June 30, 2011Earlier this month, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved S. 978, a bill that would expand the scope of felony criminal copyright infringement under federal law. While the legislation enjoys broad congressional support, a number of bloggers have slammed the bill on the grounds that it would allegedly impose criminal liability on lots of innocent U.S. Internet users.
In this essay, I’ll answer a few "Frequently Asked Questions" about the legislation -- and explain why you should care.
Here are some links to get you up to speed:
- Text of S. 978 as reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 16
- TechDirt’s latest...
June 17, 2011Josh Smith reports in National Journal that Representative Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), has proposed legislation to provide subsidized Internet services to low-income Americans. The “Broadband Affordability Act of 2011” directs the Federal Communications Commission to establish the program that will reimburse broadband providers for providing reduced-cost services to qualifying low-income residents.
This comes while many progressives have been arguing that Internet access is in fact a “human right.” No doubt Internet access offers a great many benefits, but there are many problems with this claim. Aside...
June 7, 2011In response to calls by lawmakers for the Fairness Doctrine and related measures to be permanently removed from the Federal Register, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski stated that he plans to do just that. We’ve previously discussed the merits (or the lack thereof) of the Fairness Doctrine, but it bears repeating that the regulation burdens free speech instead of invigorating it. It has no place in a free society with a vibrant media marketplace.
FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell echoed these sentiments in a recent speech:
Suffice it to say that political speech is core...