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White House Responds to Petition Against SOPA/PIPA

January 14, 2012 Enforcement , Innovation , Internet Protocol , Open Internet , Piracy

The White House recently released a response to two petitions protesting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). The statement agreed with the petition signers that anti-piracy laws must not increase censorship or risk security flaws by tampering with the domain name system (DNS), key parts of both SOPA and the Senate’s proposed PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). This is a fantastic sign that shows that the objections of ordinary, clued-in Internet users can make a difference in stopping misguided legislation.

The statement, co-authored by Victoria Espinel, the IP Enforcement Coordinator, Aneesh Chopra, the Chief Technology Officer, and Howard Schmidt, the Cybersecurity Coordinator, affirms the message that legislation tampering with the DNS poses real risks to the security and stability of the Internet.

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CES is Shaped by DC Policy

January 9, 2012 Broadband , Competition , Data Caps , FCC , Innovation

This week the tech world will descend on Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show.  While there is nothing subtle about a 152-inch 3D plasma TV there are plenty of subtle forces coming from DC that shape what you see at shows like CES and at retailers like Amazon and Best Buy.  Here are just four examples.

AllVid or Why Can’t Apple, Google, Microsoft, Roku, and Boxee Boxes Get Cable Channels?

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FCC Says Goodbye to Waivers and Hello to a New Rule for Digital Cable Technology

December 1, 2011 FCC , Innovation , Regulation , Set-Top Box

For many years, consumers were able to save some money on their cable bills by simply subscribing to a basic tier of programming.  For additional programming, subscribers had to pay for a set-top box provided by the cable company.  This worked fine when cable companies transmitted the programming in an analog format.  But times, and technology, are changing.  Now even the basic tier, like the more expensive ones, is going digital, and that means consumers will have to pay for a box even if they didn’t have one before.  In response to these events, the Federal Communications Commission proposed a new rule.  Public Knowledge applauds the FCC for proposing the rule in response to digital cable technology and protecting subscribers from being hit too hard as a result of the digital transition. 

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Piracy is Bad for Business, But So is SOPA

November 11, 2011 Innovation , Protect IP Act , SOPA

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is meant to promote “prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property.”  According to the proponents of SOPA, such as the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the U.S.

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The Digital Public Library Of America: How Would You Like To Access Online Resources?

October 25, 2011 Innovation , Open Access to Research

It was suggested that a Scannebago should be driving around the United States scanning public library works to make them available online. (I envision the Scannebago as a cross between a Winnebago, a Google Street View car and the pickup truck from Twister, but you might picture a more creative image.) Regardless of the process, many public libraries have scanned works over the past few years and now it is time to organize the digital works for public access across the country—and eventually internationally. Last year, the Berkman Center for Internet and Technology, with funding from the Alfred P.

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