May 17 - YouTube Comedy Week kicks off Sunday; McCain to push for 'a la carte' cable bill
Amazon Picks Up More NBCUniversal Shows
May 16, 2013 – All Things Digital
YouTube Comedy Week kicks off Sunday
May 16, 2013 – USA TODAY
Go Get iTunes 11.0.3 (And Its Lovely Redesigned MiniPlayer)
April 16, 2013 – Gizmodo
Twitch App for Xbox 360 Will Let You Watch Game Videos
May 14, 2012 – All Things Digital
Slacker Radio Adds 6 Million New Listeners
May 13, 2013 – NBC
Rhapsody: Why Digital Liner Notes Will Change The Way You Listen To Music
May 14, 2013 – Fast Company
Politics & Policy
I. Copyright Reform
Advocates call for legal protections for copyright consumers
Authored by Grant Gross on May 16, 2013 – PC World
The U.S. Congress should consider a "safe harbor" from legal action for consumers using works protected by copyright as it launches a long-term effort to revamp copyright law, some advocates said Thursday.
Consumers should be protected from lawsuits when they use digital works they've legally purchased, Jule Sigall, assistant general counsel for copyright at Microsoft, told U.S. lawmakers.
"The lack of clarity around reasonable and ordinary personal use has contributed to the declining public reputation of copyright and a lack of respect for the law among some consumers," he told the intellectual property subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. "Too often consumers view copyright as an impediment to their enjoyment of creative content they have paid for and a deterrent to innovation in new products and services."
Copyright holders sometimes used ambiguities in copyright law to threaten consumers, he added.
Just as Congress carved out a safe harbor for websites and other online businesses in the 15-year-old Digital Millennium Copyright Act, it should consider legal protections to provide "certainty that the ordinary and reasonable personal use of legitimately purchased content will be enabled, not stifled, by copyright," Sigall said. "I'm not talking about piracy here, but situations in which consumers who have legitimately purchased content are confronted and confused by assertions that actions enabling the enjoyment of that content are somehow infringing."
A safe harbor for consumers should be a top priority for Congress, added Pam Samuelson, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley Law School. She also called on lawmakers to look for new ways that creators can easily register their works.
II. State of Video
McCain to push for 'a la carte' cable bill
Authored by Brendan Sasso and Jennifer Martinez on May 13, 2013 – The Hill
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is scheduled to push for his "a la carte" cable TV bill at a Senate hearing on Tuesday.
His bill, the Television Consumer Freedom Act, would pressure cable and satellite TV providers to allow their customers to pick and choose which individual channels they pay for. He argues the legislation, which is opposed by the cable industry, would drive down prices.
The hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee's subcommittee on Technology and the Internet is intended to be an overview of federal video policy. It will focus on changes in the marketplace, satellite television reauthorization legislation, retransmission consent issues, the upcoming auction of broadcast spectrum licenses to cellphone carriers and consumer issues, according to a committee aide.
The other witnesses will be Michael Powell, the head of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA); former Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), the CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters; Dish Network General Counsel R. Stanton Dodge; and Public Knowledge attorney John Bergmayer.
III. Open Internet
AT&T CEO's comments prompt net-neutrality fears
Authored by Brendan Sasso and Jennifer Martinez on May 15, 2013 – The Hill
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson stoked fear among open Internet advocates on Wednesday when he told investors that he expects content owners to soon begin paying to subsidize smartphone traffic to their websites and services.
"There will be players in the ecosystem who are motivated to draw more traffic to their particular content or website. Will there be models emerge where they are willing to defray some of the consumer's in-user charges by paying it themselves, either by advertising or by monetization of data?" he asked during a conference hosted by J.P. Morgan Chase. "I think the answer to that is yes."
He said the content and application developers, not AT&T, will drive the change in the marketplace.
The comments came just days after The Wall Street Journal reported that ESPN has had talks with at least one major wireless carrier to pay to exempt its content from monthly data caps.
IV. DMCA: Anti-circumvention
The Real Reason We Should Cheer the Cellphone “Unlocking” Law
Authored by Adam Sorensen on May 13, 2013 - TIME
On its face, a bipartisan bill introduced in the House of Representatives last Thursday to permanently legalize cellphone “unlocking” isn’t particularly groundbreaking. There seems to be consensus in Washington that consumers should be allowed to take their mobile devices to a different carrier—say, use your AT&T iPhone on the Verizon network after the initial service contract has expired. The practice was legal from 2006 through January of this year, thanks to an exemption from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. And after the Library of Congress allowed that exemption to lapse in January, President Obama and numerous lawmakers called for a quick fix.
But the episode is symptomatic of a much larger problem with the nation’s digital copyright laws. And Thursday’s House bill, unlike its predecessors in the Senate, is the first to seriously address it.
Fifteen years ago, Congress passed the DMCA in response to dramatic changes in the copyright landscape caused by the Internet and to implement two treaties from the UN’s intellectual property organization. In its most significant section, the DMCA outlawed users from bypassing access controls on software or hardware (like the mechanisms that limit a cellphone to one carrier), and the trafficking of tools to get around access or copy controls. Lawmakers included exemptions for backing up information and for some types of encryption research and repair, and put in place a system by which new exemptions could be approved (or revoked) by the Library of Congress every three years.
- May 10 - Amazon's Music Service Is Coming to Ford Vehicles; Members of Congress finally introduce serious DMCA reform
- May 3 - Michelle Obama gets her own iTunes app about fashion; Should Congress make it easier to tax online sales?
- April 26 - Microsoft to Unveil New Xbox on May 21; House Judiciary Chairman plans comprehensive review of US copyright law
- April 19 - Amazon closes in on debut of original TV shows; House approves CISPA over privacy objections
- April 12 - BMW adding Rhapsody to app roster; Keep the Good Times Rollin'
- March 22 - Nokia launches free music streaming service; Copyright Chief Urges Congress to Produce ‘Next Great Copyright Act’
- March 15 -- First Look at Amazon’s New TV Pilots; New FTC chief vows online privacy push
- March 8 -- Microsoft’s Kinect looks to replace your mouse with your fists; U.S. lawmakers want Internet freedom task force
- March 1 -- Google Glass spotted at MWC; Senator Seeks More Data Rights for Online Consumers
- Feb 15 -- Everything you need to know about the Nokia Music Short Film Competition; Top Five Internet Issues to Watch in 2013
- Feb 8 -- YouTube to launch country music channel; Streaming Services: Which Artists Are Still Holding Out?
- Feb 1 -- Microsoft just made the definitive 1990s nostalgia video; The strange resurrection of Net neutrality
- Jan 25 -- 'Gangnam Style' Makes $8 Million On YouTube Views Alone; Six Music-Related Issues Facing This Administration and Congress
- Dec 14 -- YouTube's 20 Most-Viewed Ads of the Year; U.S. refuses to back U.N. treaty, saying it endorses restricting the Internet
- Dec 7 -- Parents want more online protections for kids, privacy groups say
- Nov 30 -- Why I support the Internet Radio Fairness Act
- Nov 16 -- Amazon begins shipping 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD; FTC: Kids' Internet privacy rules will be ammended by end of 2012
- Nov 9 - Microsoft invades the second screen; A Common Sense Approach to Internet Radio Royalties
- Sep 28 -- Sony Google TV lets everyone have a Smart TV; Let's Get ready to rumble! 2013's dueling Internet Radior oyalty bills
- Aug 3 - Why Apple TV just became Apple’s most important product; FTC proposes tougher rules for children's privacy online
- July 27 - New Beatles collection 'Tomorrow Never Knows' hits iTunes; Congressional Privacy Caucus takes aim at data brokers
- Jul 20 - Sony unveils latest Android powered walkman; Online privacy: Do we need 'Do-Not-Track'?
- Jul 13 - Amazon snaps at Netflix's heels with Paramount Pictures deal; Mobile apps gain privacy policies
- June 29 - "YouTube for Android lets you watch videos offline; The White House wants your advice on fighting piracy"
- June 22 -- Role of Digital Music Underpins Senate Hearings on Universal-EMI Deal