet rules.
Today, Public Knowledge's Senior Staff Attorney Jodie Griffin released "Rewind, Reclaim: Copyright Termination and the Music Business." The paper is a much needed explanation on the state of copyright termination and how it impacts the artists it should protect. The report highlights the importance of the reclamation right, which gives artists the right to tear up their copyright transfers or licenses after 35 years.
Today, Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), Democratic Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Ranking Member Anna Eshoo (D-CA) released a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report showing a strong connection between federally funded high-speed internet access and the success of small businesses. This report shows that when there are opportunities for fast and reliable internet connections, small businesses have better chances to succeed.
In a blog post today, Federal Communications Comission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler announced that the FCC will take action to curb anti-competitive actions by broadcasters that raise costs for TV viewers.
Today, Public Knowledge filed a Petition for Declaratory Ruling to ask the Federal Communications Commission to declare that phone carriers are running afoul of the Communications Act when they share customers’ call logs with third parties, even if they first purge those call logs of certain personal details such as names and phone numbers. The Communications Act severely restricts how carriers may use or sell sensitive information known as customer proprietary network information (CPNI) and it's important that the FCC acknowledge and take steps to stop this from happening in the future.
Breaking down the two completely opposing sides of Intellectual Ventures and showing once again that we need patent reform.
What is Intellectual Ventures? The stories have been so divergent that people might as well be talking about two different companies.
Intellectual Ventures describes themselves as an “invention capital company.” On their website they write, “Like a venture capitalist, part of our business is focused on funding the creation of new ideas.” Why? “We believe that ideas are valuable. We’re creating a market where patents have value.”
Journalists, the tech community, and stakeholders feel otherwise. As Mike Masnick said while summing up an article by Jeff Roberts from GigaOm, “Intellectual Ventures’ entire business is focused on screwing over innovators by charging them an often-substantial tax by bundling together tens of thousands of broad patents.”
So, how can we explain these two completely opposing views of one company? It really boils down to a major ideological difference in what patents mean to society.
Last week Public Knowledge hosted the second 3D/DC event on Capitol Hill. More than 20 representatives from the 3D printing community came to Capitol Hill to showcase the innovation taking place in their field.
Members of Congress, staffers, enthusiasts and people walking by the Rayburn House Office Building came in to see 3D printing in action. Some of them for the first time. There were so many printers and exhibitors there that it was easy for every participant to find something they were intersted in. This event showed that 3D printing wasn't just about making toys out of Lego plastic. This event showed people how bright the future of printing could be. Printing is becomming an educational tool and soemthing that other fields are starting to take advantage of. Allowing the participants to see the scale and scope of 3D printing.
February 26th marked the first Public Knowledge Symposium on Capitol Hill. The event was an opportunity for policy makers to hear from and exchange ideas with experts from many fields including data caps, online video, copyright and first sale.
The data cap panel began with the question of how online video has become the next big thing for the Internet. John Vezina, Political Director for the Writers Guild of America, threw around the word ‘binge viewer’ when he described the way people watch their favorite shows like House of Cards or the Lizzie Bennett Diaries. He also spoke about how the Internet gives writers an opportunity to reach niche audiences without going through gatekeepers.