Items tagged "Policy Blog"

Press Release

FCC Clarifies Data Roaming Negotiation Standards

December 18, 2014 Data Roaming , Policy Blog , T-Mobile , Travel

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.

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YouTube’s Copyright Cave In: The Unwarranted Takedown of Rand Paul’s Campaign Announcement Video

May 1, 2015 Copyright Reform , Fair Use , Policy Blog

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.

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Encouraging News For Rural Communities in the Farm Bill and FCC’s IP Transition Order

February 28, 2014 Broadband , Policy Blog

The Agriculture Act of 2014 is signed into law, along with a provision creating a rural gigabit network pilot program. This is big news for some rural communities.

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October 16, 2007 Network Neutrality , Policy Blog

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.

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The Google-Moveon-Collins Flap, Or “The Other Shoe Drops and It Fits Quite Nicely.”

October 12, 2007 Network Neutrality , Policy Blog , Trademark

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 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,, because these days everyone trademarks everything out of sheer self-defense), which Google bans under its advertising policy.

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Amazon mp3s: no software restrictions, but legal ones.

October 11, 2007 DRM , Fair Use , Piracy , Policy Blog

Brian Dudley, a columnist at the Seattle Times, has noted that just because Amazon's mp3 downloads are DRM-free doesn't mean they aren't restricted. They're just restricted legally, by contract.

The terms of service allow for some types of fair use. (Um, yay. You're letting me do what the law already says I can. Though that's above par for the course, so far.):

2.1 License. Upon your payment of our fees for Digital Content, we grant you a non-exclusive, non-transferable license to use the Digital Content for your personal, non-commercial, entertainment use, subject to and in accordance with the terms of this Agreement. You may copy, store, transfer and burn the Digital Content only for your personal, non-commercial, entertainment use.

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Unanswered Questions From the Republican Candidates’ Economic Debate

October 10, 2007 Policy Blog , Spectrum Reform

Last night's debate among Republican presidential candidates was supposed to be about "the economic issues facing the American people," as moderator Maria Bartiromo described the festivities.

The discussion meandered to and fro on the usual topics – taxes, trade, immigration, health care. Yet in all of these discussions of "economic" issues, there is a glaring omission — the telecommunications/Internet sector of our economy. Perhaps there is a perception that telecom and Internet policy is too complicated for public discussion, or only suitable for a select group of geeks and/or wonks.

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love DRM-Free Files

October 9, 2007 DRM , Policy Blog

Ian Rogers of Yahoo Music has a fascinating blog post containing a talk he gave to an audience of music industry folks. Basically, his point is that the user experiences provided by record labels and retailers are what's losing them massive opportunities in online sales. The gist of the presentation is nicely summed up in its title: "Convenience Wins, Hubris Loses, and Content vs. Context, a Presentation for Some Music Industry Friends."

DRM is one major example he gives of customer inconvenience:

While running "New Media" at Grand Royal I released the first day/date digital/physical release with At The Drive-In's "Relationship of Command" . Thanks to EMI requirements (hi Ted! hi Melissa!) it was DRM'd WMA and we sold about 12 copies in the first month, probably all to journalists.

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Open Internet Coalition Asks For Hearings on Anti-Consumer Behavior

October 3, 2007 Network Neutrality , Policy Blog

The Open Internet Coalition, of which PK is a proud member, today asked leading senators and members of Congress to take a closer look at some of the anti-consumer behavior recently exhibited by Verizon, AT&T and Comcast.

The litany of behavior is familiar — the blocking of NARAL's text-messaging program, the censoring of Pearl Jam, the cutting off of customers.

All of that comes at a time when the telephone and cable industries have some heavy-duty requests pending on Capitol Hill and at the FCC. They want the Internet tax moratorium extended, as a way of keeping their rates down. They want protection from lawsuits for their spying activities. They want the last regulations requiring them to share lines in major markets eliminated.

Shouldn't we get something in return? We think so. Here's the letter:

        October 3, 2007

The Honorable John D. Dingell, Jr. Chairman, House Committee on Energy and Commerce 2125 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC 20515

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WIPO: No Broadcast Treaty for 2007

September 28, 2007 Policy Blog , WIPO Broadcasters Treaty

Thanks to reports from our allies in Geneva, we've learned that the WIPO General Assembly has decided that there will be no Diplomatic Conference on the Broadcast Treaty this year.

In my last post on the topic, I noted that the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR), the subset of WIPO that was drafting the Broadcast Treaty, failed to reach an agreement, and reported this back to the General Assembly.

The General Assembly, keep in mind, was the body that had ordered the SCCR to come up with a draft treaty over the past year. Since the SCCR couldn't, as a body, decide upon the terms of the treaty, it recommended that the GA make the following statement:

  1. The General assembly is invited to

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