The Librarian of Congress must issue a ruling this year on whether the U.S. Copyright Office‘s existing DMCA exemptions for legally jail-breaking smartphones will be renewed and/or extended to cover tablets or not. I support the jail-breaking exemptions and am hopeful they will be renewed and extended. Another DMCA exemption to cover general purpose computer operating systems on desktop and laptop computers should be granted. After soliciting comments from individuals including myself on these matters the Copyright Office is now holding hearings where representatives of public interest groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation are testifying in support of the exemptions and opponents able to testify are likely testifying in opposition.
It is my hope after all the testimony has been given that the Librarian of Congress will grant a renewal of the 2010 DMCA exemption for legally jail-breaking smart-phones and extend it to cover tablets in addition to supporting a DMCA exemption for legally jail-breaking general purpose computer operating systems for desktop and notebook computers. Meanwhile I and others supportive of device carrier interoperability continue to press the FCC to issue a ruling requiring interoperability in the 700 MHz bands. I strongly believe that the Federal Communications Commission should require device carrier interoperability for carriers using 700 MHz spectrum, issue AWS Service Rules and deny the Verizon SpectrumCo and Cox transactions due to the spectrum concentration that would occur and collusive nature of the joint operating entity agreements. Of course I’ve discussed some of these issues in prior posts and am merely stressing the importance of these issues again.
Having written about how bundling issues and broadcast retransmission for video programming would like to discuss one company’s web campaigns to defend place shifting tablet apps and efforts to stop higher retransmission fees. That company is Time Warner Cable whose Roll Over or Get Tough web campaign fights against higher retransmission fees while their I Want My TWCable TV app seeks campaigns against greedy programmers wanting higher carriage fees in exchange for allowing Time Warner Cable to stream their channels to iPads and other devices. Clearly, on broadcast retransmission and the issue of iPad streaming despite the fact their streaming iPad app uses TV Everywhere I support providers like Time Warner Cable against greedy programmers.
Furthermore, I hope a fair resolution can be reached by providers and programmers on these issues that benefit consumers. In my next post will detail for cable or satellite subscribers losing channels because of retransmission fights of alternative ways they can still watch their favorite programming from such channels. Clearly in battles between programmers and providers my interests as a consumer align with the provider but when TV providers also offering Internet access try to mess with our Internet connections I oppose provider’s efforts to do so.