February 2008

Comcast Pays People to Pack Cambridge FCC Hearing

February 29th 2008

The FCC’s recent hearing in Cambridge on broadband network management practices had a group of unusual participants.  Comcast admitted to paying people from the street who did not know about the hearing to fill the auditorium’s seats.  They arrived en masse some 90 minutes before the hearing began and occupied almost every available seat, upon […]

RIAA Loses “Making Available” Argument in Default Judgment Request

February 28th 2008

On February 13, 2008, in Connecticut copyright case Atlantic vs. Brennan, the court rejected the RIAA’s request for a default judgment on the grounds of its theory that simply making available copyrighted music that might be illegally copied by some other party is, in fact, infringement. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton ruled that such a […]

FCC Ready to Block Unreasonable Net Restrictions

February 27th 2008

FCC Chairman, Kevin Martin, acknowledged that broadband network operators have a legitimate need to manage the data flowing over their networks. But he said that “does not mean that they can arbitrarily block access to particular applications or services.” So, what is “reasonable” and what is “arbitrary”?  That was the question in Cambridge on Monday. […]

ABA Committee’s Anti-Consumer Take on Keyword Advertising

February 25th 2008

Corynne McSherry and Eric Goldman have posted a joint warning about proposals being considered by the the Trademark Litigation subcommittee of the American Bar Association’s IP Section.  Several expert sources (quoted below) have already written about this, and I add some thoughts to theirs after that.

Keyword Ads and The Public’s Domain in Trademark Law

February 23rd 2008

When you type a phrase like “Ford models” into a search engine, you aren’t necessarily searching for the Ford Motor Company.  You may be searching for information from news sources to learn if Ford tires still catch fire. If that were the case, you’d probably want an disinterested analysis from outside the company.  Or you […]

Berkman Center to Host FCC Hearing on Broadband Management Practices

February 22nd 2008

On Monday, February 25, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School will host a Federal Communications Commission en banc hearing on broadband network management practices, and a public post-panel discussion and reception. The event will be webcast live.  Verizon’s Tom Tauke, who was featured in yesterday’s posting, is one of the […]

Verizon on Net Monitoring: Bad Idea

February 21st 2008

Verizon apparently believes it’s a bad idea to monitor content that passes through its communications services. This may sound obvious to you and me, but it isn’t to rival AT&T, who is going out of its way to do just that (call it: Your World. Monitored).

IP Law Shake Out in Congress: Lawrence Lessig for Congress?

February 20th 2008

Arts Technica describes how shifts caused by a death in congress could reshape the legislative terrain for intellectual property law. Rep. Tom Lantos’ (D-CA) death from esophageal cancer leaves an opening at the top of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, an opening that appears to be perfectly shaped like Howard Berman (D-CA). Berman is expected […]

Wikileaks.org Down by Law

February 19th 2008

Wikileaks, a controversial whistle-blower website where visitors anonymously post corporate or government documents, has had its domain name deactivated in the United States. Bank Julius Baer, a Swiss bank with operations in the Cayman Islands, petitioned that the site’s California domain register be ordered to deactivate the Wikileaks.org web address. Wikileaks had published disclosures suggesting the […]

Bush Inaction Guts Privacy Oversight Board: Happy Presidents’ Day

February 18th 2008

The President has destaffed the committee responsible for making sure civil rights and privacy are respected by the administration’s anti-terrorism programs. At the same time, he made asking for extended spy powers, and blanket immunity for a still-undisclosed range of privacy intrusions, his highest profile priority. Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board was recommended by […]