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April 2006
  • "Franchise Bill Moves Amid Net-Neutrality Backlash," TelecomWeb News Digest, April 27, 2006
    “[T]he House and Senate have heard calls for net neutrality, anti- discrimination, anti-redlining, build-out and consumer protections from fellow lawmakers, CompTel, the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the Net Neutrality Coalition, the Coalition, Microsoft, Intel, Yahoo!, Google, Amazon and E-Bay, among others. Yet groups such as the Hands Off the Internet coalition, the Institute for Liberty, the Progress & Freedom Foundation, and even the National Black Chamber of Commerce have warned against Internet regulation or net neutrality provisions."
  • "DMCA Helps Investment, Creates New Markets, Researcher Says," Washington Internet Daily, April 27, 2006
    "'DRM is still in its infancy,' Progress & Freedom Foundation Adjunct Fellow Solveig Singleton said: 'We have a viable market [for DRM], so the commentary at this point needs to be less strident and much more constructive.'"
  • "Watch Out in Election, Fair-Use Groups Tell Supporters of New Copyright Bill," Washington Internet Daily, April 26, 2006
    "The Smith draft 'isn't overly alarming on first glance,' but it's far from clear that the formal bill will retain the same provisions, the Progress & Freedom Foundation's Patrick Ross told us. Provisions seem aimed at ‘clarifying that activities currently considered illegal are in fact illegal’ and raising penalties. Ross said he supported the increased prosecutorial resources in the bill but added that 'appropriators wouldn't be bound' to fund such resources if the bill passes."
  • "CSO: What's your perception of the state of information security today, and how close are we to creating this 'culture of security' that you've envisioned?," Chief Security Officer, April 20, 2006
    "Orson Swindle [PFF Distinguished Fellow, Director of 'Securing the Internet']: 'The state of information security is a complex issue. We do have problems. I don't think the problems are nearly as bad as they are perceived, and part of that has to do with how the media covers things. This past year we've had probably in excess of 100 disclosed breaches, but the jump from disclosed breaches to grievous harm having occurred is a huge one. You'll hear '40 million credit cards compromised,' but it's a much smaller number than that—a very low number—where harm has actually occurred. Oftentimes a disclosure is an emotional thing. It causes people to overreact. But that is not to say we don't have a problem.'"
  • "FCC Seen as Unlikely to Rescind Indecency Orders Against CBS," Communications Daily, April 20, 2006
    "'There is a lot of court action to come on this front,’ Progress & Freedom Foundation's Adam Thierer said: 'I think the agency will stand firm on its recent decisions despite the fact that they must realize they've opened themselves up to a serious First Amendment challenge.'"
  • "DOJ Official States That IP Rights and Enforcement Lead to Innovation,"Tech Law Journal, April 17, 2006 "4/11. Gerald Masoudi, a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Antitrust Division, gave a speech in Sao Paolo, Brazil. He addressed "why some societies seem to have more innovation". His answer is an appropriately structured intellectual property rights regime.
    "Masoudi spoke at a conference hosted by the Progress and Freedom Foundation (PFF) and Associação Brasileira da Propriedade Intelectual (ABPI) titled ‘Intellectual Property in the Digital World-The Importance for Brazilian Development'".
  • "Mass Media Notes," Communications Daily, April 13, 2006.
    "Congress shouldn't regulate video content in the name of kids' safety because families have enough tools to do a better job, Adam Thierer said in a Progress & Freedom Foundation report. The V-chip, password protected set-top boxes and PVRs, VCRs and other technologies let families accumulate the type of programs they want their children to see and limit the amount of potentially offensive material entering the home, the report said. Groups worried about children's exposure to indecent material have a role, but should focus on advertisers and programmers, not Congress, said Thierer in the report."
  • "Viewers Who Back Steps to Control TV Indecency May be Forgoing Choice," Asbury Park Press, April 12, 2006.
    "All this [regulation pressure] and much more makes the latest fines ripe for a court challenge. Adam Thierer, a media-policy analyst at the Progress and Freedom Foundation, points out a few of the reasons:
  1. The FCC's policies on indecency are vague, convoluted and arbitrary.
  2. The 'scarcity' and 'pervasiveness' regulatory rationales of the past — that the broadcast spectrum is too scarce and that broadcast media come into the home unbidden — are no longer relevant in today's media environment.
  3. Broadcasters are held to a different, more stringent standard than cable or satellite, even though the programming comes into the household over the same TV set.
  4. Technological and other tools are readily available to parents who wish to prevent their children from seeing or hearing what they dislike."
  • "Telecom Overhaul Coming - Eventually," AXcess News, April 12, 2006.
    "Kyle Dixon, senior fellow of the Progress and Freedom Foundation, a market-oriented think tank focused on telecom, argued a neutrality mandate could send consumers and the industry down a 'slippery slope' toward onerous regulation."
  • "TV Enters a New Universe," Christian Science Monitor, April 7, 2006.
    "'I call it the 'Lord of the Flies' scenario in cyberspace,' says Adam Thierer, director of the Center for Digital Media Freedom, a think tank in Washington, D.C. 'It's our kids raising themselves in cyberspace, because kids know much more about these technologies than their parents, and it's heavy lifting to get the adults up to speed.'"
  • "Free TV Shows Without the TV," Kansas City Star, April 7, 2006.
    "Yet the FCC is prohibited from regulating TV content when it's streamed online, where 'the people more prone to downloading are the younger demographic whom the federal regulators say they are trying to protect,' said Adam Thierer, an analyst with the Progress and Freedom Foundation in Washington."
  • "Symposium Speakers Debate Whether Markets or Regulation Will Spur More Broadband," State Telephone Regulation Report, April 7, 2006.
    "In a 2nd broadband-related panel at the Catholic U. symposium, Thomas Lenard of the Progress & Freedom Foundation said he has heard few coherent arguments to justify municipalities like Philadelphia competing with business to offer wireless or wireline broadband. Virtually every study performed so far cuts against municipal investment, he said: 'If the govt. comes in and starts building supermarkets, is it more or less likely that Safeway is going to come in and open a supermarket? It's got to be less likely. That's kind of common sense.'"
    "A number of municipal buildouts have been studied in some depth, Lenard said: 'None of them was able to cover costs without being subsidized... The ventures that I studied looked like they'd be a definite drain on the taxpayer.' Municipal broadband efforts often find themselves in direct competition with incumbents, Lenard said. 'Those incumbents don't go away,' he said: 'Those incumbents compete very seriously and that's a major reason why municipalities fare so poorly.'"
  • Tech Law Journal, April 6, 2006.
    "The Progress and Freedom Foundation released a short paper titled 'Intellectual Property Rights and Innovation in the Information Technology Industries'. The author is the PFF's Jim DeLong. He writes that 'many companies are re-conceiving themselves as platform companies, or network companies, with a business plan of providing basic platforms to which others can add innovations.' DeLong argues that it is the intellectual property rights (IPR) system that enables the innovators and platform companies to deal with each other. Hence, he concludes that 'those who regard the destruction of IPR as the key to promoting interoperability and cooperation among firms have the situation exactly backward. To the contrary, the road to effective cooperation and interoperability is through IPR.'"
  • "Net Neutrality Biggest Fight in Telecom Bill," Washington Internet Daily, April 5, 2006.
    "Congress shouldn't enact any net neutrality provisions into law, said Progress & Freedom Foundation Senior Fellow Randolph May in testimony before the House subcommittee last week. It's safe to assume that network operators, after having invested billions building out networks, won't find it in their interest to block services, May said. If Congress insists on including net neutrality language, it should define what constitutes an unfair competitive practice and require case-by-case adjudications, he said."
  • "Free Press Pushes Tough Payola Fines," Broadcasting & Cable, April 3, 2006.
    "During a Progress and Freedom Foundation panel session in Washington in October, Mays said that his programming employees are required to acknowledge that they understand that payola is illegal, and that the 4-6 employees investigated in connection with the BMG consent decree were the bad actors, leaving 99.9% of its radio programmers doing what they should be doing."
  • "Orphan Works Changes Unlikely to Spur Legal Fights," Washington Internet Daily, April 3, 2006.
    "A high-tech law expert expects 'virtually no litigation' to result if Congress passes legislation based on a recent Copyright Office (CO) report on use of copyrighted material whose owners are hard to find. Jonathan Band -- who represents libraries and Internet companies in the 'orphan works' debate -- told a Progress & Freedom Foundation lunch Fri. that the likelihood of unidentified rights owners surfacing after reasonably diligent search is 'incredibly small.'"
  • "Much Ado About Cussing," Denver Post, April 3, 2006.
    "'This game is up," said Adam Thierer, senior fellow at the Progress and Freedom Foundation, a think tank in Washington, D.C. 'All these regulations and fines are premised on 'protecting the children,' but the children have been deserting broadcast TV and radio and flocking to alternative, unregulated media outlets and technologies. The minute the FCC censors something on broadcast TV, it pops up on the Internet in uncensored form and can be downloaded to your video iPod or PlayStation Portable. The FCC is fighting a losing game and unfairly penalizing broadcasters and their adult viewers in the process.'"
  • "Guardians of Decency," Detroit News, April 2, 2006.
    "The FCC's handling of complaints also was criticized by the Progress and Freedom Foundation, a free-market think tank, which issued a report last fall noting the parents council's influence and the potential for complaint totals to be inflated by duplicates, which the agency says is possible."
  • "That's Indecent! (Or is it?); For TV and Radio, FCC Must Decide How Far is Too Far," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, April 2, 2006.
    "The FCC's handling of complaints also was criticized by the Progress and Freedom Foundation, a Washington free-market think tank, which issued a report last fall noting the council's influence and the potential for complaint totals inflated by duplicates, which the agency admits may be included."

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