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November 2008
  • "PFF Paper Addresses Kafkaesque Cable Regulation at FCC," Tech Law Journal, November 20, 2008
    "The Progress & Freedom Foundation (PFF) released a paper titled 'Der Undue Prozess at the FCC: Part Deux.' The author is the PFF's Barbara Esbin. This paper is another criticism of the tactics and methods used by the FCC.
    "In this paper, the PFF states that the FCC's Enforcement Bureau, 'at the direction of Chairman Martin, seems to be conducting a far-ranging data gathering exercise on cable programming channel movement and pricing practices under the guise of individual complaint enforcement.'"
    "It concludes that 'This is no ordinary FCC enforcement action and it is difficult to conceive of how this use of agency resources will further two of the FCC’s most pressing current goals: ensuring a smooth transition to digital television transmission and encouraging the speedy deployment of ever higher-speed broadband Internet services. In fact, the probe is more likely to slow progress on each front as enormous resources are diverted to producing and reviewing information relevant mostly to activities that lie outside the scope of the FCC’s regulatory jurisdiction.'"
  • "Conservative Think Tank: RIAA v. Thomas Mistrial was 'Unreasoned'", November 18, 2008
    "The new position paper from the Progress and Freedom Foundation says the judge's September ruling is riddled with 'profound flaws' that 'must be exposed before they mislead other jurists.'"
    "Thomas Sydnor II, a Progress and Freedom Foundation senior fellow, blasted Davis for failing to follow case law that found pedophiles were guilty of distributing child pornography for solely having kid smut in an open Kazaa share folder. Snydor wrote that Davis 'found these on-point analyses of the ordinary meaning of 'distribute' irrelevant.'
    "Sydnor, a former copyright adviser to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the Senate Judiciary Committee, said the Thomas decision misread or disobeyed precedents, federal treaties, scholarly reviews and the three branches of government.
    "In his mistrial decision, Davis concluded the RIAA's position 'is simply not reasonable.'
    "Sydnor seized on that language.
    "'And with that, Thomas collapsed its rickety tower of clashing results, unreasoned decisions, and distinguished precedents,' Snydor wrote. 'This extreme claim was itself unreasonable, and it triggered cascading absurdities.'"
  • "Obama's media policies might be 'a brewing perfect storm,'" SNL MarketWeek, November 7, 2008
    "Adam Thierer, director of the Progress & Freedom Foundation's Center for Digital Media Freedom, is afraid President-elect Barack Obama's administration might increase localism requirements and generally increase regulations on broadcasters."
    "Furthermore, the director said broadcasters might have to contend with new product sponsorship rules, requirements on advertising to children and changes to payola rules, all of which would come against a backdrop of a weakening economy and a migration of viewers away from broadcast channels."
    "'You start looking at this as a broader mosaic of media policy issues and you realize this is a brewing perfect storm if you will for the broadcast community,' Thierer said in an interview with SNL Kagan.
    With the economy contracting, "the last thing they need is onerous new mandates," he added."
  • "Supreme Court Hears Fox Argument on Profanity," Broadcasting & Cable, November 4, 2008
    "'This [FCC v. Fox Television Stations] case will have profound ramifications for the future of the First Amendment and the regulatory treatment of old and new media platforms alike,' said Adam Thierer of The Progress & Freedom Foundation, a think tank. 'The FCC's new approach has created a confusing and arbitrary regulatory atmosphere that leaves many speakers wondering what they can and cannot say on broadcast television and radio stations today.'"
  • "FCC Cable Probes May Open Path for a la Carte, Slow Digital Moves," Communications Daily, November 04, 2008
    "FCC probes into many major cable operators' efforts to save bandwidth by moving channels and only distributing those channels that subscribers actively watch may give the agency a way to study a la carte, agency and industry officials said."
    "Progress & Freedom Foundation fellow Adam Thierer, a critic of a la carte and Martin, said the letters represent the chairman 'opening yet another front in his Moby Dick-like crusade against the cable industry and in pursuit of a la carte regulation.'
    "The switched digital and analog-to-digital channel probes may discourage cable operators from continuing such endeavors, Thierer said. 'Anything that creates confusion or ambiguity about the regulatory treatment of a new technology is something that can slow down the diffusion of that technology.'"
  • "Fairness Doctrine Stirs Angst Among the Right," Wall Street Journal, November 3, 2008
    "Democrats have complained about the rise of conservative talk radio, but they have had little success putting the rule back into place. In some ways, technology has made it less relevant, since the Internet gives commentators on both sides ample space to talk about political ideas and controversial issues.
    "'Many conservatives are worried about the wrong things,' said Adam Thierer, a senior fellow at the Progress & Freedom Foundation, a right-leaning think tank. 'They're so worried about the old Fairness Doctrine, they're missing that the battle lines have shifted and the issues now are different.'"

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