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February 2007
  • "Auction Experts Tout Bidding for USF Subsidies," Communications Daily, March 2, 2007
    "Auctions can be a workable, effective way to disburse universal service subsidies, panelists at a Progress & Freedom Foundation seminar said Thurs."
    "Reverse auctions are basically 'procurement auctions,' said PFF's Scott Wallsten, who moderated the program."
  • "Fair Use Bill Offers 'Natural Extensions' to Copyright Office Exemptions," Washington Internet Daily, February 28, 2007
    "Progress & Freedom Foundation's Patrick Ross compared the bill to cheap booze. 'Boucher and Doolittle would have us believe that this new version is an improvement on their past efforts -- "Tastes great, less filling." It's still plenty filling, and the beer still tastes skanky,' he told us. The congressional duo should work through the Copyright Office review process and trust that consumers can 'apply pressure in the market to get what they'd like to purchase,' independent of Congress, he added. If the DMCA is to be reviewed, Congress should find explicitly that the law's original language limiting infringement liability was meant only for ISPs, not YouTube and other websites, Ross said. Courts' application of DMCA protection to such sites has turned copyright to an "opt-out" system, 'which is intolerable,' he said."
  • "State-Level Net Neutrality Bills Get Blogs' Attention," TechDaily, February 27, 2007
    "Adam Thierer of the Progress and Freedom Foundation said it is even more dangerous for states than the federal government to regulate broadband content.
    "'I would hope that even supporters of federal net neutrality regulation would understand the dangers associated with giving state government more authority over the day-to-day workings of the Net,' Thierer said. 'It could be a disaster in the making if a patchwork of parochial policies was applied to this global medium, especially if states use [net neutrality] rules as a way to embark on other forms of Net regulation.'"
  • "International Telecom," Communications Daily, February 26, 2007
    "The EC is analyzing its telecom rules to see if they offer the right incentives for investing in infrastructure and services. In that discussion, one might have expected a major debate over whether to force incumbents to open their networks to competitors or get regulatory holidays to foster investment, Information Society Dir.-Gen. Fabio Colasanti said last week at a Brussels conference of the Progress & Freedom Foundation and the Centre for European Policy Studies"
  • "The Thorny Problems Posed by Online Predator Bills," Tech News World, February 23, 2007
    "'I don't think we should have a federal prohibition on a certain type of Web site at the school and library level,' Adam Thierer, a senior fellow at the Progress & Freedom Foundation, a technology policy think tank in Washington, D.C. told TechNewsWorld. 'That should be a school and library determination,' he said, 'not a federal government determination.'"
  • "Internet 'Constitution' Called Needed for Net Neutrality, " Washington Internet Daily, February 23, 2007
    "'Net neutrality should be codified in a "constitution of the Internet" to discourage attempts to change the Net's architecture,' a panelist said Thurs. at a conference here of the Progress & Freedom Foundation and the Centre for European Policy Studies."
    "[PFF Senior Fellow Scott] Wallsten said mandatory neutrality amounts to price regulation. Those advocating such a rule should ask what market failure it corrects, he said. Net neutrality backers also worry about service degradation by network providers, but they have no incentive to discriminate against content that will spur uptake of their services, Wallsten said. And no one knows what the optimal pricing for faster or better- quality service should be, he said.
    "It's not clear whether or how prices would change if broadband providers charge content providers for access, said Wallsten. And full separation of Internet infrastructure from services overlooks market-based competition and could lead to undesirable outcomes."
  • "More News," Tech Law Journal, February 21, 2007
    "The Progress and Freedom Foundation released a paper titled 'Copy Protection and Games: Lessons for DRM Debates and Development'. [The author PFF's Solveig Singleton] argues that 'Content producers do respond to consumer complaints about clumsy copy protection.' She also concludes that 'Interoperability with general purpose media increases piracy risks for content,' and that 'Hardware-linked protection is most durable.' Finally, she argues that 'Consumers do not always demand what advocates think they ought to demand. Consumers will buy special-purpose hardware when it is easy to use and not too expensive. They do not demand interoperability or the right to make backup copies at all costs.'"
  • "Making Radio Waves," The Wall Street Journal, February 21, 2007
    "'The reason for [the XM-Sirius] merger is not to exclude others from the market,' says Adam Thierer, who follows telecom issues at the Progress & Freedom Foundation. 'It's to make sure they can compete in the broader market against the various players they face -- serious competitors that have satellite radio providers scrambling for their lives.'"
  • "Unknowns Fuel Neutrality Arguments at FTC Workshop," Washington Internet Daily, February 15, 2007
    "'We don't know what firms don't exist yet' that could be offering better service to more subscribers at lower prices, and 'we don't know what services they might want to offer,' said Scott Wallsten, dir.-communications policy studies, Progress & Freedom Foundation. That's why legislation would be disastrous, he said. Encouraging competition by lowering barriers to entry and making more spectrum available should be govt.'s aims, not controlling the market so carriers can't innovate, he said. Legislation may be needed in a 'market failure,' but name one, he challenged neutrality supporters."
  • "Net Neutrality Likely Needed; Details Uncertain, Leibowitz Says," Communications Daily, February 14, 2007
    "Broadband is a 'young business' with large up-front costs, and so far concerns about market failure are 'pretty hypothetical,' said Progress & Freedom Foundation's Tom Lenard, who once held senior FTC and OMB positions. Bundling of content and access may be necessary to even pay for initial services and introduce competition among access providers, but that says nothing about blocking or degrading services running over the network, Lenard said."
  • "RFID Beyond Defense," Fed Tech Magazine, February 12, 2007
    "Dan Caprio, president of the Progress and Freedom Foundation, a think tank that studies the ramifications of IT on policy issues, offers four pointers on implementing RFID systems:
    • To justify the potential up-front expense, there has to be an assessment of the security value that using RFID will bring to a program.
    • Agencies must consider database access controls for the systems on the back end that amass information to support RFID or gather information from the tags because those will be the targets for security attacks.
    • One size does not fit all; agencies must define the process for which they will use RFID and then fit the RFID tools to their needs, especially when it comes to using passive versus active tags.
    • Because RFID often raises Big Brother concerns about government, it’s incumbent on agencies to explain why it’s useful and why they can trust a specific application."
  • "Lawmakers Scrutinize Spyware, Pretexting, Breaches," PC World, February 9, 2007
    "[Some] groups, including conservative think tank the Progress and Freedom Foundation, have questioned the need for a [data] breach notification law, saying the cost to businesses may far outweigh the benefits to consumers."
  • "How the Super Bowl Turned Piracy to Profit," Financial Times (London, England), February 8, 2007
    "[A panelist at the State of the Net conference] drew a sharp rebuke from James DeLong, of the market-oriented digital think-tank, the Progress & Freedom Foundation. 'I just don't understand this idea that inputs should be free,' he said. 'Painters have to buy paints, and we all have to buy our computers: why should copyrighted content be the only creative input that is available scot-free?'"
    "The tangle of rights created by US copyright law at the moment makes it almost impossible for mashers-up to clear the rights to recombine artworks online. Mr DeLong insists that the market will solve this problem and, in the long term, he has to be right: it surely cannot be beyond the wit of man to create a system where the YouTube crowd can pay for video clips, cheaply and easily, like they pay for iTunes."
  • "RSA Conference Panel Says Privacy Legislation Too Premature for RFID,", February 7, 2007
    "Adoption of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology could stall if lawmakers overreact to security and privacy concerns by legislating the technology, according to a group of experts who discussed the issue Tuesday at RSA Conference 2007."
    "'We see that people are comfortable with the technologies that they know,' said Daniel Caprio Jr., president of the Progress and Freedom Foundation, a Washington think tank. 'Our challenge is to present this technology in a way that we talk about it in real terms with the challenges and opportunities related to privacy and security, but also by educating the public to raise their comfort level.'"
  • "Funding Fiber to the Farm," Telephony, February 5, 2007
    '"As far as I can tell, there's never been a cost/benefit analysis done on [the Rural Development Utilities] program,' said Scott Wallsten, director of communication policy studies for The Progress and Freedom Foundation, a conservative think tank. 'If you look at their annual report, they talk about success stories, but none of those demonstrate that there wouldn't have been investment otherwise.'''
    '''The program,' he said, 'should start by trying to identify market failures - what areas won't be served because it's not privately profitable."'

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