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PFF in the News...
May 2008
  • "Does the US Need a New Broadband Policy?," CIO Magazine, May 23, 2008
    "[Deregulation] is 'really bearing fruit' and should be given more time to work, said Bret Swanson, senior fellow at the conservative think tank, the Progress and Freedom Foundation (PFF)."
    "Passing net neutrality rules could 'halt what is a very positive solution right now,' he said. 'The way a so-called new broadband policy is talked about seems to not be a step forward.'
    "Some advocates of a new broadband policy also talk about the need for more competition, but because of the cost of building networks, a significant increase in competitors isn't likely, Swanson added. The U.S. may be better served focusing on two large, robust networks with wireless and satellite service filling in the holes, he said."
  • "Courts," Washington Internet Daily, May 23, 2008
    "Likening Copyright Act terms 'distribution' and 'publication' could undermine U.S. international commitments, the Progress and Freedom Foundation said. In a white paper, Tom Sydnor, director of the group's Center for the Study of Digital Property, analyzed a ruling in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, in Elektra v. Barker."
    "The 1976 Copyright Act was written to be 'future-proof and technologically neutral,' so means of access shouldn't matter if a user indeed has authorized a distribution through a shared folder, he said."
  • "Cable," Communications Daily, May 19, 2008
    "Analysts at a pro-deregulation think tank asked about the status of the FCC video competition report. Barbara Esbin and Adam Thierer, in a Progress & Freedom Foundation bulletin, noted that commissioners approved the 13th annual report in November, but the text hasn't been released 'to the public or to Congress, as they are required to do by law.' A six-month delay 'must be a record setter,' they wrote, saying the last report, summarizing 2005 data, came out in March 2006: 'The 13th annual report has inexplicably been stuck in regulatory limbo for almost two years.'"
  • "Making Social Sites Safer," Sydney Morning Herald, May 19, 2008
    "[Some] some task force members contend that identity technologies on the market [likely] can't prevent every unwanted incident and they could block contact between friends and relatives.
    "'So, if he's 16 and she's 21, they shouldn't talk? Maybe they're brother and sister,' says Adam Thierer, a senior fellow at the Progress and Freedom Foundation.
    "Thierer also says that too many checks and restrictions could turn off users and hamper advertising on social networks. 'There's only so far the sites can go before undermining their business and cutting off their customer base," he says. "At some point, it becomes an annoyance for users.'"
  • "Best Buy Challenges FCC Over Analog TV Sales Penalty," CNET, May 19, 2008
    "The outcome will turn on what an appellate court has to say about this. And though Best Buy has a fairly good case, it's a tough call as to how it will turn out, according to Barbara Esbin, senior fellow and director of The Center for Communications and Competition Policy at the Progress and Freedom Foundation.
    "'There is no law that says the FCC had jurisdiction to promulgate and enforce a labeling rule,' she said in an interview. 'But the FCC doesn't claim it has express authorization.'"
    "'I can't say Best Buy has a slam dunk argument, but they have reasonably good claims,' said Esbin. 'The labeling rule imposed on retailers rather than on manufacturers are not reasonably ancillary to express jurisdiction.'"
  • "Staying Safe and Taking Risks," BBC News, May 14, 2008
    "[Though] I don't often agree with noted free market advocate and libertarian Adam Thierer, his critical review on the Progress and Freedom Foundation blog is well-argued and often insightful.
    "As he notes, he can 'see no reason why we can't have the best of both worlds - a world full of plenty of tethered appliances, but also plenty of generativity and openness.'"
  • "PFF Paper Argues Against State Cable Carrier Mandates," Tech Law Journal, May 13, 2008
    "[PFF's Barbara Esbin] argues that 'State mandated arbitration would substantially increase the bargaining power of some video programming suppliers at the expense of video programming distributors. Yet, there is no demonstration of market failure supporting such one-sided interference into private commercial negotiations.'"
  • "Citizen Murdoch," Congressional Quarterly Weekly, May 11, 2008
    "'There is a real conflict of visions at work between those who believe the media marketplace is overly concentrated and owners have too much power, and those who believe it's never been more dynamic and less concentrated,' said Adam Thierer of the free-market Progress and Freedom Foundation."
  • "Martin: No New Rules For NFL Network," Multichannel News, May 9, 2008
    "Progress & Freedom Foundation Senior Fellow Barbara Esbin, a former FCC official, issued a paper Thursday arguing that markets should be allowed to determine whether Comcast and the NFL Network can resolve the differences.
    "'The market, rather than the legislature, is the best place to decide this matter,' Esbin concluded."

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