Items tagged "Innovation"

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Does Congress Mean to Enforce Particular Business Models with Copyright Law?

June 13, 2013 DMCA , DRM , Innovation , Mobile Innovation

At a hearing on unlocking phones, some suggest that Congress added laws against circumventing access controls not just to fight piracy, but in order to protect particular business models. Businesses use this argument to justify using copyright law to criminalize activities that don’t actually infringe copyright.


Up until last year, unlocking a cell phone so that it could be used with a different carrier was perfectly legal. That changed when the Librarian of Congress decided no longer to include it in a list of exceptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which forbids the circumvention of technology that controls access to copyrighted works. The Librarian’s decision has sparked a great deal of controversy, and lead to several proposed bills that would once again make it legal to unlock cell phones. In a hearing before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet last Thursday, Congress heard testimony about one of these bills, and about the practice of unlocking phones.

Subcommittee Vice Chairman Tom Marino began the hearing by framing the considerations on each side in terms of their effect on the market and existing business models, pitting the promise of a more competitive marketplace that phone unlocking allows against the ability of carriers to recover the cost of subsidizing phones.

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Why the Consumer Electronics Show Will Never be Overrated

January 18, 2013 Innovation , SOPA , Video Innovation

Last week (January 7-11), Las Vegas hosted the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, the annual trade show where tech companies present their latest gadgets and gizmos.  Speculation about which company will have the largest, sharpest, thinnest, displays or the latest bells and whistles for their mobile handsets dominates the tech world for weeks leading up to CES, and the show officially begins the conversation for consumer tech for the year.  Walking the convention center floor and playing with the newest in consumer tech is a tech fanboy/fangirl’s dream come true.  Public Knowledge sent a delegation to the show this year and was encouraged by the energy of the attendants not only with regard to tech devices but especially toward tech policy.

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Makerbot Clone Tests the Limits of Open Source Hardware

September 11, 2012 3D Printing , Innovation

Most people who know of Makerbot know them as a one of the leaders in the home 3D printing market.  Fewer people realize that they are also one of the highest profile examples of another movement: open source hardware.  Like open source software, the open source hardware community makes its plans freely available – and usable – to the general public.  This strategy was recently put to the test when another company tried to use Makerbot’s plans to make a Makerbot replica – and sell it for 2/3 of the price.

Open Source Hardware

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UMG/EMI: The Next Innovation Bottleneck

August 15, 2012 AT&T , Comcast , Competition , Innovation , UMGEMI

While much attention has focused on whether European antitrust regulators will allow the major label Universal to buy one of its competitors, EMI, the proposed merger has also attracted the attention of US antitrust authorities in the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Senate. In the US context, this merger bears some important similarities to recent proceedings like the Comcast/NBCU merger and the failed AT&T/T-Mobile merger.

Universal/EMI and AT&T/T-Mobile: Taking Over a Maverick Competitor

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We Stand for a Free and Open Internet: The Declaration of Internet Rights

July 2, 2012 Innovation , Open Internet , SOPA

Public Knowledge is excited to be part of the 91 organizations and 38 influencers signing on to the Declaration of Internet Freedom, which launched today.

As Cory Doctorow succinctly put it, “There is no copyright policy, only Internet policy; there is no Internet policy, only policy.” Today’s focus on increased IP enforcement will have a dramatic impact on the way people interact with the most democratic communications platform that has ever existed: the internet. Disproportionate IP enforcement will stifle creativity and create gatekeepers that block the free flow of information online.

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I Can Use A Banana to Rob a Bank: Why We Don’t Ban Things Just Because They Can Be Misused

June 22, 2012 Innovation , Piracy , RIAA

Earlier this week, YouTube-MP3.org announced that it had received a letter from YouTube essentially asking them to shut down.  YouTube-MP3.org was a site that allowed you to strip audio from a YouTube video and save it as an MP3.  Yesterday, it came to light that CNET had received a similar request from the RIAA to remove software from its popular Download.com site that performed the same purpose.  These requests are dumb.

Software That Downloads YouTube Videos Has Many Legitimate Uses

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PK In The Know Podcast: OH/DC and iPad vs. 4G

March 23, 2012 Data Caps , Innovation

On today’s podcast we explain OH/DC: Open Source Hardware comes to DC. We also discuss problems that new iPad users are running into on 4G networks (and issue Public Knowledge has focused on for some time).

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Updates and this week’s PK In The Know Podcast: DVD Ripping, Boxee, Spectrum, and the Open Design En

February 10, 2012 Innovation , Set-Top Box , Unlicensed frequencies , White Space , Wireless

The PK in the Know podcast has been off for the past few weeks so that we could make technical changes to the back end.  This will result in a better feed, but  unfortunately it also means that the feeds have changed.  Please update your feeds by clicking here to subscribe via iTunes, and clicking here to subscribe via other readers.

But now, on to this week’s podcast!

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Let’s Get the Future of TV Right

February 6, 2012 Innovation , MVPD , Plug and Play , Set-Top Box , Video Innovation

One of the benefits of the FCC’s often-laborious process of rulemaking is that it allows new issues to be discovered and resolved. This is what has happened in the Commission’s proceeding on a seemingly-arcane issue: “encryption of the basic tier.”

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Theater Owners Shouldn’t Count on the MPAA to “Protect Jobs”

January 25, 2012 Innovation , MPAA , SOC , SOPA , Video Innovation

Former Senator Chris Dodd has been buttering the popcorn of movie theater owners since becoming Hollywood’s chief lobbyist. So it’s not surprising to see the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) and the MPAA commiserating together over what happened to SOPA. They’re united in the delusion that the revolt of Internet users was started and orchestrated by Google–it’s more comforting, no doubt, to paint a large corporation as the bad guy, instead of facing up to the reality of a populist revolt against your own greed and overreach.

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