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Rep. Lofgren: ‘Do Nothing on Copyright Law’ at Intellectual Property Breakfast Event

WASHINGTON, September 15, 2011 — Broadband Breakfast.com hosted its last monthly Intellectual Property Breakfast Club on Tuesday with a keynote address from Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif, followed by a discussion panel entitled “Video Streaming on Digital Devices: Will Broadband Clash with Copyright?”

Congresswoman Lofgren began her keynote address with the premise that content owners need to start looking at the digital world as an ally rather than a threat. “Are you going to worry about controlling content or getting paid for content,” she asked. Lofgren pointed to examples of legitimate digital platforms like Hulu and Spotify, and noted Amazon sales of $3.1 billion, to illustrate that it is possible to make money in the digital space.

Not surprisingly, the congresswoman from Silicon Valley had her reservations about proposed intellectual property enforcement legislation that would have adverse affects on the technology sector. “If we do nothing on copyright law, we would be doing everything just about right.”

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WASHINGTON, September 15, 2011 — Broadband Breakfast.com hosted its last monthly Intellectual Property Breakfast Club on Tuesday with a keynote address from Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif, followed by a discussion panel entitled “Video Streaming on Digital Devices: Will Broadband Clash with Copyright?”

This breakfast was the capstone event of a series of successful intellectual property breakfasts that tackled important topics such as United States : the U.S. enforcement strategy, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, China and IP with the former Chairman of the Judiciary Committee Rep. John Conyers and the Chinese Embassy IP Attaché, E-Book licensing, and a Performance Right for Broadcasting, just to name a few.

Video Streaming on Digital Devices: Will Broadband Clash With Copyright? from BroadbandBreakfast.com.

Tuesday’s discussions focused on the conflict between copyright protections and benefits of increased broadband capabilities. Topics included: the effects of current pending legislation on the internet marketplace, the recent issues between Time Warner Cable and Viacom over content distributed on new technology platforms, and the potential effects of the Federal Communications Commissions’s AllVid proceeding on the ability of consumers to view TV everywhere.

Congresswoman Lofgren began her keynote address with the premise that content owners need to start looking at the digital world as an ally rather than a threat. “Are you going to worry about controlling content or getting paid for content,” she asked. Lofgren pointed to examples of legitimate digital platforms like Hulu and Spotify, and noted Amazon sales of $3.1 billion, to illustrate that it is possible to make money in the digital space.

Not surprisingly, the congresswoman from Silicon Valley had her reservations about proposed intellectual property enforcement legislation that would have adverse affects on the technology sector. “If we do nothing on copyright law, we would be doing everything just about right.”

”Rather than just weigh in on the content side, we should allow deals to be made so that content owners can make money off their product through web distribution deals,” she said.

Copyright law should be easier to navigate and that “there should be a system that better serves the creators of the content,” she added.

On the topic of intellectual property enforcement legislation, Lofgren chided Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s bill setting felony penalties for illegal web streaming (the Commercial Felony Streaming Act, S. 978) because of its major chilling affect on protected speech and innovation. She praised the prior successes of what she called the “follow the money” approach of cutting up online gambling web sites’ access to credit card payment systems. By contract, the domain name system takedown approach to enforcement, and contemplated by the PROTECT IP Act (S. 968) “is a mess and will do actual damage to the internet itself.”

In her final remarks, Rep. Lofgren pointed to three things that have made innovation in her district so successful: (1) a lot of investment into science and research many years ago and many talented engineers have emerged from the Stanford engineering programs; (2) entrepreneurs unafraid to take risks, and (3) government did not get in the way. Many of the impediments to innovation come in the form of overly complex intellectual property legislation that in the end hurt content creators as much as tech innovators.

Following the Congresswoman, the audience shifted their attention to a panel of intellectual property legal experts.

Paul Glist, Partner at Davis Wright Tremaine, began the panel discussion by laying out some economic realities behind the distribution of digital programming. “From a consumer point of view, all content wants to be free. But from the point of view of creators they want to be paid.” Glist added, “Everything that broadband and wireless have enabled has challenged many of the older video distribution models.”

“Distributors, like cable operators are in a sticky situation where they identify with the content providers and struggle to protect intellectual property and deliver it to the consumer” stated Glist, “but they want to enable consumers to enjoy their content in as many different ways as possible”

With regard to the Time Warner Cable dispute with Viacom, Glist noted “what they were fighting about publicly was different than what they were really fighting about.” Glist believed that the intellectual property and licensing argument surrounding the public fight about whether the license granted by the content providers covered screens such as iPad tablets, was not the real issue.

“The real fight” claimed Glist, “was over advertising dollars.” Content providers do not yet have a way to track advertising revenues on these new very popular devises and therefore feel like they are not being made whole.

Among the highlights of the program was an explanation by Robert Schwartz, partner at Constantine Cannon, of the underlying regulatory issues behind the content distribution and licensing battles. Schwartz believed that since 1996, when Congress directed the FCC to ensure that consumers could use commercially available navigation devices to access services from pay television providers, there have been numerous unresolved questions about what service and MVPD can aggregate. “With the advent of digital devices the market saw MVPDs begin to package every element of distribution, look at the VCR,” said Schwartz.

Schwartz then referenced a copyright case where Cablevision with the support of technology companies and the public interest community set up a service that would allow users to have VCR type functions without having any recording product in the home. The case was challenged by the entertainment industry and the 2nd circuit decided that it was the consumer that had decided on this technology, and the issue of contributory infringement was no longer at issue. “Since then”, said Schwartz, “there has not been a good discussion of what it is the MVPD has the right to aggregate.”

Schwartz finished by noting that the FCC has tried to bring up this issue again through the National Broadband Plan, and put forth a proposal for an AllVid proceeding aimed at developing an interface device in the home for all consumer devices, but the proceeding has been stagnant since the Notice of Inquiry in 2010.

Brandon Dorsky, President of SUPERGOODMUSIC expressed that his major concern on the Klobuchar bill is that it could potentially criminalize some of his blogs’ behavior. Dorsky described himself as a tastemaker who helps promote the careers of artists by streaming their content on his website. Dorsky noted that “the ability to stream is especially important in the world of electronic music,” a genre he works with a lot.

“You cannot always negotiate a license…it’s hard to promote music if you cannot negotiate small licenses” said Dorsky. He also believed that hosting a link on his site for a song that he cannot negotiate a license for is not effective because readers rarely click through.

Victoria Phillips, Professor at the Washington College of Law at American University raised the point that in the days of over the air TV, a consumer could bring a TV out on their porch and receive signal. Phillips thought it was ironic how constrained we are by our set top boxes and hoped the AllVid proceeding would loosen the grip of the boxes. “There is so much going on that consumers want to do in their home” stated Phillips “The AllVid proceeding is an interesting approach to eliminate some of the ongoing sedimentary layer…and I hope the Broadband Plan and this proceeding can break us out of some of these silos we are in.”

Glist disagreed and joked that while it was wonderful to get all twelve channels anywhere, there was two-way capability and interactive features that cable boxes provide today. He added, “can you harness creativity through a business-to-business approach or do you want the government to be the solution? Industry is moving too fast so government is probably going to get it wrong.”

Although the monthly Intellectual Property Breakfast Club is being discontinued, don’t miss the beginning of the Broadband Breakfast Club season on Tuesday, September 20, 2011. Registration for the event, on “Making Cities of the Future Smarter Through Broadband,” is available at http://broadbandbreakfast.eventbrite.com. The Broadband Breakfast Club is sponsored by ComcastGoogleICF InternationalIntel, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and the Telecommunications Industry Association.

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Broadband Breakfast on June 1, 2022 — The Supreme Court, Social Media and the Culture Wars

The Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked a Texas law banning social media companies from removing posts based on views expressed.

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See “Experts Reflect on Supreme Court Decision to Block Texas Social Media Bill,” Broadband Breakfast, June 2, 2022.

Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place on Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. Watch the event on Broadband Breakfast, or REGISTER HERE to join the conversation.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022, 12 Noon ET – BREAKING NEWS EVENT! – The Supreme Court, Social Media and the Culture Wars

The Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked a Texas law that would ban large social media companies from removing posts based on the views they express. Join us for this breaking news event of Broadband Breakfast Live Online in which we discuss the Supreme Court, social media and the culture wars.

Panelists:

  • Scott McCollough, Attorney, McCollough Law Firm
  • Amy Peikoff, Chief Policy Officer, Parler
  • Ari Cohn, Free Speech Counsel, TechFreedom
  • Nora Benavidez, Senior Counsel and Director of Digital Justice and Civil Rights at Free Press
  • Drew Clark (presenter and host), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Panelist resources:

W. Scott McCollough has practiced communications and Internet law for 38 years, with a specialization in regulatory issues confronting the industry.  Clients include competitive communications companies, Internet service and application providers, public interest organizations and consumers.

Amy Peikoff is the Chief Policy Officer of Parler. After completing her Ph.D., she taught at universities (University of Texas, Austin, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, United States Air Force Academy) and law schools (Chapman, Southwestern), publishing frequently cited academic articles on privacy law, as well as op-eds in leading newspapers across the country on a range of issues. Just prior to joining Parler, she founded and was President of the Center for the Legalization of Privacy, which submitted an amicus brief in United States v. Facebook in 2019.

Ari Cohn is Free Speech Counsel at TechFreedom. A nationally recognized expert in First Amendment law, he was previously the Director of the Individual Rights Defense Program at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), and has worked in private practice at Mayer Brown LLP and as a solo practitioner, and was an attorney with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights. Ari graduated cum laude from Cornell Law School, and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Nora Benavidez manages Free Press’s efforts around platform and media accountability to defend against digital threats to democracy. She previously served as the director of PEN America’s U.S. Free Expression Programs, where she guided the organization’s national advocacy agenda on First Amendment and free-expression issues, including press freedom, disinformation defense and protest rights. Nora launched and led PEN America’s media-literacy and disinformation-defense program. She also led the organization’s groundbreaking First Amendment lawsuit, PEN America v. Donald Trump, to hold the former president accountable for his retaliation against and censorship of journalists he disliked.

Drew Clark is the Editor and Publisher of BroadbandBreakfast.com and a nationally-respected telecommunications attorney. Drew brings experts and practitioners together to advance the benefits provided by broadband. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, he served as head of a State Broadband Initiative, the Partnership for a Connected Illinois. He is also the President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress.

Photo of the Supreme Court from September 2020 by Aiva.

WATCH HERE, or on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook.

As with all Broadband Breakfast Live Online events, the FREE webcasts will take place at 12 Noon ET on Wednesday.

SUBSCRIBE to the Broadband Breakfast YouTube channel. That way, you will be notified when events go live. Watch on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook

See a complete list of upcoming and past Broadband Breakfast Live Online events.

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Broadband Breakfast on June 29, 2022 — Broadband Mapping and Data

Broadband Breakfast returns to one of the subjects that it knows best: Broadband mapping and data.

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See “FCC Opens Broadband Data Collection Program,” Broadband Breakfast, June 30, 2022.

Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place on Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. Watch the event on Broadband Breakfast, or REGISTER HERE to join the conversation.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022, 12 Noon ET –Broadband Mapping and Data

Now that the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Notice of Funding Opportunity has been released, attention turns to a core activity that must take place before broadband infrastructure funds are distributed: The Federal Communications Commission’s updated broadband maps. Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, as implemented by the NTIA’s Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program, these address-level maps from the FCC will determine the allocation of funds among states and serve as a key source of truth. Our panelists will also consider the role of state-level maps, the NTIA challenge process and other topics. Join Broadband Breakfast as we return to one of the subjects that we know best: Broadband data and mapping.

Panelists:

  • Bill Price, Vice President, Government Solutions, LightBox
  • Dustin Loup, Program Manager, Marconi Society’s National Broadband Mapping Coalition
  • Ryan Guthrie, Vice President of Solutions Engineering at ATS
  • Drew Clark (moderator), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Panelist resources:

Bill Price, Vice President of Government Solutions, is responsible for LightBox broadband data and mapping solutions for government. Bill has more than 40 years in telecommunications and technology services development and operations. His track record includes delivering the Georgia statewide location level broadband map, the first fiber metropolitan area network in the U.S., and launching BellSouth’s internet service. LightBox combines proven, leading GIS and big data technology to transform how decisions are made in broadband infrastructure planning and investment.

Dustin Loup is an expert on internet governance and policy and program manager for the Marconi Society’s National Broadband Mapping Coalition. Much of his work centers on improving digital inclusion and establishing transparent, open-source, and openly verifiable mapping methodologies and standards.

Ryan Guthrie is VP of Solutions Engineering at Advanced Technologies & Services.  He started with ATS in 2006 and has been involved in all aspects of the business from sales and marketing through solution design and implementation.  Ryan also manages regulatory solutions for ATS and has been deeply involved with the federally funded broadband projects by assisting ISPs with their performance measures testing compliance.

Drew Clark is the Editor and Publisher of BroadbandBreakfast.com and a nationally-respected telecommunications attorney. Drew brings experts and practitioners together to advance the benefits provided by broadband. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, he served as head of a State Broadband Initiative, the Partnership for a Connected Illinois. He is also the President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress.

WATCH HERE, or on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook.

As with all Broadband Breakfast Live Online events, the FREE webcasts will take place at 12 Noon ET on Wednesday.

SUBSCRIBE to the Broadband Breakfast YouTube channel. That way, you will be notified when events go live. Watch on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook

See a complete list of upcoming and past Broadband Breakfast Live Online events.

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Broadband Breakfast on June 15, 2022 – Broadband Breakfast Live Online from Fiber Connect in Nashville

Join conference attendees in conversation on key connectivity issues.

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Our Broadband Breakfast Live Online events take place on Wednesday at 12 Noon ET. Watch the event on Broadband Breakfast, or REGISTER HERE to join the conversation.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022, 12 Noon ET – Broadband Breakfast Live Online from Fiber Connect in Nashville

Join a conversation with attendees at the annual Fiber Connect conference in Nashville, Tennessee:

The purpose of this special session of Broadband Breakfast Live Online is to highlight some of the concerns that have been expressed by municipalities about the notice of funding opportunity recently issued by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration on the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment program. In this special session from Fiber Connect in Nashville, panelists will analyze what the NTIA got right and where it has blind spots. Equally importantly, we will discuss what can be done next so that cities have the opportunity to expand fiber to every corner of their communities when they seek to do so.

Panelists:

  • Gary Bolton, President and CEO, the Fiber Broadband Association
  • Scott Menhart, Chief Information Technology Office, Traverse City, Michigan
  • Kim McKinley, Chief Marketing Officer, UTOPIA Fiber
  • Bob Knight, executive board of the American Association of Public Broadband
  • Drew Clark (presenter and host), Editor and Publisher, Broadband Breakfast

Bob Knight is a broadband industry professional and public official. He serves on the executive board of the American Association of Public Broadband and is in his seventh term as a commissioner of economic and community development for Town of Ridgefield, Connecticut.

Gary Bolton serves as president and CEO of the Fiber Broadband Association — the largest trade association in the Americas dedicated to all-fiber-optic broadband. With more than three decades in the telecom industry, Bolton joined the Fiber Broadband Association as president and CEO in 2020 after serving on the association’s board as vice chairman, treasurer and vice chairs of public policy and marketing committees. Prior to taking the leadership role at the Fiber Broadband Association, he spent 11 years at ADTRAN serving as vice president of global marketing and government affairs.

Scott Menhart, the chief information technology officer for Traverse City Light & Power (TCLP), has more than 20 years of experience in technology and broadband industries. He has been actively involved with multiple fiber to the premise deployments and recently launched TCLPfiber, a full municipal community network. TCLP currently serves nearly 13,000 electric customers and is currently working to expand TCLPfiber services to these customers.

Kim McKinley helps lead UTOPIA Fiber as its Deputy Director and Chief Marketing Officer. In 2010, she joined the network as a member of its turnaround team, and has helped cement today’s UTOPIA Fiber as the fastest-growing, highest-rated, and most-successful Open Access network in the United States.

Drew Clark is the Editor and Publisher of BroadbandBreakfast.com and a nationally-respected telecommunications attorney. Drew brings experts and practitioners together to advance the benefits provided by broadband. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, he served as head of a State Broadband Initiative, the Partnership for a Connected Illinois. He is also the President of the Rural Telecommunications Congress.

Photo of Gaylord Opryland, home of Fiber Connect, by Ken Lund used with permission

WATCH HERE, or on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook.

As with all Broadband Breakfast Live Online events, the FREE webcasts will take place at 12 Noon ET on Wednesday.

SUBSCRIBE to the Broadband Breakfast YouTube channel. That way, you will be notified when events go live. Watch on YouTubeTwitter and Facebook

See a complete list of upcoming and past Broadband Breakfast Live Online events.

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