Press Release

DoJ Recycles Intellectual Property Proposals — Still Bad Ideas

May 15, 2007

For immediate release

Background: The Justice Department yesterday sent to Capitol Hill a package of proposed intellectual property laws that included making attempted copyright infringement a criminal offense, increasing penalties for violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and setting a life sentence if a "counterfeiting offense" results in a harm to the public's health and safety.

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

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Press Release

Consumers Should Have More Cellphone Freedoms, Coalition Tells FCC

April 30, 2007 Network Neutrality , Press Release

For immediate release

April 30, 2007

A group of public-interest organizations today told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that consumers should have more flexibility in acquiring cellphones and in using those phones than they are given by wireless carriers.

The groups filed their comments with the FCC today in support of a petition filed by Skype Communications. The members of the Ad Hoc Public Interest Spectrum Coalition signing the comments were (in alphabetical order): EDUCAUSE, Free Press, Media Access Project, New America Foundation, Public Knowledge and U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

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Press Release

Statement by Public Knowledge President Gigi B. Sohn on the death of Jack Valenti

April 27, 2007 Broadcast Flag , DRM , Press Release

For immediate release April 26, 2007

Statement by Public Knowledge President Gigi B. Sohn on the death of Jack Valenti

"In my 10 years at Media Access Project, I worked alongside Jack Valenti and the MPAA in an effort to preserve Federal Communications Commission rules that promoted diversity in broadcast programming. Then, from 2001-2004, as President of Public Knowledge, I opposed Jack and the MPAA on nearly every digital copyright policy issue.

"Regardless of whether we were policy friends or foes, Jack treated me with kindness and respect. There was no one in Washington I respected more for his intelligence, his commitment, his integrity and his ability to work across party lines. Jack was one of a kind, and a national icon. He forged a lasting legacy for the entertainment industry that will be sorely missed."

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Press Release

Save Our Spectrum Coalition Praises FCC Actions on Spectrum Auction

April 27, 2007 Network Neutrality , Open Access to Research , Press Release , Spectrum Reform

For Immediate Release

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should be commended for taking the first procedural steps to help consumers by enabling high-speed Internet services to use the spectrum now occupied by television stations.

Technically, the FCC decided to put out for comment a range of proposals suggested by the Coalition, including making spectrum available to many service providers and using bidding techniques in an auction that would reduce the influence of existing cellular providers. Both FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein mentioned the suggestions made by the six-member public interest coalition in filings earlier this month. The members of the coalition are: Public Knowledge, Media Access Project, Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, New America Foundation and Free Press.

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Press Release

Save Our Spectrum Coalition Asks FCC To Create Wireless Broadband Competition

April 5, 2007 Network Neutrality , Press Release , Spectrum Reform

For Immediate Release

Contacts:

  • Art Brodsky, Public Knowledge 202-518-0020 (o) 301-908-7715 (c)
  • Craig Aaron, Free Press 202-265-1490

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) should use its auction of the valuable 700 MHz spectrum to create high-speed Internet service that will be a true competitor to broadband services offered by telephone and cable companies, a group of public-interest and consumer groups said today.

In a series of three filings with the FCC, the six-member Save Our Spectrum coalition said the Commission should structure the auction of the spectrum, and the service offered over it, so that the service will be operated in a non-discriminatory manner, under an open access structure following auction rules that will allow for greater participation than simply the incumbents.

The members of the coalition are: Public Knowledge, Media Access Project, Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America, New America Foundation and Free Press.

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Applauds Apple and EMI

April 2, 2007 DRM , Fair Use , Press Release

Background: This morning, EMI Group announced it will start in May to sell individual song downloads and albums on Apple's iTunes without Digital Rights Management (DRM) software. The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president of Public Knowledge:

"This is a great day for consumers. Two major figures in the digital music industry, EMI and Apple, recognize that offering high-quality music without the inconvenience of Digital Rights Management (DRM) will be an incentive for consumers to purchase more music. Consumers will have the same digital freedom from an album they download as one they purchase from a store. We can only hope that the rest of the industry takes such an enlightened view."

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Calls Cablevision Recording Decision ‘Nonsensical’

March 23, 2007 Fair Use , Press Release

Background: A U.S. District Court in New York City today ruled against Cablevision's remote recording service in a lawsuit brought by Fox and others. The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge:

"This short-sighted decision makes no sense in an era of technological innovation. The judge was wrong to make an artificial distinction between a set-top box used for lawful recording and the remote service offered by Cablevision used for the same function. He also failed to take into account the ephemeral nature of digital content in a computer buffer, which is a necessary part of the recording process but remains unseen by the consumer.

"This is a decision that if upheld will stifle innovation and consumer choice. It is nonsensical at best and extremely harmful at worst. The only saving grace is that it shows the need for Congress to update our copyright laws to conform to today's technology."

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Disappointed with FCC Broadband Notice of Inquiry

March 22, 2007 Network Neutrality , Press Release

For Immediate Release

Background: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) this morning voted to issue a Notice of Inquiry on "broadband industry practices" that will include a discussion of an open Internet. It also voted to classify wireless broadband services as an "information service." The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge:

"While we welcome the FCC's interest in maintaining an open Internet, we are disappointed that the Commission chose to issue a simple Notice of Inquiry. This bureaucratic process will delay by months if not years the crucial action needed to guarantee that consumers will always have access to an open and non-discriminatory Internet — assuming that it issues a proposed rule after evaluating the information it receives from the inquiry.

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Asks for Conditions on XM-Sirius Merger

March 20, 2007 FCC , Press Release

For Immediate Release

The merger between satellite radio companies XM and Sirius could be approved if conditions are attached to the deal to protect consumers, Public Knowledge President Gigi B. Sohn told the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee today.

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Press Release

Public Knowledge Statement on Viacom Suit against Google and YouTube

March 13, 2007

For Immediate Release

Background: Viacom filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Google and YouTube for alleged copyright infringement. The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president of Public Knowledge:

Without commenting on the specific allegations involved, we note that simply because material is "unauthorized" does not make its use illegal. There are limitations to copyright law, known as fair use, that do not require the copyright owner's permission before use of a work. Many of the users of YouTube who have posted short clips of main-stream media's works have done so using their fair use rights, for reasons of criticism, comment, education, and news reporting.

We are confident YouTube and Google will continue to take appropriate actions in accordance with the safe-harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). By a previous request of Viacom, YouTube has already removed some 100,000 clips.

A copy of the complaint is here (PDF).

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