Weekly News RoundupDecember 13, 2010
As the Net Neutrality debate brews, PK and others continue push for strengthening the proposal. Our three points of concern are ensuring protections for wireless access to the Internet, preventing paid prioritization, and simplifying the definition of “broadband Internet access service” (to avoid potential loopholes). Senator Al Franken sent a letter to the FCC Friday emphasizing the importance of “significantly strengthen[ing]” the proposal. Also, PK’s head of government relations responded to the mythical the meme that “300 Members of Congress are opposed to Net Neutrality”.
Last week, we made several announcements about who will be speaking and presenting at our upcoming World’s Fair Use Day and there’s a lot to be excited about: Larry “Liontamer” Oji and David “djpretzel” Lloyd of OverClocked ReMix will be speaking on the Remixing in the Gaming Community panel; Larisa Mann, also known as DJ Ripley, will bring her wisdom to the Hip-Hop and Fair Use panel; visual artist Joshua Caleb Weibley will be joining our panel on fair use in visual art; and Ben Huh, CEO and founder of the Cheezburger Network, will be speaking on the panel “I Did It for the Lulz: Fair Use and Internet Humor.”
Buried amid the myriad leaked cables, a few from the U.S. embassy in Madrid recommended that the U.S. threaten to put Spain on the Special 301 “naughty list” unless the Spanish government adopted a three-strikes style copyright enforcement law that would kick users off the Internet after three allegations of copyright infringement.
Public Knowledge, joined by the EFF, filed a “friend of the court” brief asking the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to reject Rosetta Stone’s argument that Google is violating their trademark by selling “Rosetta Stone” as a keyword for advertising space. This is a much more expansive view of trademark law which would give trademark owners the power to forbid any use of the names of their products in contexts they don’t like. For the full legal analysis, check out PK staff attorney John Bergmayer’s blog post.
The Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force issued a notice asking for public comment on the global free flow of information. Last week, Public Knowledge responded, highlighting how copyright policy can adversely impact free speech. For example, Russian authorities recently seized the computers of a political group critical of the government under the pretext that they housed unauthorized Microsoft software.
Public Knowledge released a white paper with our recommendations for the new Register of Copyrights. The bottom line: modernize the registration process by bringing all entries online, making the registry searchable, and increasing transparency.
The city of Pittsburg declared December 6th Gregg Gillis Day. Gregg Gillis is the Pittsburg native also known as Girl Talk, who recently released a new album—“All Day”—full of the complex remixes and mash-ups that have gained him both glory and infamy.
Activist, legal scholar, and author Tim Wu stopped by our offices 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!
Finally, a startup called Prima Cinema announced a way for you to watch movies in your home the same day they are released in theaters. But it’ll cost you $20,500. For a more in-depth discussion of this, check out our weekly podcast.