Selected Commentary to Media Tank Posts

Senate bill bans P2P networks
By Declan McCullagh, CNET, 6/23/04
Popular file-trading networks such as Kazaa and Morpheus would be outlawed under a new bill that enjoys broad support from top Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Senate. Their legislation says “whoever intentionally induces any violation” of copyright law would be legally liable for those violations, a prohibition that would effectively ban file-swapping networks and could also imperil some consumer electronics devices.

If we think P2P will remain as an open system, this clearly begs the question. Jeff Chester (Center for Digital Democracy), Lawrence Lessig, and Siva Vaidhyanathan all have written on these corporate and regulartory trends.

Media companies take wireless route to consumers
By Sinead Carew, Reuters, 6/23/04
Time Warner Inc. and Walt Disney Co. already ply their wares in cinemas, on television and over the Internet. Now they’re reaching into the mobile phone in your pocket. Some phones can already display pictures and replay video clips, but as networks get faster, it will be possible to watch live newscasts or even a whole movie on wireless gadgets. With such advancements, at least half a dozen media companies are looking at new ways they can use wireless to boost their profits and extend the reach of their brands.

Clearly the corporate sector is eyeing the currently unregulated 802.11 WiFi spectrum. If community activists are not careful, this public resource will go the way of other spectrum resources.

Should Comcast get tax break? Not without public-access TV By Dan Berger, Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/21/04 As the state Senate considers a proposal for establishing a Keystone Opportunity Improvement Zone in downtown Philadelphia for Comcast Corp., it bears noting that Comcast has not been a good corporate citizen for the residents of Philadelphia on several issues, including the establishment of public-access cable television. Philadelphia, Comcast’s flagship city, remains the only large city in the nation without this community-based form of communication. It’s time for the cable giant to live up to promises it made to Philadelphia in 1983.

Philadelphia has had an incredible group of media activists working over the last couple of years to confront these sorts of control.

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