Items tagged with legislation

The right to repair movement is about to get a much needed boost. The Massachusetts state legislature plans to host a public hearing regarding their “Digital Right to Repair” bills. Many anticipate that this will be the largest hearing in support of this kind of legislation. Many have argued that the policies of large tech companies have hurt consumers and small businesses. The proposed legislation would “establish fair and reasonable terms for providing diagnostic, service or repair information and services for digital electronic products.” Manufacturers would also be prohibited from installing software on a device that would prevent it from being repaired by a third-party.... Read more...
The debate surrounding net neutrality is going to court.The United States Justice Department is suing the state of California over their new net neutrality law. The lawsuit will decide whether federal or state governments can enact laws that affect national telecommunication companies.    The suit was filed on Sunday with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. Governor Jerry Brown recently signed a bill that prevents companies like Verizon and AT&T from slowing or blocking Internet traffic. Companies are also unable to allow unlimited access to certain sites while blocking others. The bill is intended to protect consumers and undo the laws enacted... Read more...
There's a new non-profit lobbying group in town, the Download Fairness Coalition, and it wants to stop double or triple taxation practices that states charge on digitally downloaded purchases, like music, movies or books. The group has pushed for, and gotten, a new bill dubbed the Digital Goods and Services Tax Fairness Act. The bill was introduced in the Senate last week by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and John Thune (R-S.D.). It's House counterpart was introduced by Judiciary Chair Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Steve Cohen (D-TN).  States with shrinking revenues are looking at ways to fix their shortfalls and many of them have latched onto taxing digital downloads. This may be fine, if it... Read more...
According to people familiar with the matter, the Federal Communications Commission plans to open an inquiry into Google's Voice service, looking into how the service works and whether or not the Internet giant is restricting calls. Earlier this week, a group of 20 Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives who mostly represent rural areas wrote a letter to the FCC asking it to investigate Google's ability to block calls."We are formally requesting an investigation by the FCC into the nature and function of Google Inc's voice service," they wrote in the letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. The FCC has already sought information from Google and AT&T. At the heart... Read more...
AAA recently declared a goal to ban texting while driving. The automobile club is not alone. Yesterday, the Obama administration said it would seek to ban text messaging by interstate bus drivers and truckers and would encourage states to pass their own laws against driving cars while distracted. According to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the administration also plans to put restrictions on cell phone use by rail operators, truck drivers, and interstate bus drivers. "Driving while distracted should just feel wrong — just as driving without a seat belt or driving while intoxicated," LaHood said at the end of a two-day conference on the problem. "We're not going to break everyone of their... Read more...
Currently, games are rated by the ESRB after they're sent a video showing the most graphic parts of a game. However, Republican Senator Sam Brownback is proposing that the ESRB play each and every game before slapping a rating on it. While it may seem like a good idea, to fully examine a game's content before making a decision on it, many of todays games contain hours upon hours of gameplay, which could dramatically increase the time it takes for a game to be released. Is it really necessary, or just overkill? "The thing that bothers me about all this noise (and it is noise) is that the ESRB is already doing a good job. There has been... Read more...