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February 2009
  • "Reauthorization of Satellite Home Viewer Act Begins With Talk of Local-Into-Local Fixes," TR Daily, February 25, 2009
    "W. Kenneth Ferree, president of the Progress & Freedom Foundation, said that such requirements would be 'unconstitutional, without a doubt. You don’t have to be Oliver Wendell Holmes' to reach that conclusion, he said."
  • "Internet Child-Protection Bill Raises Too Many Questions," Information Week, Feb 24, 2009
    "[E]xisting law already includes provisions that allow the police to get access to information from ISPs, said Sidney Rosenzweig, visiting fellow at the Progress and Freedom Foundation, a think tank that studies digital policy.
    "Current government regulations do not require ISPs to retain data about subscribers except on a case-by-case basis, Rosenzweig said.
    "'Instead, the government can send a letter to an ISP to tell them to retain the information for 90 days,' he said. 'This buys the government enough time to get a subpoena or a warrant. ISPs are not currently required to retain information unless they are actually requested to do so by the government.'"
  • "Lawmakers, Witnesses Spar Over Proposed Changes to Law Governing Satellite TV,"  CongressNow, February 24, 2009
    "Ken Ferree, president of the Progress and Freedom Foundation, a think tank that studies the digital revolution, agreed with Ergen and Stearns that Congress needs to refrain from 'carry one, carry all' policy.
    "'Carriage requirements impose significant burdens on the commercial and First Amendment rights of those bound by them,' Ferree said. 'In the current environment, imposing enhanced carriage mandates on [direct broadcast satellite] operators would be unwarranted, economically indefensible and unconstitutional.'"
  • "Stimulus Could Revitalize Muni Wi-Fi, Other Stalled Projects," Network World, February 24, 2009
    "Meanwhile, there are conservative voices that question the broadband deployment, including the Center for Communications and Competitive Policy at the Progress and Freedom Foundation in Washington.
    "Barbara Esbin, the center's director, said the broadband market has not failed, meaning government intervention is not merited. 'Normally when the government intervenes when there's not a market failure, it does more harm than good,' she told IDG News Service recently."
  • "Inadvertent File-Sharing Implementations Released by Some DCIA Members," Washington Internet Daily, February 24, 2009
    "The history of P2P software updates is that makers 'actually perpetuate inadvertent sharing caused by previous, unsafe versions of the same program,' Tom Sydnor of the Progress and Freedom Foundation told us. 'LimeWire has done it repeatedly.' He wrote an influential study of accidental file-sharing as an adviser to the Patent and Trademark Office (WID July 27/07 p1). Sydnor said the LimeWire 5.0 setup is 'affirmatively misleading' in telling users in the My Library screen that they can tell the program 'don't share any files,' when by default it shares all downloaded files 'and perhaps all previously shared files as well.' also continues to distribute version 4.18, called 'LimeWire Classic,' a version that includes features that promote accidental sharing, he said."
  • "Tech Groups Chilly To New Internet Bill," TechDaily Dose, February 23, 2009
    "'It's ironic that at a time when so many in Congress seemingly want online providers to collect and retain less data about users, this bill proposes that ISPs be required to collect and retain more data,' Progress and Freedom Foundation Senior Fellow Adam Thierer said, wondering how the conflicting legislative priorities will be reconciled. 'It's good that Congress is taking steps to address the scourge of child pornography... Extensive data retention mandates, however, would be unlikely to help much anyway given the ease with which bad guys will likely circumvent those requirements using alternative access points or proxies,' he said."
  • "ICANN Report: New gTLD Program Riddled With Problems, Delayed," ArsTechnica, February 22, 2009
    "The trademark issue is largely left unresolved in the current draft, leading Michael Palage of the Progress and Freedom Foundation to argue that ICANN has 'simply kicked the can down the road.' A pair of reports commissioned by ICANN—one on the economic dynamics of the domain system generally, another on the specific effects of expanding gTLDs—may inform whatever procedures the final guidebook adopts."
  • "ICANN Delays Plans for Generic Top-level Domains," Computerworld, February 19, 2009
    "ICANN deserves credit for publishing the detailed analysis of comments on the gTLD plan, said Michael Palage, an adjunct fellow at the Progress and Freedom Foundation, a Washington-based think tank, and a former ICANN board member. ICANN's decision to commission an economic study on gTLDs was 'badly needed,' he said.
    "However, ICANN didn't provide a lot of detail on how it will deal with trademark protection issues, he added. 'ICANN simply kicked the can down the road on the biggest concern: how to minimize abusive domain name registrations and reduce their impact on consumers,' Palage said in an e-mail. 'ICANN seems only to have made a vague promise to engage in additional outreach and consultation.'"
  • "PFF: Patent Venue Proposals Are Vague," Tech Daily Dose, February 18, 2009
    "Recommendations for changing the patent litigation venue regime put forward by the last Congress are vague and subjective, which could result in confusion and excessive litigation, according to a report released Wednesday by the Progress and Freedom Foundation. PFF visiting fellow Sidney Rosenzweig's paper proposes simplified legislative language to address so-called 'forum-shopping' as leaders of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees resume discussions about reintroducing patent legislation in the 111th Congress. The enactment of either bill from last session would 'cause a tidal wave of venue-related disputes to drown the federal courts,' he wrote."
  • "Broadband Stimulus Opponents: Political Philosophy in Search of Facts," IT Business Edge, February 13, 2009
    "Barbara Esbin, the director of the Center for Communications and Competition Policy at the Progress and Freedom Foundation, also questioned why broadband was addressed. She said that there is no market failure or lack of private investment in broadband. Therefore, government intrusion is unjustified, she said."
  • "FTC Sets Updated Online Privacy Guidelines," PC Magazine, February 13, 2009
    "The Progress and Freedom Foundation (PFF), a Washington think tank, issued a report Friday that expressed concern about the principles.
    "FTC intervention in privacy policies of online advertisers 'could have major consequences for continued creativity and innovation,' wrote Berin Szoka, director of PFF's Center for Internet Freedom and Adam Thierer, director of PFF's Center for Digital Media Freedom.
    "Regulation 'would severely curtail the overall quantity of content and services offered--and greatly limit the ability of new providers to enter the market with innovative offerings,' the PFF wrote."
  • "The New FCC," CableFax Daily, February 10, 2009
    "With some analysts predicting we could spend up to $2 trillion borrowed smackers on stimulus spending, tax cuts/rebates and financial bailouts, some fear that the FCC to join the party by over-regulating. But Ken Ferree, pres of the Progress & Freedom Foundation, said the new Administration is going to be so busy with big macro-goals that the FCC may not find itself anywhere near the center of gravity. Meanwhile, he said Genachowski is unlikely to be more anti-cable than Martin, who was fixated on content regulation. But Ferree did say that the 'New Deal' mentality of Washington 'seems sillier with every passing day' when applied to telecom, which increasingly revolves around IP-delivered bits rather than baskets of utility-esque services regulated in different ways. He said a 'reform agenda' is coming in 2009-10."
  • "Groups Push for Broadband Stimulus," Industry Standard, February 9, 2009
    "Berin Szoka, a fellow at conservative think tank the Progress and Freedom Foundation, also questioned how the government will be able to gauge the effectiveness of any stimulus money for broadband. He suggested the broadband stimulus is 'corporate welfare' in a Jan. 20 blog post.
    "'How would one actually evaluate the efficacy of any proposed government intervention?' Szoka wrote. 'As difficult as it is to predict the unintended consequences of intervention, it's even more difficult to do so in high-tech sectors of the economy, where the rate of change is particularly rapid.'"
  • "FCC Video Competition Report Overlooks Recent Developments, PFF Fellow Says," TR Daily, February 2, 2009 "The FCC’s 14-month delay in releasing its 13th annual report on the status of competition in the market for the delivery of video programming (TRDaily, Jan. 21) 'makes reading it an odd experience, almost likely opening a time capsule,' according to a new report from the Progress & Freedom Foundation
    "In 'A Tale of Two Reports,' PFF Senior Fellow Barbara Esbin criticizes the delay for creating an out-of-date report that ignores rapid developments in the video delivery market, such as fiber-based video services from Verizon Communications, Inc., and AT&T, Inc., and Internet-delivered video.  By year-end 2008, Verizon was 'well within the ranks of the top 10 MVPDs [multi-channel video programming distributors] in the country,' wrote Ms. Esbin, who is also director of PFF’s Center for Communications and Competition Policy."

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