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Timothy B. Lee

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Posted at 08:40 AM ET, 07/29/2011

The Circuit: FCC staff on LightSquared waiver; GOP and net neutrality; Google faces patent complaints

LEADING THE DAY: Staff members from the Federal Communications Commission’s international bureau told an analyst that they had no part in a crucial waiver that fast-tracked approval for LightSquare’s ground and satellite broadband network, The Washington Post reported.

An FCC official denied the allegation to The Post, saying that the international bureau had, in fact, drafted the waiver, which allowed the company to convert its satellite businesses into a broadband business.

House GOP asks for net neutrality disclosure: The House Energy and Commerce Committee is pressing the FCC for information on how it came up with its rules regarding net neutrality. On Thursday, committee chairman Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Reps. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) sent a letter to the agency requesting e-mails, document, memos and other communications related to the agency’s deliberations over the rules

Consumer rights advocacy group Public Knowledge said that it supports the inquiry’s call for full, public disclosure. Public Knowledge President and co-founder Gigi Sohn called for the release of documents from all commissioners offices and said, “This examination should not be a partisan witch hunt.”

Google faces patent complaints over video encoding: Google’s VP8 video encoding technology is under fire as 12 organizations say it violates their patents, CNET reported Friday. According to a group called MPEG LA, which declined to name the companies to CNET, the patents already have been “found to be essential” to VP8. The report said that Google obtained the rights to the technology through its 2010 acquisition of On2 Technologies and is working to form a group to tamp down fears of patent lawsuits.

Google, which faces the spectre of a number of patent lawsuits, recently acquired patents from IBM to add to its patent portfolio, Bloomberg reported. The company recently lost a bid for Canadian tech giant Nortel’s patents last month to a consortium of competitors.

House panel passes anti-child porn law: The House Judiciary committee passed a highly controversial bill Thursday that would require Internet service providers to retain IP addresses. The bill, aimed at helping law-enforcement officials track down those viewing and distributing child pornography, drew criticism from electronic privacy groups who argued the bill is too far reaching and does little to fight the problem.

Groupon’s bookkeeping: Groupon’s bookkeeping may cause “digestive problems” at the Securities and Exchange Commission, former SEC executive Richard Sauer told Bloomberg Businessweek. The company’s initial public offering S-1 paperwork uses a non-standard measure of calculating its income, which could require the company to revise its filing and possibly delay its IPO.

By  |  08:40 AM ET, 07/29/2011

Tags:  FCC, LightSquared, Broadband, Net Neutrality, IP, Kids Online, Groupon, SEC

 
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