Presidential candidate Rand Paul is the latest political figure to be accused of copyright infringement for YouTube content. His campaign announcement video was removed from YouTube last month following a claimed instance of infringement by Warner Music Group. The work in question? John Rich’s “Shuttin Down Detroit,” which played in the background at the Louisville, Kentucky event where Senator Paul’s speech took place. The kicker? The song was included under fair use and the video’s presence on the site is totally legal - but more details on that later.
Today, the Federal Communications Commission clarified its legal standard for the negotiation of data roaming agreements by acting on a petition from T-Mobile. Although not a policy change, the new guidance from the FCC should help small carriers ensure they can negotiate data roaming agreements on commercially reasonable terms.
You may remember that in March 2006, when the FCC had only four commissioners, a Verizon petition to have all common-carriage-type requirements lifted from its relationships with businesses was “deemed granted” by the Commission’s silence — split 2-2, the Commission said nothing by the deadline for action on that petition. This non-action was part of a steady, incremental removal of rules from highspeed access in the U.S. that is still going on.
There were a couple of news items recently that relate to this subject. First, the D.C. Circuit today heard argument on a challenge to the notion that “deemed granted” could be the end of the story. According to Blair Levin and his team (sorry, no link), the panel seemed skeptical that silence meant denial of the petition. But the judges also weren’t sure how to review a record of silence, and may send the thing back to the Commission for something a little noisier.
Also, AT&T’s petition for “forbearance” from common carriage obligations for many of its business relationships (excusing AT&T from having to state what its fees will be for internet access services provided to businesses, and avoiding rate of return regulation generally for these relationships), was largely granted by the Commission last week. This forbearance applies to most of the services AT&T offers to businesses, including its very-high-capacity “OCn” (optical carrier lines, involving thousands of voice grade equivalents) fiber-optic interoffice transport connections, packetized broadband, Frame Relay services, ATM services, LAN services, Ethernet-based services, video transmission services, and wave-based services, but not traditional DS1 and DS3 special-access circuits.
As Fox News and the rest of the conservative media/blog machine have happily crowed unto the skies, Google Ads dropped a set of ads from Senator Susan Collins (R-Me) critical of Moveon.org Collins is rnning for reelection, and apparently Moveon has now become the favorite bloody shirt to rouse the otherwise dispirited base. Apparently, Google informed Collins that because her ad used the trademark of someone else (here, Moveon.org, because these days everyone trademarks everything out of sheer self-defense), which Google bans under its advertising policy.