In 2003, “wifi” went from geek toy to mainstream. But WiFi is only part of a much larger revolution in how people access and use the electromagnetic spectrum. Now, numerous competing and ill-fiting anaologies, “property,” “public commons,” “public trust” battle it out among Washington regulators. What’s at stake? While it sounds hyperbolic, this regulatory battle ground holds the key to the next stage of evolution of information technology. This is a background piece. I will post the current developments piece later.
This op ed appeared in the industry Magazine Broadcasting and Cable on Monday Feb. 23.
For those of you haven’t followed, Bush and the Republican leadership fought off an broad attempt by Congress to roll back the national television ownership cap to 35%. The compromise was to freeze the limit at 39%, which means that Viacom (parent of CBS) and News Corp. (parent of Fox) don’t have to sell off any stations. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) says that CBS has paid the administration back for this favor by refusing to sell time to an anti-bush ad on the Superbowl.
Fileswapping is in the New York Times today. The RIAA gears up for more lawsuits while some bands try to actually serve their fans and make a buck. Wow!
just a brief coda on my predictions for file swapping. According to The Washington Post, fileswapping is up again in October and November after declining steadily from June to September. I note that coincides somewhat with the college year, if new students get oriented in August/Sept., get a taste of broadband, and start fileswapping. that last is just speculatiuon on my part.
Stay tuned . . . .
The inevitable end of year/start of year column of rehash and predictions. No doubt I’ll regret this column next December, but if you’re interested in my predictions for the future of file sharing in 2004, read on.
My colleague Cheryl Leanza and I wrote an article for the American Bar Association Communications section defending media ownership limits and explaining why the old rules should be retained. It’s written with lawyers as the target audience, but we think we put it in English. It is available here.
Stay tuned . . . .
Well, actually my boss, Andrew Jay schwartzman, and my organization, Media Access Project. But since MAP has only three attorneys and one admin staffer, I think I’m entitled to crow a bit.
The WSJ is a pay site, so I can’t provide a link. And copyright prevents me from reprinting the editorial — which appeared in the print addition of the WSJ on Dec. 30, 2003.
But to see my more detailed comments, see below.
Bernard Lewis has two books out this holiday season: “What Went Wrong?” and “The Crisis of Islam.” WWW was written before 9/11 and published just after, but has been rereleased to take advantage of the surge of interest in the Middle East.
Lewis’ work is interesting and insightful, but overpriced. Especially since much of what he says can be found in various articles over the last 15 years and available via Google. So I recommend the books, but only when they go on sale after the holidays.