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"Is Net Neutrality Blocking FCC Spectrum Auctions?," CNET, July 29, 2011. Larry looks at new evidence suggesting much-needed spectrum for mobile Internet users has become a political football between Congress, still angry over last year's net neutrality mess, and the FCC. The article was reprinted in Wireless Week and at The Internet Freedom Coalition.

"Protecting IP While Preserving the Internet," U.S. House of Representatives, July 25, 2011. Video from a briefing on Capitol Hill on the dangers of proposed legislation to extend U.S. enforcement over foreign "rogue" websites.


"The iPhone, Android, and the FCC: Obeying the Prime Directive,", July 18, 2011. For Forbes, Larry looks in detail at the state of the mobile industry, noting that the most significant hurdles to competition, according to the FCC, are regulatory.

"Opinion: California PUC Should Approve Merger of AT&T and T-Mobile," San Jose Mercury News, July 6, 2011. Larry and law professor Geoffrey Manne review key findings in the FCC's annual review of the wireless industry, concluding that the strong evidence of a vibrant, competitive industry provide ample evidence to support approval of AT&T's merger with T-Mobile USA.

For CNET this morning, I offer five crucial corrections to the Protect IP Act, which was passed out of committee in the Senate back in May.

Yesterday, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, co-chair of the Congressional Internet Caucus, told a Silicon Valley audience that the House was working on its own version and would introduce it in the next few weeks.

Protect IP would extend efforts to combat copyright infringement and trademark abuse online, especially by websites registered outside the U.S.

Since Goodlatte promised the new bill would be "quite different" from the Senate version, I thought it a good time to get out my red pen and start crossing off the worst mistakes in policy and in drafting in Protect IP.

The full details are in the article, but in brief, here's what I hope the House does in its version:

  1. Drop provisions that tamper with the DNS system in an effort to block U.S. access to banned sites.
  2. Drop provisions that tamper with search engines, indices, and any other linkage to banned sites.
  3. Remove a private right of action that would allow copyright and trademark holders to obtain court orders banning ad networks and financial transaction processors from doing business with banned sites.
  4. Scale back current enforcement abuses by the Department of Homeland Security under the existing PRO-IP Act of 2008.
  5. Focus the vague and overinclusive definition of the kind of websites that can be banned, limiting it to truly criminal enterprises.

As I've written elsewhere, the Senate version was in some ways even worse than last year's COICA bill.  It imposes significant costs on innocent Internet users, and would do so with no corresponding benefits to anyone, including rightsholders.

The best thing the House could do would be to ignore this dud and work instead on reforming the broken copyright system.  That would do the most to correct the imbalance in endless copyrights and a shrinking public domain, eliminating much of the incentive for infringement that exists today.

But short of that, I hope at least that the most dangerous provisions are removed.

Larry is the keynote speaker for the Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force at this year's annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  Larry will kick off the Task Force's meeting on August 5, 2011.  His talk will focus on "The Good, The Bad, and the Very Ugly" in recent legislative initiatives related to communications and IT.