Posts by Art Brodsky:

The Internet Defense League (IDL) had its formal coming-out parties the other night. To be sure, the individual members and supporters who would respond to the “Catsignal,” like Public Knowledge, would be around anyway. And some members agree on some issues but disagree on others. But the idea of a Defense League creates a little bit of buzz, which is a good thing when the odds against it and its members are so daunting in the face of some impressive arch-enemies. What’s a Defense League without those who would take over the world? The Justice League of America (JLA) is constantly on guard against such threats. The Internet Defense League should be as well.
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Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island is a Democratic torch-bearer.  He is a stalwart progressive, a reliable vote for an economic agenda aimed at helping people.  But at the recent Netroots Nation, it was what he didn’t talk about that was more important.

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It’s hard to believe these days, but there was once upon a time when TV executives didn’t mind consumers taking control over TV sets. There were no lawsuits, like the ones recently filed by the TV networks against Dish for its new commercial-skipping DVR. (A court has ruled for Dish in a preliminary part of the case.)

This is what NBC said in its complaint against Dish in its May 24 lawsuit: “The U.S. broadcast networks cannot provide the news, sports and entertainment programming they have historically created and offered if the revenue-generating ads are systematically blotted out on an unauthorized basis by distributors like DISH.” Keep those words in mind.

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There probably was no great need for Comcast to raise the usage caps on its broadband service, as it did last week from 250 gigabytes (GB) to 300 GB per month.  If the company thought for an instant that the modest increase bought it any good will from its theoretical regulators, it needn’t have bothered.

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You have to hand it to the Dutch.  On one hand, they crack down on their biggest tourist attraction – the ability of tourists to toke up legally in the famous cannabis cafes.  That’s a big business over there and of course there are protests developing, mellow ones with lots of hungry people involved, to be sure.

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The entertainment industry today is caught in a kind of purgatory, somewhere between Zero Mostel and Franklin Roosevelt. It’s an odd place to be, and not sustainable to be there for much longer.

From Mostel, comes the line, “Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as… as… as a fiddler on the roof!” from the play, “Fiddler on the Roof.” The industry respects, and clings to, its traditions. It is simply trying to scratch out a simple living without breaking its neck, and because of its traditions, the industry has more or less kept its balance for many years.

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It’s hard not to feel sorry for Al Perry these days.  As Paramount Picture’s vp for worldwide content protection and outreach, he has been on the road a lot, mostly to law schools. The past few weeks, he’s been to the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina, Yale, Brooklyn Law School, the University of Virginia (UVA).  Next month, at least, he will be able to stick close to home for once, speaking to a group at UCLA.

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Gigi B. Sohn, president and CEO of Public Knowledge, has accepted an appointment to be a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for Copyright Information (CCI).  The Center was established last year by content creators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to implement a new Copyright Alert System.

Sohn said:  “It was not an easy decision for me to join this Advisory Board.  I did so because I saw the need to be an advocate for the rights of Internet users and to provide transparency. 

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Public Knowledge President and CEO Gigi B. Sohn announced today that former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Michael Copps has joined the Public Knowledge Board of Directors.

“We are honored and thrilled that such a prominent defender of the public interest as Commissioner Copps has become a member of our Board,” Sohn said.  “We look forward to working closely with him and to learning from him.”

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The following is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and CEO of Public Knowledge:

“It was truly unfortunate that a top AT&T official blamed some layoffs at T-Mobile on the government’s blocking of AT&T’s takeover of its competitor.  T-Mobile started losing customers and distributors when the takeover started.  Their ads and marketing were frozen as the deal dragged on, and customers left.  Now they face getting those customers back and investing in their network. 

“It’s also worth noting that had AT&T won, perhaps ten times as many jobs would have been lost than 1,900 announced today, as AT&T’s history of layoffs after transactions has shown.  If AT&T cared about job loss, they could start replacing many of the tens of thousands of jobs they have eliminated over the last few years.”

 

 

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