Google and Amazon take on the Skies and its Regulations

It’s a drone… It’s a weather balloon… No, it’s a Google Loon balloon! Google Loon is by any account a project of enormous proportions. It was born of the ideal of providing Internet access to the most remote corners of the planet, and announced via video with the additional promise of chipping away at the world’s most pressing problems:  “Well even though today one in three kids can’t get to a secondary school, everyone could Continue Reading →

Aereo: Signaling Television’s New Frontier

Earlier this month, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in favor of Aereo, a groundbreaking company providing live and time-shifted streaming of free, over-the-air television channels to paying Aereo customers. To provide this service, Aereo relies on its use of tiny antennae – none of which is used at the same time by more than one user. The signal received by each antenna creates an individual copy of the program in each Continue Reading →

Freedom “2” Speak

Bzzz. Bzzz. Bzzz. Bzzz. *Silence.* The smart phone apocalypse has come. The 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) criminalizes electronically decoupling a mobile phone from its contracted service provider, otherwise known as “unlocking”:“No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title.” “Section 1201 also makes it illegal to circumvent the access controls on DVDs, e-books and video games to make bootlegged copies for sale on the Continue Reading →

The Far Reach of Copyright: Unlocked Smartphones and the DMCA

The Library of Congress Ruling Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Congress set up a mechanism to allow copyright holders to enforce penalties against individuals who bypass “copyright protection systems” (i.e. the digital locks that copyright holders use to restrict access or manipulation to copyrighted content). DMCA § 1201 grants the Library of Congress the ability to grant exemptions for certain actions bypassing copyright protection systems if the Librarian of Congress believed that the Continue Reading →

Is Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” Streaming Service Statutorily Discriminatory Against the Deaf? The Answer is Yes and No.

Netflix has established itself as the world’s premier on-demand Internet streaming media service, with thousands of movies and TV episodes available for unlimited and instant download and more than 33 million subscribers around the world. Yet, despite its overall popularity, over the past year Netflix has found itself defending against allegations that its “Watch Instantly” video stream service is statutorily discriminatory against deaf and hearing-impaired subscribers in Nat’l Ass’n of the Deaf v. Netflix, Inc., Continue Reading →

STLR Link Roundup – February 3, 2012

In Washington, the House and the Senate backed competing spectrum incentive auction bills, which would encourage current licensees to sell their under-utilized frequencies at auction to wireless carriers.  Lawmakers in both chambers want to package it with the payroll tax extension, which is expected to pass before the end of February.  Former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt called the House legislation “the single worst telecom bill” he’d ever seen and Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass) called on Continue Reading →