Miscellaneous News of Note

I’m deep in the terminal-phase of my dissertation research – writing to begin next month. In lieu of snarky analysis this week, I give you a plethora of updates on stories covered here recently:
ACTA: The full text of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement has finally been published publicly. This has pissed off some notable Harvard law professors – not because the document’s public, but for the draconian measures it contains to “protect” intellectual property. Said professors are raring to go to court to challenge ACTA, if implemented.
Network Neutrality: Lots could be said about the recent D.C. Circuit Court decision striking down the FCC’s authority to regulate how broadband Internet service providers manage their networks. It’s caused quite a furor in D.C., but to get the real low-down on what the implications of the court’s decision really means, read this analysis from Harold Feld and this mea culpa from Marvin Ammori, one of the attorneys who actually argued against Comcast at the case’s primary hearing.
Short version: while this is a setback for the FCC, it doesn’t signal the end of regulation against data discrimination; there are other options with which to make the government an actionable regulator on this issue.
HD Radio: I got a nice e-mail recently from a collective of public radio listeners from five cities around the country announcing the creation of a new site, Keeping the Public in Public Radio, that’s devoted to covering the machinations of NPR from multiple angles, one of which is the network’s infatuation with HD Radio. They posit that many NPR-member stations are undergoing radical reductions in their local on-air staff in order to maintain their investment in this questionable technology.
I can sympathize. Our local public radio stations recently laid off their entire weather staff and have replaced much of the programming on its AM and FM outlets with “canned content” and simulcasting. Keepublicradiopublic.com joins a short list of ad-hoc individuals and groups conducting ongoing critical coverage of HD Radio. Welcome to the fracas, compadres.