The music publishing industry has reacted in colorful and apocalyptic terms in its response to the leak detailing the expected conclusion of the Department of Justice’s consent decree review, in which the agency extensively examined the antitrust settlements binding the two largest performance rights organizations (PROs) in the nation, ASCAP and BMI. A closer look at Department’s reported conclusions suggests that the music industry response is overblown.
As you may have heard, Google won a major fair use victory yesterday against Oracle involving Google’s implementation of certain Application Program Interfaces (APIs) of the Java programming language in its popular Android mobile operating system. The case has been running for six years, has important consequences for software and innovation, and featured a number of twists and turns. Here’s a guide to what’s happened, why it’s important, and what to expect.
This Friday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments for yet another appeal of the FCC’s Open Internet rules. This time, the gloves are off as the Commission’s most recent action, the Open Internet Order of 2015, saw the FCC do what Public Knowledge has said it should have done all along by reclassifying broadband service providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act. This historic decision received thunderous applause from innovators, tech companies, and millions of consumers alike, because it finally gives the FCC a solid legal basis for protecting broadband users.
Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission adopted new rules to ensure the Internet remains an open platform for consumers and innovators. The new rules (adopted as part of the Open Internet Order) are a capstone to over a decade of policy battles and litigation over how the FCC regulates broadband Internet service. For close observers of the net neutrality saga, this Friday brings a sense of déjà vu, as the agency again heads to Court to defend net neutrality rules at oral argument. The FCC’s relevance in the broadband era, along with how consumers, content creators, entrepreneurs, and network providers interact with each other, hangs in the balance.
Zero-rating raises some pretty complicated issues both globally and domestically. For example, Public Knowledge has observed that T-Mobile's "Binge On" program, which doesn't count some video providers towards data usage caps, raises some competitive implications that should be carefully considered. Other zero-rating programs are more clearly anticompetitive. Comcast's continued exemption of its own data traffic from metering fits into that category. Public Knowledge has had a complaint pending at the FCC since 2012 regarding Comcast's zero-rating; this recent expansion of such behavior further illustrates the harms zero-rating can cause in some circumstances.