Tales of the Sausage Factory: UTX, OTARD, UH-OH!

As readers of Slashdot may have seen, The University of Texas at Dallas has prohibitted students in certain dorms from setting up wireless access points. If you read the policy, you will find out that the University is not simply amending its acceptable use policy (AUP), it prohibits setting up access points using residential DSL or cable.

Rather than break into the raging debate in the comments on how this policy meshes (as it were) with the FCC’s recent ruling prohibiting landlords from mandating such things, I’ll use Wetmachine to say what I want (but feel free to refer anyone from Slashdot over here to our humble corner of the internet if they would like to hear from a lawyer who dabbles in such things).

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Tales of the Sausage Factory: Indy Media Centers Harassed by Feds?

The Independent Media Centers got started after the mainstream press gave very corporate/globalization friendly coverage of the protests around the WTO meeting in 1999 that kicked off the anti-globalization movement.

IMCs frequently provide on the spot coverage of anti-globalization events which the archive and distrbute via streaming media.

NY IndyMedia reports that the FBI and Secret Service have subpeonaed information about who posted a list of RNC delegates.

While I cannot claim direct experience with the FBI harrasment of the civil rights movement in the name of the struggle against communism, I know enough about history to be damned sensitive to the first sign I’m repeating it.

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Tales of the Sauasage Factory: Delay in Unlicensed in Broadcast Bands

‘Lo all. I’m back from vacation which included mud, wireless connectivity, poetry on the field of battle, and more mud. Eventually, I’ll get the mud dried out and have more to say about the real cool Community Wireless Networking summit I attended. But first, some breaking wireless news.

The FCC has granted a 90-day extension for comment in the proceeding to allow unlicensed activity in the broadcast bands. The IEEE and the broadcasters had asked for a 6-month delay. I have some rather harsh words about the IEEE and its all too usual combination of hubris and political naivette that remind me way too much of ICANN and will no doubt get me in trouble. But what the heck?

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WIFI and Democracy

Check out this article on high tech anarchy protests during the RNC Convention in NYC. While I don’t condone the illegal uses (e.g., breaking in on protected licensed frequencies), I do applaud the many creative uses of wireless networking — made possible by the FCC unlicensed rules.

And I’m off on vacation, culminating in the community wireless summit. No doubt I’ll have loads to wax eloquent about when I return.

Stay tuned . . .

Buffy Not Indecent, Says FCC

I will confess, I found the entire 6th Season indecently bad. But for those worried that the FCC’s indecency craze will wipe out hot Vampire/Slayer sex in reruns, you may take comfort from the FCC decision located (in PDF) here. For those interested in the FCC tea leaves, I observe it’s a 5-0 decision. Copps and Martin, the most aggressive on indency, appear happy with the idea that suggestive television does not rise to the level of indecency.

Tales of the Sausage Factory: MAP Summer Fun Kit

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 . . .

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Got a Lot in the NYT

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.

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