The Yes Men's Building A Posse

With all of the somewhat-depressing news coming out of the circles of media reform these days, I was heartened to see the announcement that the Yes Men are hard at work to spread their extra-special brand of media pranksterism; the work of identity-correction.
Announcing the Yes Lab for Creative Activism: “a series of brainstorms and trainings to help activist groups carry out Yes-Men-style projects on their own.” Continue reading “The Yes Men's Building A Posse”

Enforcement Action Update: East Coast Booming

The Enforcement Action Database is up-to-date again; so far for the year the FCC is running at blatant record pace with regard to enforcement actions – 235 as of mid-May, while 2009 saw a cumulative enforcement action total of 445. If this pace continues, 2010 may be the first year in which the FCC cracks 500 enforcement actions.
Taking a closer look at the data, the methodology of field enforcement remains the same – lots and lots of station-visits and threatening letters, but nothing in the way of raids and seizures, and very little in the way of monetary penalties. The practice of stats-enforcement is also still in full effect; for example, a whopping four warning letters were sent to different individuals in two states for the same unlicensed FM station in Brockton, Massachusetts. Continue reading “Enforcement Action Update: East Coast Booming”

Pirate Radio: DVD Beats Feature

I just got around to watching my Netflix-delivered DVD of Pirate Radio. If you saw it in the theater, you missed out on some of the best parts.
The movie, at best (in the feature-cut), is a fast-paced cluster of vignettes loosely tied around a family/love story, lavish with music from the offshore pirate era and an ending that even teared me up a bit. The ensemble works brilliantly. The fact the movie revolves around the concept of pirate radio, and the ship itself, acted more as a set-piece than a central plot device. Which is why many reviews praised it, mostly, for its music. Continue reading “Pirate Radio: DVD Beats Feature”

Net Neutrality: Thanks For The Memories?

The heads of policy peeps just about exploded last month after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the FCC’s authority to stop internet service providers from conducting data discrimination (violating the informal principle popularly known as “network neutrality“). A couple of weeks of hand-wringing later, and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski releases a statement outlining his plans to re-empower the agency to regulate the way by which ISPs manage their network traffic.
It’s a somewhat arcane policy principle, but in plain English it breaks down like this: the FCC classifies network service providers in one of two ways – telecommunications providers and information service providers. Telecommunications providers (like old-skool telephony) are subject to “common carriage” rules – this means the networks must not refuse interconnection, cannot discriminate against other carriers and customers, and cannot refuse the use of non-destructive applications on their networks. Information service providers, on the other hand, do not fall under the common carriage paradigm. Continue reading “Net Neutrality: Thanks For The Memories?”