February 1, 2013
Heroics and HollywoodJames Grippando examines whether the glamour of Hollywood influences a prosecuting attorney's decision to seek the death penalty. If the D.A. pictures herself as played by Angelina Jolie, is she more likely to play hardball? More here from the National Law Journal.
January 31, 2013
FCC Announces Tentative Agenda For February 20th Meeting
The FCC has announced a tentative agenda for its meeting on February 20.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski announced that the following items will be on the tentative agenda for the next open meeting scheduled for Wednesday, February 20, 2013: Improving Wireless Coverage for Consumers Through the Use of Signal Boosters: The Commission will consider a Report and Order to significantly enhance wireless coverage for consumers, while protecting wireless networks from interference by adopting new technical, operational, and registration requirements for signal boosters. Increasing the Amount of Spectrum Available for Unlicensed Devices in the 5 GHz Band: The Commission will consider a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to substantially increase the amount of unlicensed spectrum available to accelerate the growth and expansion of new Wi-Fi technology offering consumers faster speeds and less network congestion at Wi-Fi hot spots. The Open Meeting is scheduled to commence at 10:30 a.m. in Room TW-C305, at 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. The event will be shown live at FCC.gov/live.
Examining Section 127 of the UK Communications 2003
Lilian Edwards, University of Strathcylde Law School, has published Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003: Threat or Menace? in volume 23 of the SCL Journal (November 2012). Here is the abstract.
Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 , once one of the more obscure provisions of the UK cybercrime world, has become notorious in 2012 for being used capriciously to suppress online speech in causes celebre such as the "Twitter joke trial" of Paul Chambers. After a brief survey of recent high profile cases, the article surveys the legislative background to s 127 and suggests a provision designed for post and telecoms in an era of state monopoly services is being misapplied to the many to many private infrastructure of Internet communications.Download the article from SSRN at the link.
A New Book On the First Amendment
Timothy Zick, William & Mary Law School, is publishing The Cosmopolitan First Amendment: Protecting Transborder Expressive and Religious Liberties (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). Here is the abstract.
This is the Table of Contents, Introduction, and Chapters 1 and 2 of my forthcoming book, which is entitled "The Cosmopolitan First Amendment: Protecting Transborder Expressive and Religious Liberties" (forthcoming, Cambridge University Press). The book examines the relationship between the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and international borders. In contrast to more traditional and provincial accounts, it reveals a First Amendment that is critical to robust cross-border conversation and commingling and the global spread of democratic principles, protective of expressive and religious liberties regardless of location, influential across the world despite its exceptionalist character, and a core justification for respectful engagement with the liberty regimes of other nations. This more cosmopolitan First Amendment is the product of an array of social, historical, political, technological, and legal developments. Its principles and justifications are examined through analysis of the First Amendment’s relationship to foreign travel, immigration, cross-border communication and association, religious activities that traverse international borders, the conduct of international affairs and diplomacy, and conflicts between foreign and U.S. speech and religious liberty models.
January 30, 2013
Harold Anthony Lloyd, Wake Forest University School of Law, has published Publish and Perish? Handling the Unreasonable Publication Agreement. Here is the abstract.
Using hypothetical publication agreement drafts, this article explores copyright, warranty, representation, indemnity and other traps awaiting unwary authors. Exploring legitimate concerns of both authors and publishers, this article outlines parameters of reasonable agreements.Download the paper from SSRN at the link.
January 29, 2013
James Carville, Mary Matalin Depart CNNCNN's commentator power couple, James Carville and Mary Matalin, are leaving the network following managing editor Mark Whitaker's departure. CNN recently hired a new president, Jeff Zucker. More here from the Hollywood Reporter.
Canada's New Wireless Draft Communications Code Open For CommentCanada's Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has published a draft code for wireless communications that covers consumer contracts, including early termination fees, and is now asking Canadians for their comments on these guidelines. Initial reactions are positive, according to the CBC. The agency will hold hearings on the code beginning February 11.
January 28, 2013
From the FCC Chair: New Actions For the Broadband Acceleration Initiative
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski today announced new actions as part of the Broadband Acceleration Initiative, a comprehensive effort to remove barriers to broadband build-out, including streamlining the deployment of mobile broadband infrastructure, such as towers, distributed antenna systems (DAS) and small cells.
The Commission defined and clarified a technical provision in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 regarding local review of requests to modify an existing wireless tower or base station. This provision will accelerate deployment and delivery of high-speed mobile broadband to communities across the nation. This action will create greater certainty and predictability for providers that today invest more than $25 billion per year in mobile infrastructure, one of the largest U.S. sectors for private investment. The Commission today also launched a proceeding to expedite placement of temporary cell towers – cells on wheels (COWs) and cells on light trucks (COLTs) – that are used to expand capacity during special events, such as the Inauguration or the Super Bowl. Chairman Genachowski also announced actions in the coming months to further streamline DAS and small cell deployment; examine whether current application of the tower siting shot clock offers sufficient clarity to industry and municipalities; and begin developing model facility siting rules for localities.
Each of these actions would contribute to faster, more efficient deployment of wireless infrastructure. Chairman Genachowski said, “Providing more certainty to industry and municipalities, and more flexibility to carriers to meet extraordinary, short-term service needs will accelerate private and public investment to strengthen our nation’s communications networks. Just as is the case for our nation’s roads and bridges, we must continue to invest in improvements to cell towers and transmission equipment, in order to ensure ubiquitous, high-speed Internet for all Americans. To keep pace with technological advances, such as the advent of small cells, and to lay the groundwork for new developments, our policies must continue to adapt.”