Posts by Katy Tasker:

On Tuesday evening, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski voiced concern about language that has been rolled into recently-passed the House GOP payroll tax bill. While the bill does create voluntary incentive auctions for spectrum reallocation, it does not allow the FCC to adopt unlicensed spectrum policies, among other things.

Chairman Genachowski’s statement is here

The following statement is attributed to Harold Feld, legal director of Public Knowledge:

“Especially in light of the recent study by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) which found that the consumer benefits of unlicensed spectrum exceed $50 billion every year, we commend Chairman Genachowski for highlighting the importance of unlicensed spectrum. We could not agree with him more that

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Late this afternoon, Rep. Lamar Smith, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, proposed an amendment to H.R. 3261, The “Stop Online Piracy Act”, or SOPA. The proposed amendment is here.

The following statement is attributed to Sherwin Siy, deputy legal director of Public Knowledge:

“While the manager’s amendment proposes changes and even some improvements to the original language of SOPA, there are still significant problems with the approach. The amendment continues to encourage DNS blocking and filtering, which should be concerning for internet security experts and human rights activists alike. 

“Public Knowledge would rather see a narrower approach to solving piracy online similar to that put forward by Senator Wyden, Representative Issa, and their colleagues.”

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U.S. Dist. Judge Ellen Huvelle, at the request of AT&T and the Justice Department, stayed proceedings in the case until Jan. 18.

The following statement is attributed to Harold Feld, legal director of Public Knowledge:

“We hope that AT&T will take the contemplative time over the holidays to realize that it should now call the transaction to an orderly halt. It is time for AT&T to end this now and save everyone a lot of time time and money for a case it cannot win.”

A transcript of last Friday’s court hearing at which U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle expressed open skepticism that AT&T and Deutsche Telekom could proceed with their transaction is here.

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PK Weekly Recap 12/5/11

December 5, 2011

On the Monday following the long Thanksgiving holiday, during which AT&T filed a motion to withdraw its application to acquire T-Mobile with the FCC, we at Public Knowledge accused AT&T of gamesmanship by attempting to prevent the results of the FCC’s inquiry into the merger from seeing the light of day. On Tuesday afternoon, the FCC allowed AT&T to withdraw its application, but also released a staff report detailing its findings.

A quick overview of the FCC staff report’s findings is here.

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Background: On August 11, 2011, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), anticipating protests and demonstrations in its stations, shut down access to cellular communications, disrupted mobile phone and data service to a massive number of consumers for up to four hours. Later that month, Public Knowledge along with eight other public interest organizations filed a Petition asking the FCC to declare that the BART’s actions violated the Communications Act. Yesterday, BART adopted a new policy on cell service interruption. 

The link to our August petition is here:

The following statement is attributed to Harold Feld, Legal Director of Public Knowledge:

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Yesterday afternoon, the FCC released as a staff report the Commission’s investigation of AT&T’s application to take over T-Mobile. This was despite AT&T’s efforts to suppress the results of the FCC inquiry by filing a motion to withdraw its petition on the eve of Thanksgiving. The report outlines the FCC’s findings that the proposed merger’s harms outweigh the benefits.

This morning’s coverage on NPR, featuring PK president Gigi B. Sohn:

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Proponents of the “PROTECT IP Act” or “PIPA” or “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011” are trying to make it seem like PIPA is the reasonable alternative to its cousin in the House, the so-called “Stop Online Piracy Act” or “SOPA.” Some even say that SOPA’s extremism might be an intentional ploy to create political wiggle room for PIPA.

In reality, PIPA and SOPA both jeopardize online community platforms and innovation, set a bad example for internet censorship globally, and threaten security online. True, there are differences in the legislation, but it’s mostly a matter of degrees—in which PIPA is really bad and SOPA is scarily worse.

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A lot has been going on in the world of Public Knowledge recently. To keep you appraised of all the action in Washington, we’re kicking off a series of weekly recaps, letting you know what’s been going on and what to expect in the upcoming week.

Last week’s big news came on Tuesday afternoon, when Julius Genachowski, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Comission (FCC), stood up to AT&T’s lobbying machine and set the wheels in motion for a hearing to scrutinize AT&T/T-Mobile’s public interest claims.

Then, just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, AT&T announced late Wednesday afternoon that it would withdraw its application from the FCC to take over T-Mobile, signaling an act of desperation in a situation where the chances of a succesful merger are ‘almost gone’.

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[Updated 7/18/11 for clarification.]

“Creativity is the art of concealing your source.” – Coco Chanel

Fashion is a thriving industry in which copying plays a major role in driving new styles and for which copyright protection is unheard of. Copies, trends, and imitations quickly saturate the market, driving designers to new styles and consumers to new purchases each season.

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Moments after seeing Kate Middleton emerge from the limousine on her wedding day last Friday, fashion designers all over the world pulled out their sketchbooks and got to work copying the dress. The usual celebrity dress copy-artists came out of the woodwork: a version of the gown by A.B.S. by Allen Schwartz is already finished and will be in stores by June 30; New York fashion house Faviana also has a version that will head to production soon; and the Chinese Muyi Wedding Dress Company already has a $320 version for sale in Suzhou.

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