Daniel Lyons

Daniel Lyons

Daniel Lyons is a visiting fellow with AEI's Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy, and an associate professor at Boston College Law School, where he specializes in telecommunications and Internet regulation, as well as administrative law. Professor Lyons’ scholarship focuses on the challenges that technological development poses for legacy regulatory regimes. Among other topics, he has written on technology convergence and the need to redefine the boundary between federal and state jurisdiction over telecommunications; the relationship between net neutrality and traditional common carriage; and the importance of allowing pricing innovation in broadband markets. He is also a member of the Board of Academic Advisors for the Free State Foundation and a Fellow with the Boston Bar Association. Before joining the faculty, Professor Lyons practiced energy and telecommunications law at Munger, Tolles & Olson and at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles. Professor Lyons earned both his bachelor’s degree and juris doctorate from Harvard University and after graduation, he clerked for Hon. Cynthia Holcomb Hall on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, California.

Comcast’s usage-based pricing memo: Much ado about nothing

Net neutrality advocates made much of last week’s reddit post outlining Comcast’s guidance to call center representatives regarding usage-based pricing. The document supposedly “revealed” the company’s nefarious purpose behind its usage-based pricing trials: to charge customers based on the amount they use the company’s broadband service. But it should come as no surprise that Comcast behaves like virtually every company in America except all-you-can-eat buffets.

Creative lawyering and the rebirth of the anti-cybersquatting statute

At the height of the late-1990s Internet land grab, Congress passed the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), which sought to bring trademark law to cyberspace by prohibiting the bad-faith registration of a domain name similar to a protected mark. The act had a brief but active life in federal courts, before falling into disuse as domain names became settled property and social media began replacing the web as our primary destination online. But recent litigation has breathed new life into this old statute as a tool for small businesses to avoid extortion by web developers, showing how creative lawyering can repurpose older laws in ways that Congress could not have anticipated.
Supreme Court by Shutterstock.com

The FCC’s Open Internet order on the line as the Supreme Court challenges agency deference

A quiet revolution may be brewing in administrative law. For over thirty years, the Chevron doctrine has dominated the legal landscape, requiring courts to give significant deference to federal agency interpretations of the statutes that those agencies administer. But recent Supreme Court decisions, and in particular two cases on the current court’s docket, may signal that the justices are increasingly uncomfortable with the amount of power this doctrine has vested in unelected agency officials – and their decisions may significantly dampen the FCC’s decade-long attempt to construct a law of the Internet.

Amazon is playing with fire, but shouldn’t get burned by regulators

The Titans of Silicon Valley have long battled for control of the television, that stubborn holdout in the living room that has long resisted being dragged into the Internet age. This battle heated up last week when Amazon banned the sale of Apple TV or Google’s Chromecast units on its site. The announcement triggered a deluge of criticism, including calls by some to investigate whether the decision violates antitrust laws. But these calls are misguided. Amazon’s new strategy likely falls in the “unwise but not illegal” category. Consumers can – and likely will – make their displeasure known through market behavior, without the need for a regulator to help Amazon get the message.
Ten Republican US presidential candidates debate at the first official Republican presidential debate of the 2016 campaign August 6, 2015. REUTERS

It’s time to retire the Equal-Time Rules

Politicians are increasingly becoming a staple of late-night television. Stephen Colbert began his reign on the Late Show with GOP contender Jeb Bush on his couch, and welcomed Vice President Joe Biden later that week. To compete, NBC courted frenemy Donald Trump to appear on the Tonight Show. Of course, this trend began with President Obama, who in 2009 became the first sitting president to appear on a late-night talk show – and has gone back fourteen times since, including four times during his re-election year. As the line between politician and celebrity continues to blur, and viewers increasingly demand to see their candidates in late-night settings, it is time to revisit the arcane rules governing broadcasters’ responsibilities to cover political issues and candidates “fairly.”