OVERNIGHT TECH: Group asks Supreme Court to strike down FCC’s indecency policy

THE LEDE: Media Access Project, a public-interest law firm, filed a brief on Thursday asking the Supreme Court to strike down the Federal Communications Commission’s indecency policy as unconstitutionally vague. 

The Supreme Court already ruled in the case, upholding the FCC’s fine on Fox for airing expletives during the Billboard Music Awards in 2002 and 2003. But the court only addressed whether the FCC’s fine was arbitrary, and sent the case back to a lower court to determine the policy’s constitutionality. That lower court struck down the FCC’s policy as violating the First Amendment, and the Supreme Court has agreed to re-hear the case.

{mosads}”The FCC’s indecency findings at issue in this case relied on application of an unconstitutionally vague, context-based policy,” the brief argues. 

The firm filed the brief on behalf of its clients, the Center for Creative Voices in Media and the Future of Music Coalition.

NinjaVideo co-founder pleads guilty: The co-founder of online video site pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit copyright infringement on Thursday.

NinjaVideo provided millions of users with unlicensed television shows and movies, prosecutors say. Most of the videos were free, but users who paid $25 had access to forums with a wider range of material. Some of the videos, including a copy of “Avatar,” were posted on NinjaVideo before they were released in theaters, according to court documents.  

Justin Dedemko admitted on Thursday that he loaded infringing content online and was involved in placing advertisements on the website. The two other co-founders pleaded guilty in September.

Dedemko’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for Feb. 24. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. 


Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said he will place a hold on President Obama’s two nominees to the Federal Communications Commission because the agency has refused to turn over documents related to wireless company LightSquared.

China and Russia are the leading perpetrators of using cyber attacks to conduct economic and industrial espionage against U.S. firms, according to a new report to Congress from the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive.

Senate Commerce ranking member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) called on the Senate to repeal the Federal Communications Commission’s net-neutrality rules during a press conference on Thursday.

The head of a tech trade association accused members of the House and Senate Judiciary committees of kowtowing to the interests of movie studios and record labels.

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