(entry last updated: 2003-06-11 07:53:11)
Michael Powell defends the process in this Globe article: FCC chief defends changes in media ownership rules [pdf].
But Powell said yesterday, ”I don’t accept the premise that the public wasn’t informed. How is it that you have half a million comments but somehow the public wasn’t informed? I have e-mails; I have letters; I have telephone calls. We have a 60-person call center that logged calls all day. We had more public response on this issue than any other issue I’ve seen in my tenure” as a commissioner and chairman since 2001.
”That’s garbage,” Powell said of critics’ contention that the public was uninformed about the changes and uninvolved in shaping them.
Of course, the fact that most of the comments were in opposition apparently doesn’t count – particularly if this was a “notice and comment” rulemaking. I may also be that case that Powell has worked very hard to stay within the strictures of the Administrative Procedures Act, as suggested by this FindLaw guest commentator: The FCC’s New Media Ownership Rules:
Why They Are Likely to Survive Court Challenges. Her argument, echoing that of Powell, is based on the rulings surrounding the APA:
Accordingly, any claim that the new rules constitute “arbitrary and capricious” decisionmaking in violation of the APA seems likely to fail absent a truly impoverished FCC record. Moreover, First Amendment challenges to the new rules will not be evaluated under the courts’ most stringent tests because the rules are not content-based; they apply equally to all companies, no matter what material they seek to broadcast. Because the rules make no distinctions based on political, economic or social views of individual owners, they are likely to pass First Amendment muster.
To the Editor:
In “In Fight Over Online Music, Industry Now Offers a Carrot” (front page, June 8), you cite music executives who lament the fact that consumers don’t seem to understand the economics of the record industry, and who justify the high cost of CD’s by talking about how much money “labels spend developing and promoting new artists, the vast majority of whom never sell enough to make back the investment.”
In other words, we’re supposed to pay for their lousy judgment. Maybe consumers understand the record industry all too well!
Cornwall, Vt., June 8, 2003
In a carefully worded speech, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House subcommittee overseeing copyright law, said that future Federal Communications Commission regulations involving digital TV should not “have an adverse affect on how consumers may legitimately use lawfully acquired entertainment products.”
Smith also signaled his firm opposition to a bill introduced last year by Sen. Fritz Hollings, D-S.C., which would implant mandatory copy-protection technology in PCs and consumer electronics devices. “I am skeptical of government mandates on the technology industry…Until evidence shows otherwise, I believe existing copyright law is adequate,” Smith told a one-day conference organized by the Progress and Freedom Foundation.
Some members of the open-source community are claiming that the SCO Group may have violated the terms of the GNU GPL (General Public License) by incorporating source code from the Linux kernel into the Linux Kernel Personality feature found in SCO Unix without giving the changes back to the community or displaying copyright notices attributing the code to Linux.
A source close to SCO, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told eWEEK that parts of the Linux kernel code were copied into the Unix System V source tree by former or current SCO employees.
[…} “During that project we often came across sections of code that looked very similar, in fact we wondered why even variable names were identical. It looked very much like both codes had the same origin, but that was good as the implementation of 95 percent of all Linux system calls on the Unix kernel turned out to be literally ‘one-liners’,” the source said.
A little FoxTrot RIAA humor today