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“Three Strikes” and Verizon: Not Happening

January 21, 2010 Fair Use , Filtering , Three Strikes

Yesterday's CNET report that Verizon had secretly adopted a "three strikes" policy towards alleged copyright infringers had our office all atwitter last night – how could a charter member of our ad hoc copyright reform coalition be engaging in such radical activity? Well, it turns out they weren't.

As their misquoted spokesperson explains here, what Verizon employs is a process for passing on warning notices to alleged infringers, but that process does not include automatic termination. My guess is that to the extent that she was talking about infringers having their internet access terminated, she was referring to people who had been adjudicated by a court to be infringing, and as such, they would be violating Verizon's terms of service.

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How to Preserve an Open Internet

January 15, 2010 Filtering , Innovation , Internet Protocol , Network Neutrality , Non-Discrimination

The FCC can preserve the Open Internet with the tools already at its disposal. With a coalition of other public interest groups, Public Knowledge filed comments with the FCC yesterday emphasizing the importance of the Internet, and what can be done to protect it.

Along with the Center for Media Justice, Consumers Union, Media Access Project, and New America Foundation, we dealt with the bulk of the issues raised in the FCC's Notice. We filed them in addition to comments that concern the relationship of copyright enforcement to the principles of an open Internet.

Here's what we had to say.

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Hey FCC: Don’t Sacrifice Network Neutrality to Content Owners

January 14, 2010 FCC , Filtering , Network Neutrality , Non-Discrimination , Piracy

In addition to our larger Network Neutrality comments, today Public Knowledge, along with Computer and Communications Industry Association, Consumer Electronics Association, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Home Recording Rights Coalition, and NetCoalition, filed a short comment with the FCC focusing on how copyright fits in with Network Neutrality.

Or more specifically, how copyright doesn’t fit in with Network Neutrality. As EFF has been pointing out with its Real Net Neutrality Campaign, the proposed rules have a gaping “copyright loophole.” They exempt any activity designed to block copyright infringement from Network Neutrality rules.

This is a problem.

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Bono’s “One” Ignorant Idea

January 5, 2010 Filtering , Music

U2 frontman and humanitarian Bono had a page-long op-ed in this past Sunday's New York Times, where he describes what he calls "10 ideas that might make the next 10 years more interesting, healthy or civil. Some are trivial, some fundamental. They have little in common with one another except that I am seized by each, and moved by its potential to change our world." So let's look at some issues that made the list…. a twist on cap and trade, fighting the rotavirus, new cancer research, the rise of Africa and… limiting the scourge of file sharing.

Yes, that's right, file sharing, clearly one from the "trivial" category. Bono blames Internet Service Providers for "this reverse Robin Hooding" which he says hurts "the young, fledgling songwriters who can't live off ticket and T-shirt sales…." His "big" idea for stopping the scourge?

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The FCC’s Berkman Study is Clear: Broadband Unbundling Expands Competition, Increases Access, and

November 18, 2009 AT&T , Broadband , FCC , Filtering , Network Neutrality

Public Knowledge just filed comments urging the FCC to pay close attention to a study (PDF) it commissioned on broadband unbundling. The study, written by Yochai Benkler and his team at Harvard’s Berkman Center, examined international broadband regulatory practices.

This was not just another study chronicling the United States’ decline in Internet prowess. Instead, the Berkman Center team examined broadband markets in a number of different countries. They then tried to figure out what types of regulatory policies were the most effective at increasing broadband penetration and access.

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