Category Archives: Global

Tiered Pricing. Another roadblock to a neutral Internet?

The arguments against tiered pricing are rather straightforward. A registry operator given its sole source position within the marketplace would be able to unilaterally impose per domain name pricing to the detriment of registrants that had invested substantial resources building an identity in connection with a domain name. In a worst case scenario, a registrant of a popular/valuable domain name could see their registration fees increase from around $6 per year to some substantial exponential multiplier.

Read this article from CircleID with commentary from Wet Machine and ICANN Watch.


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Filed under Global, Net Neutrality, Regulation

The Convention on Cybercrime. International cooperation or threat to free speech?

According to the EFF, “The treaty requires that the U.S. government help enforce other countries’ ‘cybercrime’ laws—even if the act being prosecuted is not illegal in the United States. That means that countries that have laws limiting free speech on the Net could oblige the F.B.I. to uncover the identities of anonymous U.S. critics, or monitor their communications on behalf of foreign governments. American ISPs would be obliged to obey other jurisdictions’ requests to log their users’ behavior without due process, or compensation.”

Read this article from the Washington Post with commentary from Ars Technica.

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Filed under Cybercrime, Global, Regulation, U.S.

Does DADVSI violate property rights?

DADVSI, which can be loosely translated as the “law on authors’ rights in the information society,” was originally intended to harmonize French law with the European Copyright Directive. However, it quickly became something of a microcosm of the battle between the rights of individuals and copyright holders over what is commonly called fair use…The “iPod law” became closely associated with Apple Computer and its iTunes Music Store, and could have forced Apple to license its FairPlay DRM for competing devices and services…Now, the French Constitutional Council has ruled on the law, concluding “that the law violated the constitutional protections of property,” meaning Apple can breathe easier.

Read this article from Ars Technica (UPDATES from C|Net and ZDNet’s The Apple Core) – track the development of this topic – contribute what you know about “DADVSI” to the Whats New Media Wiki

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Filed under Business 2.0, Fair Use, Global, Regulation

US to continue its control over ICANN

Contrary to some reports, things are not about to change. After a meeting at the Commerce Department, Acting Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, John M.R. Kneuer, said that the existing arrangement was likely to continue, at least for another year. “There certainly are still strong arguments that there’s more work to be done,” said Kneuer.

When ICANN was created in 1998, the US government intended for it to be fully privatized by 2000. However, that has failed to happen for a couple of reasons, namely a reluctance on the part of the US to let go control and ICANN’s inability to meet some performance benchmarks.

Read this article from Ars Technica

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Filed under Global, Regulation, U.S.

U.S. ceeding control of DNS?

The United States may be willing to cede at least some of its historic control of the Internet domain name system after all, a U.S. Commerce Department official said Wednesday.

Kneuer said the government’s continuing interest in privatization doesn’t clash with a list of four principles issued last summer by the Commerce Department. That brief policy statement riled up some in the international community because it asserted the U.S. government’s intention to retain control over the Internet’s “root,” the master file that lists which top-level domains are authorized. It also indicated plans to maintain its oversight over ICANN.

Read this article from  More from ZDNet and more still from the Benton Foundation

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Filed under Global, History of New Media, Regulation, The Politics of New Media, U.S.

Let global online freedom ring?

At this time of year in the United States, we celebrate freedom and independence with parades and fireworks. The Internet is not bounded by national borders, but there certainly are differing levels of online freedom for Netizens around the world.

A bill that seeks to foster global online freedom was recently passed in a unanimous voice vote by a congressional subcommittee that addresses international human rights. Time will tell whether the bill, H.R. 4780, which proposes the Global Online Freedom Act of 2006, will become law and, if so, whether it is the best means to accomplish its goals. Its attempt to punish U.S. online businesses in other countries could actually lead to less online freedom, if those companies decide to stop doing business in those countries.

Read this editorial from  The bill’s current information (including it’s language) is available from the Library of Congress.

*Contribute to our knowledge of the “Global Online Freedom Act of 2006” at the Whats New Media Wiki

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Filed under A democratic medium?, Business 2.0, Global, Regulation, The Politics of New Media, U.S.

The World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) “Treaty on the Protection of Broadcasting Organizations”

If adopted, the WIPO treaty will give broadcasters 50 years of copyright-like control over the content of their broadcasts, even when they have no copyright in what they show. A TV channel broadcasting your Creative Commons-licensed movie could legally demand that no one record or redistribute it—and sue anyone who does. And TV companies could use their new rights to go after TiVo or MythTV for daring to let you skip advertisements or record programs in DRM-free formats.

Read this report from the Electronic Frontier Foundation

At stake is the “webcasting provision” of the “Broadcasters’ Treaty” underway at WIPO, the UN agency that handles copyrights, patents and the like. The Webcasting provision would make it illegal to retransmit Creative Commons licensed works (as well as public domain works, uncopyrightable works like those made by the US government, etc) without permission of the person who hosts them. In other words, it will no longer be enough to know that the author of the work wants you to share it — you’ll also need permission from the company that hosts and distributes the files.

Read this blog entry from BoingBoing

More on the issue from Ars Techica:
Broadcast Treaty has potential to grant unwarranted “protections”
UN Broadcasting Treaty seen as severely limiting essential freedoms

UPDATE: WIPO broadcast treaty abandons rights-based approach from Ars
Add to what we know about the Treaty on the Protection of Broadcast Organizations at the Whats New Media Wiki.

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Filed under Digital Commons, Fair Use, Global, Regulation