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Did the Supreme Court just drive a stick into the spokes of the FCC’s Virtuous Cycle?

One of the most potent pending challenges to the FCC’s Open Internet Order will be based on the Supreme Court’s opinion last year in Utility Air Regulatory Group. That case, which the court has affirmatively cited several times this past term, rejected EPA efforts to “tailor” provisions of the Clean Air Act, effectively rewriting the Act to facilitate its policy goals. There is a strong – if not perfect – analogy to be drawn between the EPA’s approach to the Clean Air Act in that case and the FCC’s need to use forbearance in the Open Internet Order to make the rules viable. The court’s latest rejection of the EPA’s efforts to stretch the limits of the Clean Air Act to reach its own policy goals presents yet another potent challenge to the FCC’s Open Internet Order.

Why accountability and transparency need to be ICANN’s number one priority

This week’s 53rd public meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has been focused on the review of the accumulation of months of work on two different paths that are crossing over each other in the ICANN world: the transition of the IANA functions and the effort to improve ICANN accountability and transparency. The accountability issue deserves most of our attention, as it will have implications for how (and whether) the transition issue will be resolved.
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Copyright Office modernization efforts deserve broad support

Remarkably, in the year before a presidential election, the long-simmering issue of Copyright Office modernization seems to have reached its boiling point. GAO recently released two reports on the “serious [IT] management challenges” facing the Library of Congress and the Copyright Office. The Register of Copyrights also addressed similar issues in a recent report on technology issues. All those reports make a simple point: the outdated and ineffective IT procurement processes at the Library of Congress have forced the US Copyright Office to try to run a 21st century copyright system with 19th and 20th century technologies.