Posts by Eric Null

Public Knowledge Fights for Your Right to Watch TV the Way You Want

Public Knowledge wants to protect viewers' right to have control over how they watch TV. But some major broadcasters are trying to take that control away from you. They've turned to the courts to stall innovation and shut down services that give users control. PK has been fighting back.

On Friday, PK (with EFF and CEA) filed an amicus brief defending Aereo in a suit some broadcasters brought against it. Aereo makes it easier for people to watch free, over-the-air TV—something that has become more challenging for some after the broadcast transition to clearer, but less reliable, digital signals. The broadcasters want to argue changing the location of an individual antenna from on top of a TV or a roof is illegal, and that Aereo's "remote antenna" system should be shut down.

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Lofgren’s Task Force on the Global Internet

There has been a flurry of activity around Internet freedom recently. Not only have both parties included it in their platform, but Rep. Zoe Lofgren has taken an affirmative step in its favor by proposing the Global Free Internet Act of 2012, H.R. 6530 (a predecessor bill called the “One Global Internet Act” was proposed by Lofgren in 2010 with bipartisan support). The newly proposed bill does not directly change substantive law.

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A Network Neutrality Meme That Will Not Go Away

Recently, arguments against network neutrality as a “solution in search of a problem” have resurfaced (recently subscribed to by Mitt Romney’s campaign, recently argued by Verizon in its challenge to the Open Internet Order, and also argued here and here). People who make this argument essentially claim either (1) discrimination predicted by Public Knowledge (and the FCC) will never actually come to pass, or (2) discrimination can be benign or even beneficial.

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Public Knowledge Urges Court to Protect Home Recording

Public Knowledge filed an amicus brief with the Central District of California today in Fox v. Dish, a case that could threaten how consumers record and view programming in the privacy of their home. While this case is only in the preliminary injunction stage, these pre-trial stages have become increasingly important in copyright cases. Consequently, this case has the potential to upend long-standing fair use principles.

The case involves DISH’s “Hopper,” one of DISH’s set-top boxes. The Hopper can be set (by the customer) to record prime-time television on any of the four major broadcast channels. For some programming, the Hopper gives viewers the option to play back the programming without commercials beginning the following day.

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