TLJ News from December 21-25, 2011

Harper Collins Sues Open Media Over E-Book Distribution

12/23. HarperCollins filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court (SDNY) against Open Road Integrated Media alleging copyright infringement in connection the copying and distribution of an ebook version of the children's book titled "Julie of the Wolves".

The complaint alleges that HarperCollins holds the rights to this book, including ebook rights, and that Open Road is distributing it in electronic format to various web sites for sale to the public, including, Apple,, Kobo Books, and Sony Reader Store. See for example, Amazon Kindle web page for this book. Amazon sells its Kindle download of this book for $5.69.

HarperCollins pleads one count of copyright infringement under 17 U.S.C. 106.

HarperCollins seeks a declaration that Open Road is infringing its copyright, an injunction against copying, advertising, or distributing, statutory or actual damages as HarperCollins elects, profits earned by Open Road, and costs and attorney's fees.

The book at issue was first published in 1972. Harper Collins' complaint states that its agreement with the author grants it the exclusive right to publish the book "in book form," including via "computer, computer-stored, mechanical or other electronic means now known or hereafter invented."

GAO Reports on Extending FCC Auction Authority

12/23. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report [125 pages in PDF] titled "Commercial Spectrum: Plans and Actions to Meet Future Needs, Including Continued Use of Auctions".

It states that "Given the continued success of FCCs use of auctions, and the overwhelming support among experts and stakeholders for extending FCC's auction authority, Congress should consider extending FCCs auction authority beyond the current expiration date of September 30, 2012."

However, it also finds that these experts and stakeholders express different and conflicting opinions regarding potential changes to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) auction policies.

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12/23. President Obama signed into law HR 3765 [LOC | WW], the "Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011". It is now Public Law No. 112-78. See, White House news office release

12/23. President Obama signed into law HR 2055 [LOC | WW], the "Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012". It is now Public Law No. 112-74. See, White House news office release.

12/23. The Department of Commerce's (DOC) National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released a report titled "Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP): Quarterly Program Status Report".

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12/22. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted and released an Order that approves, subject to conditions, AT&T's acquisition of Qualcomm spectrum. AT&T stated in a release on December 22 that "it has received all required regulatory approvals for AT&Ts acquisition of spectrum from Qualcomm". AT&T stated in a release on December 29 that "it has completed its acquisition of spectrum from Qualcomm".

Go to News from December 16-20, 2011.