April 20 -- Netflix CEO Accuses Comcast of Violating Net Neutrality
MTV Offers Sneak Peeksinto the Summer’s Biggest Films
April 16, 2012 – MTV.com
Soundgarden's 'Avengers' Single Offered as Free Download on iTunes
April 17, 2012 – Billboard
Slacker Announces Integration with Bing Bar
April 17, 2012 – Sacramento Bee
More features coming to Amazon Prime Instant Video?
April 12, 2012 - CNET
Republican National Convention taps Microsoft
April 19, 2012 – Tampa Bay Business Journal
New Latino digital network MiTu to launch on YouTube
April 19, 2012 – Los Angeles Times
Politics & Policy
I. Network Neutrality
Netflix CEO accuses Comcast of violating net neutrality
Authored by Andrew Feinberg on April 16, 2012 – The Hill
Netflix's chief executive has accused Comcast of abandoning net-neutrality rules by exempting one of its products from monthly caps on data usage.
In a Facebook post Sunday evening, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said Comcast is "no longer following net neutrality principles" by exempting its Xfinity XBox 360 video application from bandwidth limits.
Comcast has encouraged customers to use its Xfinity TV app for XBox 360 to watch On Demand movies and TV shows using the game console as an alternative to a traditional cable box.
To promote it, Comcast announced it wouldn't count any bandwidth used for streaming content through the XBox app against the 250-gigabyte cap typically imposed on consumer plans.
While Comcast claims there are solid technical reasons for not counting that usage against the cap, consumer advocates and other video service providers have called the practice anti-competitive.
II. Innovation and Copyright Reform
Get rid of 'digital handcuffs', says European Commission vice-president
Authored by Ami Sedghi on April 19, 2012 - The Guardian
The openness of the web needs to be protected and "digital handcuffs" need to be removed, Neelie Kroes, the vice-president of the European Commission with responsibility for Europe's digital agenda, has said.
Speaking at the World Wide Web (WWW2012) conference in Lyon on Thursday, Kroes examined the idea of an open web and spoke of its benefits. "With a truly open, universal platform, we can deliver choice and competition; innovation and opportunity; freedom and democratic accountability," she said.
The commissioner also spoke strongly about copyrighted material and the complex licensing systems, explaining that "these guarantee that Europeans miss out on great content, they discourage business innovation, and they fail to serve the creative people in whose name they were established."
III. Digital Brief: First Sale Doctrine
Supreme Court to Revisit ‘First-Sale’ Copyright Doctrine
Authored by David Kravets on April 16, 2012 - Wired
The Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide the global reach of U.S. copyright law, in a case testing whether an overseas purchaser of a copyrighted work may resell it in the United States without the copyright holder’s permission.
The justices will hear the case, which considers the “first-sale” doctrine, in its next term and is expected to set a nationwide standard. Federal circuit courts of appeal are split on the issue.
The first-sale doctrine generally allows the purchaser of any copyrighted work to re-sell or use the work in many ways without the copyright holder’s permission. That’s why used bookstores, libraries, GameStop, video rental stores and even eBay are all legal. But how the doctrine applies to foreign-purchased works — the so-called grey market — has been a matter of considerable debate.
In many ways, this is a battle for non-digital goods. Most digital goods, like software, e-books and MP3s — because of licensing or sandboxing — cannot be resold. However, a U.S. startup, ReDigi, is testing that theory when it comes to online music.
IV. Online Privacy
Internet privacy fight takes aim on proposed House Bill CISPA
Authored by Thomas Peracchio on April 19, 2012 - Examiner
After all the fighting over piracy with SOPA and PIPA, the stage is set for the next wave of fighting over internet privacy with CISPA.
Unlike the battles over SOPA and PIPA where the technology world went up against the bureaucracy, the battlelines are not as clear cut as CISPA is supported by many tech companies such as Facebook.
CISPA is an amendment to the National Security Act of 1947, which does not currently contain provisions pertaining to cybercrime. CISPA, formally known as H.R. 3523: Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act is sponsored by Representative Michael Rogers (Michigan Republican).
Like so many proposed technology bills in the recent past, everyone agrees on a general issue, but everyone gets hung up on the details. With a potential vote in the very near future there seems to be an awful lot of disagreement on the issue.