FCC & Local Role of Broadcasters

  A topic that is garnering increased interest in recent years, particularly in the age of substantial media consolidation, is the “local role” of broadcasters in servicing their communities. The FCC continues to mandate that broadcasters meet certain standards of community service, such as providing programming of interest to local audiences, playing local artists, and otherwise “being a part of the Read More

Menhart Testifies on DC Anti-Spam

  CyberLaw Attorney Eric Menhart recently testified as an expert guest before the Council of the District of Columbia on the Council’s proposed Spam Deterrence Act of 2007. A copy of his testimony is available here. Menhart recommended that the proposed bill calculate damages on a per message basis, eliminating exceptions for “an established business relationship,” and including liability for “rogue” ISPs Read More

Verizon, ATT Win Spectrum

  The winners of the auctioned spectrum were announced today. As expected, Verizon Wireless and ATT were the big winners. While billions of dollars were spent on this spectrum by the firms, there is little question that the investment was a good one. Rights to this resource will position both ATT and Verizon as long term wireless powerhouses for years to come. Read More

Spectrum Sales Nets 19.6 Billion Dollars

  The FCC’s auction of spectrum being vacated by analog television netted the agency $19.6 billion that will be used to help with the transition to over-the-air digital television. This amount represented more money raised that all previous spectrum auctions combined. The winner of the auction will not be named for some time, but most followers expect to see Verizon Wireless or AT&T Wireless eventually Read More

Text Messaging New War on Spam

  The new front in the war on spam: text messaging to mobile phones.   While the “classic” spamming techniques via e-mail are as strong as ever, the wireless phone and the ever-increasing fascination with text messaging is accelerating the use of text spam. According to this article, consumers in the United States are expected to receive about 1.5 billion spam text messages this year, up from 1.1 Read More

Registrar Sued for Holding Domain Names

  A lawsuit seeking class action status has been filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against Network Solutions and ICANN. The suit arises under Network Solutions’ practice of “holding” domain names for a set period of time after a potential registrant searches for the names. If the potential registrant does not immediately purchase the name Network Solutions itself Read More

Menhart Appears in Privacy Articles

  Attorney Eric Menhart recently commented in two articles in “The Daily Tar Heel,” the newspaper serving the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill community.   The first article, entitled “Facing Scrutiny,” examines information on social networking sites as it is used to investigate and screen college students. The second article, entitled “Google Puts Chapel Hill Streets on View,” examines the Read More

Bill Protects IT Health Privacy

  A new bill, entitled “Technologies for Restoring Users' Security and Trust” (TRUST) in Health Information Act, has been introduced as House Resolution 5442. The bill regulates the use of information technology within the American health care system and seeks to protect the privacy and security of patient medical information. According to Congressman Markey, one of the bill’s sponsors, Read More

Apple Trademark Suggests Gaming

  Apple Computer recently sought to expand its trademark protection into a new class of goods: gaming. The proposed expansion of its preexisting federal trademark has many in the industry wondering what Apple has planned. Some of the attempted protections are:   hand-held units for playing electronic games; hand-held units for playing video games; stand alone video game machines; electronic Read More

Spectrum Bidding Heats Up

  The bidding war for radio spectrum that is being freed up by the elimination of analog television broadcasting continues to attract attention by major technology firms. You can see a map of the spectrum range here.   Several blocks of spectrum in the 700-MHz range have to date attracted bids of $18.9 billion, well in excess of the FCC’s goal of $10 billion. Of particular note, the C Block, the Read More