Tuesday, June 28, 2005


BACKGROUND: Post by Susan Crawford about the Brand X case


It's More Important Than Grokster

by Susan at 01:46PM (EDT) on June 27, 2005 Permanent Link

The consequences of BrandX (also decided today) are more important than those of Grokster. Grokster keeps the status quo in place. BrandX opens up a whole new world of regulatory power.

"What?" you ask. "I thought BrandX was just about the access of little ISPs to big mean cable systems."

No. In fact, both opinions are the reverse of what they purport to be. The Grokster opinion gives certainty to tech companies. And the BrandX opinion takes it away again.

In BrandX, Justice Thomas gets very confused about the internet and ends up essentially announcing that everything a user does online is an "information service" being offered by the access provider. DNS, email (even if some other provider is making it available), applications, you name it -- they're all included in this package. And the FCC can make rules about these information services under its broad "ancillary jurisdiction."

This is very very big. This means that even though information services like IM and email don't have to pay tariffs or interconnect with others, they may (potentially) have to pay into the universal service fund, be subject to CALEA, provide enhanced 911 services, provide access to the disabled, and be subject to general consumer protection rules -- all the subjects of the FCC's IP-enabled services NPRM. I've blogged about this a good deal, and now it's coming true: the FCC is now squarely in charge of all internet-protocol enabled services.

The implications of all this are staggering. This is the real news from today. After the DC Circuit's ruling in the broadcast flag case, people may have thought that the FCC's "ancillary jurisdiction" was in trouble. No longer -- the FCC has been given an enormous jurisdictional surge in power. Even though its statute -- in my view, at least -- doesn't really
give it this authority.



LINK: To a PDF download of the Supreme Court's BrandX decision (fwd)


Full text of U.S. Supreme Court decision in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios
Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. . The court is sending the caseagainst Grokster
back to a lower court for trial.


LINK: To a PDF download of the Supreme Court's BrandX decision


Monday, June 27, 2005


BusinessWeek on Yahoo "deep search" -- the iTunes of news?


JUNE 27, 2005

Here Comes the iTunes of News

By Sarah Lacy
Business Week Online

Publishers are hooking up with the Web's search giants to give surfers access to individual articles for a small fee

When Web users wanted to carve up CDs and pay by the song, the music industry initially balked. But now that Netizens want the same thing from newspapers, magazines, and research reports, Web publishers are only too happy to oblige.

A big step toward this goal was taken on June 16, when Yahoo! (YHOO ) struck a deal with a smattering of publishers giving the portal permission to go beyond searching the free areas of their Web sites and into protected zones where readers would need to pay to access content. As a result, a search for, say "Microsoft news" could turn up a Wall Street Journal article or a Forrester Research report that's unavailable to the nonpaying public.

Rival search company Google (GOOG ) already does this on a handful of sites. But Yahoo has signed up a broader set of partners, including The Wall Street Journal Online, LexisNexis, Consumer Reports, and Forrester Research.

SPECIAL SEARCH. If Yahoo and Google can continue to persuade Web publishers to open their vaults, they could finally crack open the so-called "deep Web," or sites previously walled off to everyone but paying customers. Today, 67% of Internet users stop at Yahoo, Google, or Microsoft's (MSFT ) MSN for information before traveling to other destinations.


MarketWatch columnist quotes speculation about Google and micropayments


Coming soon: Net pay-per-view?

By Bambi Francisco, MarketWatch
Last Update: 8:31 PM ET June 23, 2005

Bambi Francisco is Internet editor for MarketWatch in San Francisco.

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- The killer application for new payment systems on the Web will be digital content.

That's the prediction from Kevin Lee, who often opines about the future of search and commerce. Lee is the co-founder and executive chairman of Did-It.com, a search-engine marketing company that helps marketers get the most bang for their search-advertising buck.

As Lee sees it, the true potential power that Google (GOOG: news, chart, profile) would have, if the world's biggest search engine were to offer an electronic wallet of its own, is to be the facilitator of digital media swapped back and forth on the Web.

The "real killer application potential of Google payments [is] pay-per-view content," Lee said in an e-mail.

"Searchers want great, high-quality content, and some of them will be willing to pay for it," he wrote. "I'm not just talking about the lofty $5 per article that a stock analyst report or medical document might fetch, but also the 8 cents searchers would pay for access to their favorite song lyrics, or 1 cent to read today's blog post by Al Franken or Rush Limbaugh," said Lee.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt, through a Google spokesman, confirmed that the company is working on an electronic payment service, but gave no further details.


EPIC: New version -- http://robinsloan.com/blogtorrent/

A new version of the Future of Newspapers multimedia presentation is at:


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