Archive for the ‘Federal Communications Commission’ Category

Jan. 7: DC Radio Hosts Ken Auletta On His Best-Seller ‘Googled’

January 7, 2010

New Yorker media columnist Ken Auletta discussed his latest best-seller Googled: The End of the World As We Know It on the Jan. 7 DC Update edition of My Technology Lawyer Radio.  

Listeners can access the show nationwide via the link at, which also contains archives of previous shows.

In the show’s first guest segment beginning 18 minutes into the hour, Auletta discussed how, “Google has morphed from a search into a media company…that bestrides the world.”  He further described how Google in the process has become both “beloved” by some and “feared” by others.  

The book lives up to its advance billing:  Using Google as a proxy for the larger digital revolution, Auletta shares the secrets of Google’s success and describes why that success threatens traditional media.  The author enjoyed unprecedented access to Google’s founders and executives, but brings to bear an independent expert outlook. 

The book has hit the bestseller lists, with publishers in 12 nations.  Netscape founder Marc Andreessen describes Googled as, “A uniquely incisive account of the new Internet revolution, powered by Ken Auletta’s unparalleled access.  A great book.”

The radio show is co-hosted by business radio pioneer Scott Draughon and by Washington commentator Andrew Kreig.  The hosts begin with an overview of Washington policy news affecting the nation’s business, politics and quality of life.  As a listener advisory: Mac computer users need the tool “Parallels” to hear Windows Media Player.

About Ken Auletta and Googled

Ken Auletta has written the “Annals of Communications” column for The New Yorker since 1992. He is the author of 10 books, including four national bestsellers. These include Three Blind Mice: How the TV Networks Lost Their Way, Greed and Glory on Wall Street: The Fall of the House of Lehman, and World War 3.0: Microsoft and Its Enemies. In naming him America’s premier media critic, the Columbia Journalism Review said, “No other reporter has covered the new communications revolution as thoroughly.”  For details, visit his website here. Googled is available via here, with 32 reader reviews averaging a four-star rating out of a possible five.    

About Scott Draughon and My Technology Lawyer Radio Show

Richard Scott Draughon is host and producer of the My Technology Lawyer Radio Show, which is affiliated with ─ an on-demand legal service that he leads.  Draughon is author of the pioneering book The Art of the Business Radio Show.  For details, visit the website:

About Andrew Kreig

Andrew Kreig is an investigative reporter, author and attorney who reports frequently about official corruption on such new media sites as Huffington Post, Connecticut Watchdog, Nieman Watchdog and OpEd News. Kreig is finishing a year as senior fellow with the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University and is a research fellow with the Information Economy Project at George Mason University School of Law. Earlier, he was president of the Wireless Communications Association International from 1996 to last summer and authored the 1987 book, Spiked: How Chain Management Corrupted America’s Oldest Newspaper.





DC Regulators Host Unique Debate On News Industry’s Future

December 3, 2009

Washington, DC ─ More than 70 communications experts this week debated how consumers can protect their interests despite the decline of traditional newspapers and broadcasters.

Increased government support for news-gathering was the key topic in the path-breaking two-day conference entitled, “How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?” hosted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Dec. 1 and 2.  Industry speakers ranged in clout from News Corp. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch to web-based start-ups much like Connecticut Watchdog.

“It’s good that we can have an honest discussion” of the relationship between law and business opportunities said Reed Hundt, a 1990s chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  The Democrat said that long-standing fears of government meddling with the news media would have made such a conference “unthinkable” previously during his decades in Washington since he left Yale Law School in 1974.

Some tension is inevitable.  “The news media is here in part to make life miserable for public officials,” said Steven Waldman, an FCC official just three days on the job as a senior advisor to its chairman Julius Genachowski after a career as an Internet entrepreneur and reporter for such publications as Newsweek and the online edition of the Wall Street Journal.

The FTC conference speakers and their videos are on the workshop section of the FTC website:

Many speakers noted that traditional media are reacting to declines in their advertising by cutting coverage of vital public affairs. 

“We cannot risk the loss of an informed public and all that means because of this market failure,” said U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-California), who added that any proposed solutions through his committee would require bipartisan support.

Murdoch complained that Internet-based rivals infringe the copyrights of traditional media, hurting the public.  Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post (for which I write also) responded that every news operation uses content from others under longstanding, court-enforced “fair use” standards, and that innovation is helping the public.  

Aneesh Chopra, assistant to President Obama for technology, said the new administration is relying on technology and inputs from the public in unprecedented ways.  He cited as examples communication on such consumer needs as health care options and such public affairs concerns as lobbying for federal contracts.

National Public Radio President and CEO Vivian Schiller said her network’ success provides a model for public/private funding.  Even so, the network’s local coverage should be enhanced by more federal money, she said in arguing that funding doesn’t mean government control. 

Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press, countered that improper political interference in public broadcasting has been documented in recent years.  Even so, he advocated more federal funding for news organizations and infrastructure, along with more “firewall” protections for journalistic independence. 

Historians noted that federal policies on infrastructure development, copyright, taxation and antitrust have long assisted the news media.

The conference’s final panel included the founders of two web-based start-ups from Connecticut.  Branford Eagle editor Marcia Chambers, who is also journalist-in-residence at Yale, began her news site as a column four years ago.  She plans to work with others to “reinvigorate state coverage.” 

Paul Bass, editor of the New Haven Independent, said he started with $80,000 in funding after leaving his longstanding job at the Advocate, and now has an annual budget of close to a half million dollars.  Bass, also executive director of the Online Journalism Project, said that interactive journalism enables community “conversations” never previously possible.

The 30-year-veteran of the news business concluded, “This is the best time to be a journalist.”

Nov. 12: DC Radio Hosts Spectrum Expert Lazarus On FCC, Alabama Writer Shuler On Scandal

November 12, 2009
Mitchell Lazarus

Mitchell Lazarus

Washington attorney and author Mitchell Lazarus proposed on the Nov. 12 DC Update edition of My Technology Lawyer Radio ways that the new Obama FCC can foster economic growth.  The radio show is available via the Listen Live! link here, which includes an archive of past shows.

Also, Alabama legal journalist Roger Shuler provided an update on the state’s reaction to explosive statements by Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Johnson that current Gov. Bob Riley received millions of dollars in campaign funds from Mississippi gambling interests in 2002.  The payments were reputedly via lobbyist Jack Abramoff, helping narrowly defeat Democratic incumbent Don Siegelman, who was later convicted on corruption charges in a controversial case.  The new stories are here and here.

Regarding regulatory delays and the economy, Lazarus published an article in the prestigious IEEE Spectrum Magazine and filed comments with the FCC this fall suggesting ways that the Commission’s oversight of new technologies could be quickened to enable new technologies and job growth. 

Lazarus drew from his 25 years of practice before the Commission in making his proposals.  The suggestions were in his regulatory filing here and his Sept. 30 Spectrum article here, entitled, “Radio’s Regulatory Roadblocks: How the FCC Slows New Wireless Technologies – and What To Do About It.”  Also, Lazarus publishes on a wide range of competitive and regulatory topics on his law firm’s CommLawBlog, which is available here.

The FCC, with three of its five members newly confirmed after nomination by President Obama, requested suggestions this fall for improving its regulatory practices.  The filing by Lazarus argued:

Requests to approve a benign technology should be granted quickly.  They are not. Nowadays a rulemaking typically takes 2-5 years, and a waiver, about two years, even for harmless technologies.  These delays are an obstacle to innovation.  Often a radically new technology comes from a small, privately-funded start-up.  Its only product may be the one awaiting Commission approval.  These companies may lack the resources to survive a lengthy FCC proceeding.

Update is co-hosted by the show’s founder and business radio pioneer Scott Draughon and by Washington commentator Andrew Kreig, who co-chairs with Lazarus the Fixed Wireless Communications Coalition.  The hosts begin the show with an update on Washington policy news affecting the nation’s business, politics and quality of life.  Update radio listeners can call in questions by email:  As listener advisories: Mac computer users need the tool “Parallels” to hear a Windows Media Player.

About Mitchell Lazarus

Mitchell Lazarus, a partner at Fletcher, Heald and Hildreth, specializes in the regulation of new telecommunications technologies, and has helped many manufacturers and service providers obtain FCC approval for innovative products and services. Recent work has included extensive regulatory involvement in unlicensed radio technologies, including ultra-wideband and various forms of Wi-Fi, along with radio-based security systems, software-defined and cognitive radios, millimeter-wave technologies, and broadband-over-power-line. Lazarus holds a law degree magna cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center, a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from McGill University and MIT, respectively, and a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from MIT. He has published five books and monographs and dozens of shorter works on educational issues, in addition to many articles on telecom. Contact:  Founded in 1936, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth provides comprehensive legal services in the field of telecommunications. Details:

About the Roger Shuler and Legal Schnauzer

Roger Shuler is editor and publisher of the law-oriented Alabama website Legal Schnauzer.  Roger Shuler graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in journalism, and joined the Birmingham Post Herald, where he worked for 11 years.  Later, he worked at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in various editorial positions for 19 years until May 2008.  In June 2007 as a personal project, he created the Legal Schnauzer to be an independent web-based publication focusing on Alabama and national news.  Shuler has written extensively about the Don Siegelman case in Alabama and the Paul Minor case in Mississippi.  Details:

Oct. 22: DC Radio Hosts Sports Law Expert Kevin Goldberg On Access Restrictions To Coverage

October 22, 2009
Kevin Goldberg

Kevin Goldberg

Press freedom and sports law expert Kevin Goldberg described major new requirements by sports teams on media coverage on the Oct. 22 DC Update edition of My Technology Lawyer Radio. The show is available via the link, which includes past shows.

Goldberg this fall delivered a compelling lecture at the National Press Club here entitled, “The Price of Admission Gets Higher: Leagues Asking for More in Exchange for Access.” He explains why this is important to the public: “Sports are no longer just sports. In many communities, they are the news. These restrictive credentials have been adopted by all facets of the entertainment industry, at all levels.”

Update is co-hosted by the show’s founder and business radio pioneer Scott Draughon and by Washington commentator Andrew Kreig. The hosts begin the show with an update on Washington policy news affecting the nation’s business, politics and quality of life.

Goldberg, a leader in the field, described how the sports industry has learned from other segments of the entertainment industry to restrict media coverage to enhance profits and image. This greatly affects public understanding of sports teams at the professional and college level ─ with the new restrictions spreading even to high school or lower level games in some locales. Among his examples:

• Publications must agree that te league, venue or event own all copyright and other interest in the photographs, audio or video taken at the game, with the newspaper getting a license to use the work for narrowly defined news purposes only.

• Leagues and events require removal of photos, audio and video from a website.
Example 1: The National Football League imposed a daily limit of 45 seconds of audio or video interviews with players or coaches. It bans live and post-24-hour coverage.
Example 2: Major League Baseball bans live coverage and pictures after 72 hours unless linked to a specific game being covered.

• Little League World Series claimed ownership of all regional playoff photos, banning free ones.

• Louisiana High School Athletic Association barred credentials to girls playoffs photographers unless “newsprint.”

Also, Goldberg described potential solutions in specific situations for sports writers and generally.

About Kevin Goldberg
Kevin M. Goldberg is Special Counsel with Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, PLC. His expertise is in First Amendment, Copyright and Trademark issues, especially those relating to newspaper and Internet publishing. He regularly advocates issues involving freedom of speech on behalf of press organizations. Kevin also consults regularly with these organizations concerning the continued freedom of speech on the Internet, focusing on issues such as regulation and voluntary implementation of blocking software. Kevin assists newspapers and television and radio stations in prepublication review of stories for possible legal problems. In 2006, he was inducted into the National Freedom of Information Hall of Fame as one of 56 members for his service in pursuit of open government. Contact.

About Fletcher, Heald and Hildreth
Founded in 1936, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth provides comprehensive legal services in the field of telecommunications. Details.