Press Release

Public Knowledge Disappointed with PERFORM Act

January 12, 2007 Fair Use , Press Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: Art Brodsky, 202-518-0020 (o), 301-908-7715 (c), abrodsky@publicknowledge.org

Background: Senators Dianne Feinstein, Lindsey Graham, Joe Biden and Lamar Alexander yesterday introduced the PERFORM Act (S 256), legislation identical to that introduced last year. The following statement is attributable to Gigi B. Sohn, president of Public Knowledge:

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Praises New Legislation To Preserve Open Environments and Innovation

January 9, 2007 Network Neutrality , Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Art Brodsky, 301-908-7715

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

"Senators Dorgan and Snowe should be commended for starting out the Congressional debate to make certain a free and open Internet will continue to exist. The terms of the AT&T takeover of BellSouth make clear that the industry, despite its protestations to the contrary, now accepts the idea that non-discrimination is a vital principle in providing essential Internet services. We look forward to the Congressional debate on the issue.

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Press Release

Brewster Kahle, Warrington Hudlin Join Public Knowledge Board

January 3, 2007

For Immediate Release

Public Knowledge President Gigi B. Sohn today announced the addition of two new members of the organization's board of directors, Brewster Kahle and Warrington Hudlin.

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Press Release

Statement of Public Knowledge of Recusal of Commissioner McDowell

December 18, 2006 FCC , Network Neutrality , Press Release

Statement of Public Knowledge of Recusal of Commissioner McDowell

For Immediate Release

FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell said he would recuse himself from the Commission's deliberations on the AT&T takeover of BellSouth. The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president of Public Knowledge:

Commissioner McDowell should be commended for his thoughtful deliberation over what anyone would consider a very difficult decision. In the end, he was correct to recuse himself from the AT&T takeover of BellSouth. This is too important a transaction to be clouded by the ethical questions that would have come up had the Commissioner taken part in the proceeding. It is now up to Chairman Martin to negotiate a balanced set of terms and conditions with Commissioners Copps and Adelstein that will protect the public interest and the freedom of the Internet. We have every hope he will do so.

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Press Release

Commissioner McDowell Should Continue Recusal, Public Knowledge Advises

December 11, 2006 Network Neutrality , Press Release

Background: The FCC General Counsel late today (Dec. 8) issued a memo on the subject of FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell's recusal in the AT&T takeover of BellSouth. The opinion concludes McDowell is "free to participate if you choose to do so."

The following is the statement of Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge:

"Commissioner McDowell made the right decision to recuse himself in this proceeding, and FCC General Counsel Sam Feder's opinion said nothing that should cause the Commissioner to change his view. The opinion made a tepid case at best for Commissioner McDowell to participate. Feder seemed to go out of his way to stress that it was McDowell's decision to participate. The Feder memo said it was a "very, very close call" whether McDowell should take part, and that reasonable parties could disagree on a decision. Indeed, the opinion cited the director of the Office of Government Ethics as saying he would decide against authorizing McDowell to participate. This indicates to us McDowell is on safer ground staying out and letting negotiations continue. If anything, this memo counsels extreme caution for McDowell.

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Endorses Strong Net Neutrality in AT&T Takeover

October 26, 2006 Network Neutrality , Press Release

For Immediate Release October 24, 2006

Public Knowledge Endorses Strong Net Neutrality in AT&T Takeover

Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge, said that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should require strong Net Neutrality conditions for AT&T's $80 billion takeover of BellSouth.

"Public Knowledge is proud to support the comments filed by the It's Our Net coalition in favor of Net Neutrality," Sohn said. "We fully agree with the proposal in the comments that the Commission should establish an enforceable principle in the merger agreement that requires the newer, larger AT&T to commit to treating in a nondiscriminatory manner all Internet traffic carried by its broadband network. Such a condition in this proceeding will go a long way to establishing Net Neutrality as the foundation for a larger broadband policy.

"The Net Neutrality conditions suggested by the Commission for the merger are totally inadequate. As Public Knowledge has consistently maintained, the essence of Net Neutrality is non-discrimination. The Commission should insist on binding non-discrimination language as a condition of this $80 billion merger, and as a policy to be followed generally."

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Praises Commission Delay on Merger

October 13, 2006 Network Neutrality , Press Release

For Immediate Release

Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge, made this statement today on the decision of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to delay acting on the $80 billion merger of AT&T and BellSouth.

"Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein should be commended for their strong stand protecting consumers by forcing the FCC to delay consideration of the merger of AT&T and BellSouth, as well as the accompanying notice on Net Neutrality.

"This deal and the Net Neutrality issue are too big to be rushed through the Commission, particularly considering that the Justice Department declined to attach any conditions to the merger. And the merger is certainly too important to the country to have it decided on the basis of last-minute proposals from AT&T that the public couldn't see, much less comment upon. The fact that those proposals will now be made public will help to improve the analysis and, we hope, lead to a better outcome. Public Knowledge looks forward to participating in the discussions as the issues move forward."

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Urges FCC To Protect Internet Freedom

October 10, 2006 Network Neutrality , Press Release

Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge, made this statement today at a news briefing on the expected actions by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) later this week. The Commission is scheduled to approve AT&T's takeover of BellSouth and to issue an inquiry into Net Neutrality.

"The FCC this week has the opportunity to take real, substantive actions to maintain a free and open Internet. Although Public Knowledge has not been active in the merger proceeding, we recognize that the Commission could use this transaction to add another needed element to its current Net Neutrality policy. In addition to the four openness principles it already has, the Commission should add a fifth – that network providers must operate on a non-discriminatory basis to those who offer content, services and applications. Adding an enforceable non-discrimination principle to the merger conditions would send the signal that the Commission is serious that as the telephone industry becomes more and more concentrated, that its power over the operation of the Internet will be limited.

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Commends House Judiciary Committee Action on Copyright Bill

September 27, 2006 Fair Use , Press Release

For Immediate Release Sept. 27, 2006

This morning, the House Judiciary Committee decided not to proceed with a markup of HR 6052, the Copyright Modernization Act. The bill would put in place a needed new system of licensing for digital music. At the same time, the bill would place new restrictions on innovative devices that allow consumers to record music for future listening by subjecting satellite radio services to extra fees for the creation of temporary computer files necessary for playback of music. The bill also would preempt some state laws that would help artists receive royalties they were owed. During the markup, Intellectual Property Subcommittee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), said he didn't want to put members of the Committee through a difficult process for a piece of legislation that could not be enacted this year.

The following is a statement from Gigi B. Sohn, president of Public Knowledge:

"We are pleased the Committee decided to take the wise course of action and not proceed with the legislation. As members said, there are many controversial measures in this bill. We look forward to working with the Committee to modernize music licensing. At the same time, we have to make certain that consumers retain their right to record music for personal use and that they will have the benefit of new services that allow them to do so. We also want to make certain companies will be free to offer the innovative devices consumers have come to expect and to enjoy."

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Press Release

36 Organizations Oppose New Rights for Broadcasters

September 5, 2006 Press Release , WIPO Broadcasters Treaty

For Immediate Release

Background: The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is considering a new treaty that would grant broadcasters a new 50-year property right over the content of broadcasts, regardless of whether the broadcasters own the content they are transmitting.

Thirty-six companies, public-interest groups and non-profit associations today declared their opposition to the proposed World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaty that would extend new property rights to broadcasters. Signers ranged from AT&T, Verizon Communications, Dell, Intel and HP to Public Knowledge, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Consumer Project on Technology.

The statement, released at a roundtable discussion of the proposed treaty held today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), set out the basic objections on which all of the signers agreed. Individual organizations also had other areas of concern. "Creating broad new intellectual property rights in order to protect broadcast signals is misguided and unnecessary, and risks serious unintended consequences," the statement said, adding that if broadcasters believe there is a problem with signal theft, then a much more narrow treaty could be drafted.

In addition, the statement outlined concerns that the treaty would interfere with the rollout of broadband and home networking services and would subject network carriers to the threat of direct or secondary liability.

A copy of the statement follows:

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