Posts by Mehan Jayasuriya:

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The good folks at Akorn Entertainment have spent the last few months hard at work on #killswitch, a documentary film that will tackle issues like net neutrality and media consolidation in an attempt to examine how increased control and centralization of communications networks could undermine the internet’s ability to serve as a platform for democracy. I’m set to appear in the film, alongside PK board member Susan Crawford and a number of prominent activists, authors and academics, including Robert McChesney and EFF’s Jillian York. Watch the trailer above and if you like what you see, head over to Kickstarter to help support the film and reap some great rewards in the process.

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We just got back from the National Conference for Media Reform (NCMR) in Boston, an excellent, three-day event organized by our friends at Free Press. While at the conference, both Gigi and I were interviewed live on the air by Free Speech TV. Watch archived videos of each of those interviews above and see more live reporting from NCMR here.
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Earlier today, word spread that Google, presumably bowing to pressure from Hollywood and the recording industry, had begun blocking certain “piracy-related terms” from its autocomplete search feature. As it turns out, the terms in question are “BitTorrent,” “Rapidshare” and “Megaupload”. There are plenty of reasons why this is a terrible idea but for brevity’s sake, I will limit myself to three:

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Tim Wu signs books

Activist, legal scholar and author Tim Wu stopped by PKHQ this afternoon to sign copies of his new book, The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires. Want to find out how you can snag a signed copy of Tim’s book (or a limited-edition PK t-shirt)? Visit our year-end giving page to find out more!

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It’s that time of year once again when geeks, music industry insiders and filmmakers of all stripes resort to shameless self-promotion in an attempt to be chosen to present at the annual South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas. We here at Public Knowledge are no exception and we ask that you take a minute out of your day to vote for our two panels (using the stupidly large buttons embedded below), so that we can educate music bloggers about their rights and share ideas about new business models and revenue streams with professional musicians:

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If you’re in the D.C. area, you’ll want to mark your calendar for a very special upcoming event. On 6/28, Public Knowledge, the New America Foundation and Copynight will co-host a talk by author, blogger and activist Cory Doctorow, on the topic of “How Copyright Threatens Democracy”. Full details and an RSVP form can be found at the New America Foundation’s website. Don’t snooze on this one, folks–this event is guaranteed to fill up fast. Full description after the break: 

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Our federal spectrum reform conference, Toward a Sustainable Spectrum Policy: Rethinking Federal Spectrum, is currently underway. At the conference, panelists will discuss two whitepapers on the topic of spectrum reform, both of which are available below:

Breaking the Logjam: Creating Sustainable Spectrum Access Through Federal Secondary Markets

Breaking the Logjam: Some Modest Proposals for Enhancing Transparency, Efficiency and Innovation in Public Spectrum Management

If you’re unable to attend the conference in person, be sure to follow the ongoing discussion on Twitter, using the hashtag #pksrc. And for more information on the conference, visit this page.

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When the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals called into question the FCC’s ability to protect broadband users earlier this month, the ongoing debate about the legal classification of broadband services took on a new urgency. While we’ve argued that the Commission should waste no time in reclassifying broadband as a “telecommunications” (Title II) service, others have suggested that no action from the Commission is necessary, seeing how Comcast’s blocking of BitTorrent was an isolated act that no other ISP is likely to emulate. As if on cue, cable provider RCN has provided us with a timely reminder that Comcast isn’t the only ISP that has stood accused of blocking its users’ traffic. In a proposed settlement for a suit brought against the ISP for throttling its users’ peer-to-peer traffic, RCN is not only not held accountable for its actions, it’s also not prohibited from using similar network management techniques in the future. As this series of events demonstrates, if we’re going to rely on the ISPs to self-regulate, we might as well kiss the open Internet goodbye.  

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