There’s Information That Can Make Our Cellphones Work Better – And We Want to Use It
Consumers of cellphones and other wireless devices have a lot to look forward to in the next few years. The FCC is working to promote wireless competition by improving the spectrum screen and free up more spectrum for device users through incentive auctions.
But dealing with spectrum can be “really hard.”
“Really hard” like taking that test in the class you most dreaded. But remember how those tests got easier when you knew the answers because you had a textbook filled with information and you actually studied it? Well that approach should also work for the FCC and will work if it takes some steps to organize its data.Read More
Congress Wants More Spectrum (and Broadband) From the FCC
How can we meet demand for spectrum and spur innovation?
This question sums up what all the Representatives were asking at today’s FCC Oversight Hearing before the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology—and it’s a really good question. It shows that Congress is aware of the importance of wireless and wired technologies in the lives of consumers and businesses. It also shows that they are eager to improve these technologies to promote competition, promote job creation, and help make our lives easier.
House Representatives asked thoughtful and insightful questions of all 5 FCC Commissioners on meeting the demand for spectrum, providing universal broadband service, promptly addressing issues, updating regulations to ensure competitive markets and innovation, and even the storms that have been sweeping the country.Read More
Four E’s for Copyright Office Modernization: Easy, Efficient, Electronic, and Elimination
Copyright Office Procedures Are Outdated, Complex, and Slow
Say you find sheet music for 13 great songs and want to record them for an album. Being copyright savvy, you know you need a compulsory license. The sheet music has titles but no listed copyright owners. You can’t find the copyright owners on the online copyright registry (works from 1978 to the present). Assuming you can’t stop by the Copyright Office, you pay $165 (or more) to have staff search pre-1978 registrations. Since you still can’t find the copyright owners, you have to “file notice” with the Copyright Office in order to license the works. But the Office provides neither a form nor an electronic system to file. After creating your own notice form, lugging out your printer and paper, including a check for royalties, and trekking to the post office, you complete your mission to file notice for licenses.Read More
EU Court: When You Buy Software You Own It
This is still controversial here in the US.
In the physical world something called the “first sale doctrine” is key to maintaining the free flow of goods. Simply put, the first sale doctrine means that once you sell something you do not get to control it anymore—you have “exhausted” your rights to control distribution. It is why there are important things like libraries and used record stores, and why you can buy art at garage sales.
The transition from physical to digital has introduced
some ambiguity into the first sale doctrine.
Believe it or not, courts spend a lot of time considering the difference
between software that was purchased as a download and software that was
purchased on a CD or DVD. A recent
ruling by the European Court of Justice cuts through “how is it delivered”
questions and focuses on what is important: was the software sold?
Verizon/SpectrumCo: What a Tangled Web It’s Weaved
Today, Public Knowledge and some of our friends filed reply comments to Verizon Wireless and the cable companies’ opposition to our petition to deny the proposed spectrum transfer and its accompanying agreements. While we believe the transactions will harm competition and consumer choice, what has emerged from the debate is how the agency, resale, and joint operating entity (JOE) agreements fit into the spectrum transfer.Read More