Whose up for a summer of social activism on media and telecom policy? A show of hands please? What if I told you it would only take about 15 minutes using the equipment you are using to read this webpage?
I’ve pegged four FCC proceedings that will benefit enormously from an injection of real world information. My pitch letter for why you should care, along with links to summaries of the proceedings and instructions on how to file, given below.
Stay tuned . . .
The NYTimes has a couple of interesting articles worth discussing. You need a free subscription, and the links will probably die in a few weeks.
This doesn’t need much discussion, but I can’t help but point out another dig it my good buddies at Clear Channel. Similarly, while anyone who has read my thougfhts about media ownership won’t be surprised, I enjoyed the article on Sunday about the new documentary/video op ed by Robert Greenwald, Outfoxed. But this article also highlights the problems that come from the continued erosion of the fair use doctrine.
But the most pernicious piece is this article, which asks Are Used Bookstores Napster? Oh my stars! Have we really come to this, where folkks in the book industry have no shame about saying this stuff in the NY Times? I occassionaly joke to my son that we need to go to libraries before they become illegal. Ho ho.
On the other hand, I really wish the book industry would try to “fix” this “problem.” It might finally wake the rest of the public up to what’s at stake.
The FCC has now released the Order it published last week on allowing higher power outputs for “smart antennas.” A copy of the Order in word is available here, and pdf here. My extremely limited analysis below. Headline version: the FCC sidestepped some bad ideas and the order will generally improve the ability of equipment manufacturers and network providers to use unlicensed spectrum more efficiently and at slightly higher powers in existing bands. So call it a good day at the FCC.
I came accross this on one of my numerous update lists.
JAPANESE SCHOOLCHILDREN TO BE RFID-CHIPPED
Japanese authorities have decided that tracking children
with RFID technology is the best way to protect kids. School
authorities in the Japanese city of Osaka have decided the
benefits of using RFID chips on kids outweigh the
disadvantages and will now be chipping children in one
I’m actually cutting short my vacation to Pennsic to give the Keynote address at the 2004 National Summit for Community Wireless Networks on August 20-22, 2004. This conference is a meeting of folks deploying community wireless networks, policy wonks like yours truly, and anyone else who cares about revolutionizing spectrum policy and setting networks free. the goal is to educate each other and develop ways to move forward in a coherent movement that promotes positive spectrum management reforms. The announcement is reprinted below. Please circulate widely. Hope to see you all there.
I’m getting rather worried as I gear up for two major FCC proceedings that are supposed to be good proceedings for unlicensed spectrum access. Et Docket No. 04-151 proposes opening the 3650–3700 MHz band to unlicensed spectrum (proposed rules in pdf here). The other, ET Docket No. 04-186 proposes opening the broadcast bands to unlicensed spectrum access (proposed rules in pdf here). What could be wrong? See below. I sure hope someone other than me shows up to comment . . .
Good news: The House Commerce Committee had a hearing on the Digital Media Consumers’ Rights Act, which would undo the more obnoxious provisions of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.
Bad news: The House Judiciary Committee (which handles intellectual property issues) approved the Fraudulent Online Identity Sanctions Act, a bill to criminalize the use of false information in WHOIS registrations. This wouldn’t be so bad if you weren’t required to divulge a boatload of personal information under the “thick” WHOIS requirements in order to register a domain name. Folks who hate getting beaten up by their governments over free speech issues or just hate the way spammers use the WHOIS database often try to defnd themselves by submitting false information.
More on the merits of the bills below. But also of relevance (and what makes the Sausage Factory so much fun) is to note the difference a change in committee makes.
I will have a lot more to say on this later, but the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has issued its decision on the FCC’s media ownership deregulation that took place last summer.
The result is a near total victory for MAP and the other public interest clients and the American people. The FCC’s June 2, 2003, deregulatory Order is reversed as not supported by logical reasoning based on the record. The court reverses and remands to the FCC, keeping the old rules in effect until the FCC resolves this mess. The court rejects the FCC’s position that the provision of the 1996 Act that requires the FCC to conduct a review of its ownership rules is “deregulatory” or that it prohibits the FCC from making ownership regulations more stringent. Instead, the FCC is supposed to review its ownership rules and decide whether the public interest requires the FCC to keep the rule, relax the rule, eliminate the rule, or make the rule even more stringent.
More information at our website.
According to Wired, the Democratic Convention in Boston is accepting bloggers application for press credentials. So, anybody think Tales of The Sausage Factory should go on a road trip?
I’m reprinting below a call to arms by Free Press to help secure passage of S. 2505. This bill will repeal the NAB-sponsored law passed in 2000 that scaled back the community-based low power FM service (LPFM). Details below