Tales of the Sausage Factory: Feeding the RIAA Pig at the Regulatory Trough

I wish *I* could change the criminal law of the United States to make it a crime to compete with me, and jack up the punishment to huge fines and more jail time than any Enron exec will ever serve. I wish *I* could persuade a regulatory agency and Congress to make everyone else in the universe personally responsible for watching all my stuff. Oh,and then I’d make everyone give me the keys to their house so I could look inside whenever I want.

Sadly for me, *I* am not the RIAA. The introduction of HR4077, a bill which makes the FBI the RIAA’s personal police force for monitoring peer-to-peer networks and says all sorts of nasty things about peer-to-peer generally, and the FCC’s,Notice of Inquiry on whether it should mandate content controls on digital radio certainly give credence to the accusations that big money owns Washington lock, stock ‘n barrel. Interested in helping my ongoing experiment to prove if democracy still works and reminding your Senator and Representative that they really work for you? Read below . . .

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Tales of the Sausage Factory: Comcast pulls out of Disney Deal, But More Cable Consolidation Coming

Comcast has withdrawn its offer for Disney. Much as I’d like to claim this as a kill for the public interest community as some of my colleagues have, I think that was only part of the calculus. But don’t worry all you big media fans, because with Adelphia on the chopping block and MGM being courted, we can count on the media feeding frenzy to continue.

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Tales of the Sausage Factory: It Depends What Your Definition of “Any” Is

Fans of municipal community networks were dealt a blow by a Supreme Court decision last month in Nixon v. Missouri Municipal League. The Supreme Court found that Congress needed to be more explicit in preempting the states when it said “the states shall not prevent any entity from offering telecom services” as part of the 1996 Telecom Act. Odd as it may seem to speakers of the English language, I think the Supremes may have got this one right.

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Tales of the Sausage Factory: Of Open Access, Kicking Butt, and Why Arbs Don't Know Jack

The Ninth Circuit has given us another win in the fight to make cable plants open their facilities to independent ISPs (aka “open access” ). Winning feels good, especially when you predicted it over the odds given by the “experts”. The experts here are the industry analysts and arbitrageurs (or “arbs” ). What does it mean, and why are the experts so often wrong? See my opinions below.

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I'm Doin' a Speakin' Tour- Me Talk Good

For anyone who goes to policy conferences (and who can ever get enough of those, eh?) and science fiction cons, I’m speaking at a couple of them over the next few months. Below is a list with links. If you actually read this thing, let me know; it gives my frail little ego something to cheer about and gives my pathetic life meaning. 🙂

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Tales of The Sausage Factory: Unlicensed Spectrum Access II

O.K., so what’s at stake this year and how can you participate? Read below on how to help get more spectrum available for unlicensed access, help boost available power, exercise your democratic rights with your web browser, and educate the FCC and your Congresscritter.

Or you can go back to being a cynical consumer moo cow who thinks bitching and moaning about how stupid government is relieves you of your responsibilities. (Think I have an opinion?)

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Tales of the Sausage Factory: Gay Marraige? Mine is Pretty Cheerfull.

Yale Law Prof. Lea Brilmayer has some interesting things to say to Congress on whether we need a Constitutional Amendment to let the states decide on gay marraige. See testimony here. I’m not the expert Professor Brilmayer is on Constitutional theory, but as a result of _Goodridge_, real legal analysis doesn’t matter anymore. And therein lies the true evil of judicial activism. Will four arrogant but well meaning judges give Bush the 2004 election, trigger a Constitutional Amendment, trash civil rights for gays for the forseeable future, and undermine confidence in our judiciary to the detriment of our society as a whole? (cue Odd Couple theme)

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