- Act Now
- Open Internet
- Promoting Creativity
- Open & Accessible Technology
There's a nagging point that copyright wonks might overlook in questions of broadcast and cable—that cable companies pay not just for the statutory copyright licenses to copyright holders, but also "retransmission consent" fees to local broadcasters—even if the content they're paying for isn't owned by the local broadcasters themselves.
When you watch network television channel (Fox, for instance), on cable, you're likely aware that your cable company is paying someone to bring you that channel. After all, the shows you're watching are coming from Fox, not Comcast or Time Warner or Dish. It would make sense if Comcast was then paying Fox for the rights to carry its programming.
If Monday's net neutrality oral argument in the DC Circuit foreshadowed the court's decision, opponents and supporters of the FCC's rules will each have something to cheer and something to fear.
While some have portrayed the likely outcome of Monday’s DC Circuit oral argument on Verizon’s challenge to the Federal Communications Comission’s Open Internet order as a victory for anti-net neutrality forces and a loss for its supporters, the reality is much more complicated. With the caveat that one can never rarely predict the ultimate outcome of a case – particularly one as difficult and multi-layered as this one – based solely on the oral argument, there are some pretty clear takeaways, some good, some bad and some just plain ugly. For a comprehensive report on what happened in the courtroom, read Harold’s excellent blog post.
The NSA is misusing an obscure trademark-like law to suppress online content critical of the NSA.
This is a story about the National Security Agency, trademark law, online content takedowns, and more irony upon irony than I could have come up with in fiction.
As we all know, the NSA has been under fire for the last few months, over its broad national spying campaign. The NSA is of the position that its surveillance programs do not constitute a breach of Americans’ interests in privacy—they are perfectly happy to listen to us talk. But when it comes to people criticizing the NSA, suddenly the NSA doesn’t want to listen to anyone talking about them.
Matthew Green, a cryptography professor at Johns Hopkins, wrote a post on his personal blog about the NSA’s activities in undermining Internet cryptography. He then received a call from his academic dean, directing him to remove the blog post from university servers.
The university told Ars Technica that it had ordered the removal of the blog post because the university had been informed that the post “contained a link or links to classified material and also used the NSA logo.”
What’s wrong with using the NSA logo?
After facing massive customer pushback and sharp regulatory scrutiny on its plan to force Fire Island residents to take Voice Link as a substitute for the copper network destroyed by Superstorm Sandy, Verizon agrees to bring FIOS to Fire Island.
Back in May, Verizon announced it would replace the copper phone network on Fire Island destroyed by Hurricane Sandy with their new “Voice Link” service. From the beginning,we expressed grave concerns with forcing storm victims to take an unproven technology in place of the traditional copper-line phone and DSL broadband they had before Sandy struck. Worse, Verizon warned Voice Link callers might not reliably reach 9-1-1, that fax machines, medical devices, and security systems might not work with Voice Link, and that customers would have to switch to much higher-priced mobile broadband plans to keep their Internet access.
According to Verizon, the FCC's Open Internet Rules are the only thing preventing ISPs from becoming gatekeepers for the internet. For background on yesterday's hearing, start here, for a summary of the arguments go here, and for a timeline of net neutrality, click here.
Yesterday Verizon explained, in the simplest terms possible, why net neutrality rules are so important: the rules are the only thing preventing ISPs from turning the internet into cable TV.
Today, Verizon and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had an oral argument before the D.C. Circuit Court debating the network neutrality rules. The argument took place before Judge Rogers, Judge Tatel, and Senior Judge Silberman (“senior” means “technically retired but still hearing cases when I feel like it”). You can listen to the 2+ hour oral argument I sat through this morning here.
|STAY CONNECTED, JOIN OUR MAILING LIST|