Archive for June 2011

Supreme Court affirms First Amendment in Cyberspace

John Perry Barlow famously said that in cyberspace, the First Amendment is just a local ordinance.  That’s still true, of course, and worth remembering.  But at least today there is good news in the shire.  The local ordinance still applies with full force, if only locally. As I write in CNET this evening (see “Video […]

Larry to speak at Emerging Communications conference June 28

Larry will be giving a short keynote on “The Future of Communications” as part of eComm 2011.  The conference takes place from June 27-29 at the San Francisco Marriott hotel, and Larry’s talk will be on Tuesday, June 28 in the afternoon.  Larry will address the dangerous call to treat communications industry companies as “public […]

Spectrum reform in our lifetime?

Last week the Senate Commerce Committee passed–with deep bi-partisan support–the Public Safety Spectrum and Wireless Innovation Act. The bill, co-sponsored by Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller and Ranking Member Kay Bailey Hutchison, is a comprehensive effort to resolve several long-standing stalemates and impending crises having to do with one of the most critical 21st century resources:  […]

Updates to the Media Page

We’ve added about a dozen new posts to the Media Page on my website, reflecting a sampling of articles, media quotes, and radio appearances from the last few months. These include several pieces for CNET and Forbes, as well as links to appearances on NPR’s “Science Friday” (debating Sen. Al Franken on privacy law) […]

Mercatus/Protect IP

“Larry Downes on IP enforecement online,” Mercatus Center, June 7, 2011. Larry was the guest for Jerry Brito’s “Surprisingly Free” podcast to discuss the pros and cons of proposed new legislation aimed at curbing online piracy. (30 minutes)


“For AT&T merger, Sprint dusts off its Christmas list,” CNET, May 25, 2011. Larry review the facts about Sprint’s claim that the AT&T/T-Mobile merger would impact the obscure but essential “backhaul” market for mobile communications, concluding that regulatory arbitrage is well underway.

Techdirt/Protect IP

“The Protect IP Act is about the old media industry going to war with the Internet,” Techdirt, May 16, 2011. Larry’s articles on Protect IP were the subject of a long commentary from Techdirt’s Mike Masnick.


“Digital revolutionaries under surveillance,” Australian Broadcasting Company, May 15, 2011. Larry was the guest on Australian radio’s Background Briefing to discuss censorship and surveillance of political dissidents, and the ill-fated Global Network Initiative aimed at providing cover for tech companies who cooperate with governments.

Forbes/Protect IP

“Leahy’s Protect IP Act: Why Internet content wars will never end,”, May 16, 2011. In a longer essay reviewing the Protect IP Act, Larry argues that the content industries are fighting a losing battle in the courts and in legislatures against the Internet itself. Instead, they should be moving more quickly to adapt to […]

CNET/Protect IP

“Leahy’s Protect IP act even worse than COICA,” CNET, May 12, 2011. Larry files an initial review of the new Protect IP Act, aimed at curbing online piracy, shortly after its introduction by Sen. Patrick Leahy. Though many improvements were made over last year’s version, known as COICA, the bill is still a dangerous […]