MAP Brings DC To The Valley

Time for a shameless plug for my employer, the Media Access Project (MAP).

As long-time readers know, one of my frequent complaints is why don’t folks whose lives depend on the rules made in DC bestir themselves and get active on the policy front. All it takes is a web browser and a docket number, after all. Why don’t we see more Silicon Valley folks, VCs, and others show up at FCC proceedings.

Answer, they live as much in their own isolated bubbles as the DC folks do. If you are out in Silicon Valley, odds are good you rarely think of DC as having any relevance to your life and there is not going to be anyone or anything around you to tell you otherwise.

Well rejoice, lucky Silicon Valley people (and whoever else wants to make the trip out)! Media Access Project is sponsoring a series of policy forums (fora?) in Silicon Valley, wherein we will bring the D.C. policy world to you. And, lest you think this is some sort of socialist cult-like retreat wherein we will brainwash you with our public interest ways, we are working with big corporate partners like AT&T and eBay to assemble panels that present a wide variety of views. The primary purpose here is to get folks actually thinking about policy and why it is important for everyone to participate in the process. Think of it as a kind of “Rock the Vote” for Silicon Valley.

In any event, details below.

Stay tuned . . . .

The Media Access Project (MAP – cordially invites you to participate in a ground breaking series of conferences that will bring together public policy experts and tech industry leaders to draft policy recommendations for the next President of the United States. These events will take place in Silicon Valley and in Washington, DC, and we would be especially pleased to have you attend our inaugural program on May 12, 2008 at the eBay campus in San Jose, CA.

MAP is a Washington, DC-based non-profit advocacy organization that for 35 years has been dedicated to promoting the public’s First Amendment right to access a diverse marketplace of ideas in the electronic mass media. MAP believes that the 2008 presidential election will present a special opportunity for the public, industry and policy makers to reflect on the important unresolved media, technology and telecom issues that will have a substantial impact on the future of innovation in America.

The May 12 Forum is entitled “The Future of Content & Control” and will be held at eBay Headquarters in the Town Hall, at 2161 North First Street, San Jose, California 95131. (See map below.) Lunch will be provided. Seating is limited so please RSVP by Tuesday May 6 with Brooke Rae-Hunter at or 202.454.5686.

10:00 AM Welcoming Remarks – Tod Cohen, VP and Deputy General Counsel for Government Relations, eBay

10:05 AM Welcoming Remarks – Albert Kramer, Chair, MAP Board of Directors

10:15 AM Panel 1: The Changing Nature of “Content” — The Challenge of Making Policy for Dynamic Technologies
This discussion will focus on how decisions that the government makes about who controls distribution, content and ownership will be critical in determining the course of innovation in the United States.

Patrick Ross, Executive Director, Copyright Alliance
Mike Godwin, General Counsel, Wikipedia
Jule L. Sigal, Senior Policy Counsel/Copyright & Trademark, Microsoft
Andrew Jay Schwartzman, President, Media Access Project (Moderator)

11:45 AM Lunch

12:45 PM Panel 2: Whose Pipe is it – The End of “End to End?”
This panel will examine the concept of the Internet as a “closed pipe” and whether that concept is challenged by new technologies and network management demands.
Mark Lemley, Professor, Stanford Law School
Jason Devitt, Co-Founder and CEO, Skydeck
Jeff Brueggeman, Vice President, Regulatory Planning & Policy, AT&T
Blake Krikorian, Co-founder, Chairman, and CEO, Slingbox
Harold Feld, V.P., Media Access Project, (Moderator)

For full agenda, go to the Media Access Project website.

Our second Innovation ’08 Forum – Open Access and the New Net Neutrality & Wireless Policy After the 700 MHz Auction — will be held on June 12, 2008 at eBay HQ.

FORUM 2: Open Access and the New Net Neutrality
Location: eBay HQ, San Jose, CA
Date: Thursday, June 12, 2008

10:00-10:05 Welcoming Remarks – Tod Cohen, VP and Deputy General Counsel for Government Relations, eBay

10:05-10:15 Welcoming Remarks

Who is MAP?
What is “Innovation – ‘08”
Why is it important to Silicon Valley and America?

Panel 1: 10:15 – 11:45 AM

What Does Net Neutrality Mean Now?
Comcast’s interruption of P2P transmissions has generated debate about the need and wisdom of deploying advanced net management technologies. Can and will the private sector address this problem without government mandates? Historically, the debate about Net Neutrality has focused on who can access information distribution channels, and under what circumstances. Comcast’s recent interruption brings up new questions, explored here by some of the leading experts in the field.

George Ou, former network engineer
Ronald B. Yokubaitis, Chairman and CEO, Data Foundry
Others to be confirmed
Moderator: Parul Desai

10:15 – 10:35 Panel Introduction and Speaker Remarks
10:35 – 11:30 Moderator questions and panel discussion
11:30 – 11:45 Audience questions and answers.

LUNCH 11:45 – 12:45 PM

Panel 2: 12:45 – 2:30 PM

Spectrum Policy After the 700 MHz Auction

The FCC’s recently concluded 700 MHz auction has been praised, criticized, and puzzled over. Auction veterans will discuss what happened, why it happened, and what will happen next.

Coleman Bazelon, Principal, The Brattle Group
Gregory L. Rosston, Professor, Stanford
Gregory Rose, Economist, Gregory Rose & Associates
Carolyn Brandon, CTIA
Moderator: Harold Feld

12:45 – 1:05 Panel Introduction and Speaker Remarks
1:05 – 2:00 Moderator questions and panel discussion
2:00 – 2:30 Audience questions and answers.

For further information, or to RSVP, please contact Brooke Rae-Hunter at 202-454-5686 or


  1. Wow!

    I wonder if I can find some way to get out there. . . Sounds like a good time.

    Great outreach, & I shall look forward to seeing what kind of participation & coverage you can drum up.

  2. It’s possible I could make one of these, but I’m not your target audience. If space is truly limited I wouldn’t want to take a seat away from an influential person whose participation in public policy issues could make more of a difference.

  3. You ask, “why don’t folks whose lives depend on the rules made in DC bestir themselves and get active on the policy front?”

    Maybe because so many of them have lives. Many are small businessmen who reasonably expect that if they stick to their knitting, work hard, and behave ethically, the government will behave reasonably and not regulate them out of business. Some are politically liberal and just trust government to do the right thing. Some are politically conservative and believe that if you tangle with government, you’re just going to lose anyway, so there’s no point.

    Or maybe it’s because they don’t have rich backers who can afford to hire lawyers such as yourself, or lots of money to travel, or lots of time to take away from their businesses.

    I personally spent at least $800 and probably more like $1,000 to speak for 8 (count them) minutes at the FCC hearing at Palo Alto, where the slate of panelists was so lopsided that I was the only panelist in the business of providing Internet service. Who can afford to do that every day? Professional lobbyists, maybe; not those of us in the trenches who are actually doing real work. I’m already behind by several weeks on important projects because I’ve been traveling to DC and California and elsewhere, trying to debunk, on my own dime, lobbying organizations that have dozens of paid staffers to put out a one-sided and often misleading message. One thing that I have discovered, while visiting Congressional staff regarding “net neutrality” and the Markey bill, is that Larry Lessig and company were there before me in every single Congressional office, falsely claiming that “The Interned is dying! Save the Internet!” and lobbying for legislation and regulations that would in fact harm the Internet by destroying small ISPs like mine and taking their customers off the Net.

    I’d have to quit my job and close my business to lobby all 535 members of both houses. How is that fair?

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