New Publications Look Beyond Monday's Opinions
WASHINGTON D.C. - In the wake of two seminal decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court Monday, scholars at The Progress & Freedom Foundation continue to analyze their import and long-term impact. Most recently, PFF Senior Fellow Jim DeLong has published his thoughts on MGM v. Grokster in a piece in Tech Central Station, while PFF Senior Fellow Kyle Dixon penned some reflections on Brand X v. FCC in SkyReport.
In "Grokster at Last!" DeLong calls the Court's 9-0 decision "surprisingly crisp, clear and reasonable." "There was a lot in it for everybody, which means for both the content and tech industries," he writes. "There was nothing in it for Grokster the company, but then no one ever cared about Grokster itself, anyway, which was a proxy for greater interests." Noting the Court's reluctance to rewrite the 1984 Sony decision but instead focus on the business model of the defendants, DeLong says "it is clearly better to deal with the P2P purveyors as infringement-dependent businesses rather than infringement-enabling technologies, using the standards of evidence about the proof of evil intent that the Court put forth. The exact dimension of the Sony doctrine can wait."
In "FCC Mulls Regulation of Service Bundles," Dixon acknowledges cable's 6-3 victory in Brand X is a notable one, but says "broadband and other network owners are still not out of the woods." "In a broad and potentially far-reaching inquiry, the FCC has sought comment on whether to regulate bundling generally, not solely when there is market power," Dixon writes. "The breadth of the inquiry - and its failure to distinguish the very specific and narrow circumstances when tying is problematic - raises concerns that go beyond the context of just telephone companies." Even more troubling, the FCC's inquiry appears to encompass bundles that don't include broadband, such as those involving video service.
DeLong, Dixon and other PFF scholars have been posting their thoughts and analyses of both Court decisions on PFF's blogs, found at blog.pff.org and weblog.ipcentral.info. PFF will host a Congressional Seminar on the Grokster decision and its aftermath on July 8 (register online here). A separate Congressional Seminar on the Brand X decision and its aftermath will be held on July 15 (register online here). Lunch will be provided at both events. For more information contact Andrea Knutsen at 202-289-8928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.