A new report by the non-profit watchdog group the Sunlight Foundation (as reported on by Ars Technica) shows that a "shadowy organization with ties to the Koch Brothers" convinced 772,000 people to oppose "Internet regulation" and send comments to the Federal Communications Commission during the second public comment phase relat
Oral arguments will be heard Tuesday in a Rhode Island Superior Court hearing to determine whether soon-to-be former Rhode Island Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis abused the judiciary system. The case revolves around Mollis involving the RI Superior Court in his administrative hearings investigating "unregistered lobbying" by attorney Michael Corso on behalf of 38 Studios prior to the company receiving a state-backed loan for $75 million loan in 2010.
According to the Providence Journal, a hearing set up by Rhode Island Secretary of State A. Ralph Mollis hopes to get answers from former Red Sox pitcher and 38 Studios founder Curt Schilling about his lobbying efforts in the state prior to the RI government green lighting a $75 million loan deal for his company.
Target 12 News out of Providence, Rhode Island is reporting that the Rhode Island Secretary of State's office held its first hearing focusing on the alleged lobbying activities of former 38 Studios board member Thomas Zaccagnino on Thursday. Zaccagnino was not present at the hearing, according to the report.
The fight over attorney Michael Corso's part in allegedly lobbying Rhode Island officials is far from over, as highlight by the Providence Journal. Last week, hearing officer Louis DeSimone issued a decision giving attorney Michael Corso seven days to file lobbyist disclosure reports or pay a $2,000 fine.
A hearing related to the failed $75 million loan deal for former Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling's video game company 38 Studios that was supposed to take place yesterday (July 17) has been rescheduled for early August. Some of the key players in the deal were asked to attend, including Curt Schilling, Michael Corso - who represented the company as its legal counsel - and Thomas Zaccagnino, one of the company’s board members.
US Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) has always been opposed to the FCC regulating anything, but she has been particularly outspoken about the FCC's Open Internet Order since it was introduced in 2010. To that point, Rep. Blackburn recently said that she wants to make sure the FCC never interferes with "states' rights" to protect private Internet service providers from having to compete against municipal broadband networks.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says that state laws seeking to stop community-run broadband initiatives have to be dealt with, but he has not said how the agency plans to take on the thorny issue. In at least 20 states there are already legal restriction in place to thwart municipal broadband networks. Many of these laws or regulations were put in place with the help of campaign cash from ISPs, telecom companies (both regional and national) and trade groups representing these industries.
Richard Licht, director of the R.I. Department of Administration for Gov. Lincoln Chafee, said that he met with Michael Corso twice to talk about getting 38 Studios tax credits. Corso is an attorney who signed a $300,000 contract with Curt Schilling's game development company to lobby government officials in the state.
A news report on 38 Studios' alleged lobbying of the Rhode Island government prior to its $75 million loan deal in the state has sparked an investigation through the Rhode Island Secretary of State's office, according to WPRI.
The day after Comcast announced its intentions to buy out Time Warner Cable, it mobilized its army of lobbyists and consultants to gauge the atmosphere in Washington D.C concerning the deal. The company has no problem lobbying lawmakers and padding their campaigns with cash to get the job done either.
Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) said in a new report that it would push hard for the passage of an national Internet sales tax law and for better data privacy regulations this year. In its annual policy agenda, the trade group highlighted the issues it deemed to be of grave importance this year. A federal law to deal with online sales tax is at the top of the list. The group, which represents traditional retailers, believes that having a national sales tax collection law will levy the playing field so that online-only retailers don't have an advantage.
According to a Wall Street Journal report (membership required), the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) spent a considerable amount of money and effort in fighting anti-videogame laws in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maryland, and New Jersey - and in Oklahoma last year. Many of the bills have either died or are locked in legislative committees waiting for approval.
The ESA is also taking aim at a federal bill, according to records and a co-sponsor of the bill.
Michael Powell, a former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman (under President George W Bush) and now President and CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA), recently said that ISPs should be moving with urgency to implement data caps on their customers.
His remarks, chronicled by Multichannel News at the recent Cable-Tec Expo in Atlanta, were in response to a question about data caps.
In an extensive report on lobbying efforts in Washington, Games Industry International reveals that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) spends more on lobbying efforts than the National Rifle Association - on paper, at least. But in reality a good lobbyist knows all the tricks of influence peddling through other spending that doesn't have to be reported because it isn't technically considered lobbying.
According to The Hill, IBM - as a strong supporter of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) - will send over 100 executives to Washington D.C. to hold nearly 300 meetings with lawmakers over a two-day period.
"We’re going to put our shoe leather where our mouth is," Chris Padilla, vice president of governmental affairs at IBM, told The Hill.
The Hill reports that the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has hired former Capitol Hill aides Ali Amirhooshmand and Danielle Rodman. Amirhooshmand and Rodman will serve as directors of federal government affairs for the games industry lobbying organization.
If a town or city wants to have their own broadband infrastructure, they should be able to build it as long as it doesn't cost the state it is in taxpayer dollars. But there's a quiet movement - a greasing of the wheels, if you like - to put a stop to that by telcos and low-end broadband providers that rely on old infrastructure. The latest state to try and legislate limits on what towns and cities can do to improve broadband is in Georgia, where state lawmakers have introduced Georgia House Bill 282, or "the Municipal Broadband Investment Act."
Reuters is reporting that the National Rifle Association, victims of gun violence, gun safety groups, gun owners, and unnamed representatives from the film and video game industries will meet with Vice-President Joe Biden's task force set up to come up with solutions and answers in the wake of the Sandy Hook elementary school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut that resulted in the death of 20 children and six adults.
Applications for the scholarships to be awarded by the EMA Scholarship Foundation are due by March 1, 2013, the Entertainment Merchants Association announced this week. These academic scholarships will be awarded to employees of EMA-member companies and their immediate family members who plan on "undertaking undergraduate and graduate study on a full-time basis." Those selected for the scholarships will receive up to $6,000 total, which will be issued on an annual basis. More details below:
The lead lobbyist for Comcast freely admits that he used the promise of a new low-cost internet service for poor people as leverage against the FCC when the company was seeking to merge with NBC Universal in 2009. The news comes from a Washington Post profile DC lobbyist David Cohen, who has led Comcast's policy and lobbying efforts in the capital for over a decade.
Last week we wrote a story about how the Center for Copyright Information (CCI) had named Stroz Friedberg to be its "impartial and independent technology expert" to review claims of copyright infringement as part of the new "Six Strikes" enforcement rules. The "Six Strikes" system was agreed upon by the MPAA, RIAA, and five major ISPs but one of the core tenets was that it would have an independent body to investigate the validity of claims of copyright infringement against file-sharers.
Longtime Internet trade group NetCoalition is slowly shutting down its advocacy and lobbying operations after a decade of services to the technology industry. The news comes from new termination reports during the recent lobbying quarter from the three major firms that conducted D.C. business for NetCoalition (TwinLogic Strategies, Jochum Shore & Trossevin PC and Moore Consulting). Those reports state that these groups will no longer be working for the group.
Next month the "Six Strikes" system to deal with online piracy and illegal file-sharing will be fully operational in the United States. The new rules - mutually agreed on by several major ISP's and trade groups representing intellectual property holders (the RIAA, and the MPAA) required that copyright infringement claims be investigated by an external company. This was one of the sticking points for ISPs and rightsholders seemed to happily comply.
The Entertainment Software Association of Canada announced that Jayson Hilchie is the new president and CEO of the lobbying group for the Canadian video game industry. Before taking on this new leadership role, Hilchie previously served in a similar role at Nova Scotia Business Inc., where he helped foster growth in that region's video game industry by aiding such studios as Longtail, Frontier Developments, and Radian6 establish offices in Halifax.