32 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
The Telecom Digest for January 3, 2014
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Date: Wed, 1 Jan 2014 14:18:01 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: A Snapchat security breach affects 4.6 million users. Did Snapchat drag its feet on a fix? Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> A Snapchat security breach affects 4.6 million users. Did Snapchat drag its feet on a fix? By Brian Fung January 1, 2014 Snapchat users are waking up to troubling news: Thanks to a gap in the service's security, the phone numbers and usernames for as many as 4.6 million accounts have been downloaded by a Web site calling itself SnapchatDB.info. The hack appears to be real, affecting at least one member of the TechCrunch editorial team and possibly Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel himself. To see whether your account is among the compromised, you can use this basic Web site, whipped up by a couple of developers named Robbie Trencheny and Will Smidlein, that simply checks the list for your details. SnapchatDB reportedly gained access to the Snapchat data through a vulnerability disclosed by a group of security researchers last week. In a report posted on Christmas Day, Australia-based Gibson Security explained how the app's Android and iOS API could be hacked to expose user information. Two days later, Snapchat wrote a blog post saying it was no big deal -- that it had put in place some obstacles to "make it more difficult to do." ... http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2014/01/01/a-snapchat-security-breach-affects-4-6-million-users-did-snapchat-drag-its-feet-on-a-fix/ http://robbiet.us/snapchat/
Date: Thu, 2 Jan 2014 08:06:44 -0800 (PST) From: Neal McLain <email@example.com> To: firstname.lastname@example.org. Subject: Broadcasters want to keep Aereo out of FilmOn X appeal Message-ID: <email@example.com> By Josh Wein, FierceOnlineVideo, December 30, 2013, | TV broadcasters asked a federal appeals court in Washington, | D.C., to keep Aereo out of an appeal involving fellow | streaming provider FilmOn X last week. FilmOn X appealed a | preliminary injunction a lower court issued, blocking it from | operating. Earlier in December, Aereo asked for permission to | file an "amicus curiae" or "friend of the court" brief urging | the appeals court to overturn the injunction. | | Last week, lawyers representing Fox, NBC, Disney, CBS, | Allbritton and others asked the court to deny that motion, | court filings show. Under court rules, parties are allowed to | file such friendly briefs if they have either the consent of | both parties in the matter or permission from the court. | | "Aereo's proposed amicus brief 'essentially duplicates' | Appellants brief, offering nothing more than 'a few additional | citations not found in the parties brief and slightly more | analysis on some points,'" the broadcasters argued, citing | relevant case law. | | Should Aereo be granted permission to file the brief, it could | eventually ask for permission to participate in oral argument, | according to court rules. Aereo's legal team has had a better | track record than FilmOn X in defending its technology against | legal attacks from broadcasters. Source: http://tinyurl.com/nufabqy Neal McLain
Date: Wed, 1 Jan 2014 23:04:59 -0800 (PST) From: Neal McLain <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com. Subject: Re: D.C. Circuit Rejects Challenge to Sunsetting of Viewability Rule Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> I wrote: >> I agree that "retrans consent has a very different legal >> footing" vis-a-vis must-carry in the sense that each was >> created by a different section of the 1992 Cable Act. Both >> rights were created by that act; neither was created by >> copyright law. Garrett Wollman asked: > How is cable retransmission not an exercise of the copyright > owner's exclusive right of (digital) public performance? I didn't say it isn't. I said that the applicable law governing must-carry and retransmission-consent is communications law, not copyright law. That law (the Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992) regulates the conditions under which a cable operator may (or must) carry the signal of a broadcast station. It makes a few references to copyright law, but only to the extent that copyright law affects signal-carriage requirements. If a station licensee elects retransmission-consent, it may impose certain conditions on the cable operator, including payment of fees. One could argue that at least a portion of these fees reimburses the station for the copyright liabilities that it incurs for the programming it carries (and I'm sure the station would make that claim). If a station licensee's copyright liability increases as a result of changes, draconian or otherwise, in copyright law (or for any other reason), it can increase its retrans-consent fees to compensate. Such an increase would constitute an "exercise of the copyright owner's exclusive right of (digital) [or analog] public performance." Of course any increase in copyright liability would be a dandy excuse for the station to tack even more goodies onto the retrans-consent agreement. Take or leave it, cable guys! In any case, whatever the station does with retransmission consent, it is acting under rights granted to it by the Cable Act, not by the Copyright Act. None of the above affects the cable operator's own copyright liability. The Copyright Act of 1976 imposes direct copyright liability on cable operators. Under that act, every cable operator must submit copyright royalty payments to the Copyright Office for all broadcast programming it carries. I explained this in some detail in a 2002 T-D post at: http://tinyurl.com/pphctkk One change since 2002 however: the CARPs have been abolished, and its functions are now assigned to the Copyright Royalty Board, a unit of the Copyright Office. Neal McLain
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