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Mozilla v. FCC, The New Net Neutrality Case

By: Daniel Norton

On February 1st, 2019, the D.C. Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case Mozilla Corp. v. FCC. The premise of the case is that Mozilla, and several other interested parties, have sued the FCC over the Restoring Internet Freedom Order’s reclassification of internet services as information services rather than telecommunications services under the Telecommunications Act of 1996. A telecommunications service is one that transmits unaltered information while an information service is used for “generating, acquiring, storing, transforming, processing, retrieving, utilizing, or making available information.” This classification is important as the D.C. Court of Appeals has held that the FCC cannot enforce net neutrality against Internet Access Providers if they are classified as telecommunications services, but they can if the IAPs are classified as telecommunications services. The 2015 Open Internet Order classified IAPs services to be telecommunications while the 2017 Restoring Internet Freedom Order reclassified IAPs services as information services. Continue reading »

Opportunity Zones: An Opportunity for Investors to Give Back

By: Samantha Moench

The Trump Administration enacted the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “TCJA”) on December 22, 2017. It is claimed to be one of the most aggressive tax reforms in history. Not only did it change the tax brackets and taxation of corporate tax incentives, but it also introduced a new innovative tax incentive designed to encourage investment in economically distressed areas throughout the United States. Continue reading »

MMA: Modifying the Future of Streaming

By: Amber Razzano

The passage of the Music Modernization Act (“MMA”) brings copyright law up to the speed of the modern era. The MMA consists of three parts: (1) Music Licensing Modernization; (2) Compensating Legacy Artists for Their Songs, Service, and Important Contributions to Society (“CLASSICS”); and (3) Allocation for Music Producers (“AMP”). The first part of this Act, Music Licensing Modernization, “replaces the existing song-by-song compulsory licensing structure for making and distributing musical works with a blanket licensing system for digital music providers to make and distribute digital phonorecord deliveries.” This is meant to allow easier payment to “rights holders” whenever their music is streamed online.

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Targeted Job Advertisements, Failing the Fine Line of Title VII Discrimination Charges

By: Amber Razzano

Social media sites have the ability to provide tools for employers to assist with their search for candidates with specific qualifications, however, the improper use of this information is a blurry line. The EEOC’s position remains that personal information “may not be used to make employment decisions on prohibited bases, such as race, gender, national origin, color, religion, age, disability, or genetic information.”

https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwitg_jggqXgAhWmiOAKHbktDo0QjRx6BAgBEAU&url=https%3A%2F%2Fcommons.wikimedia.org%2Fwiki%2FFile%3AF_icon.svg&psig=AOvVaw1Hy92QRW39oN12-BhJ8SB6&ust=1549470808911078In recent months, the EEOC issued a Charge of Discrimination brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against Facebook. The Charge alleges the company violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (“Title VII”) with its employment advertising, recruitment, and hiring, as well as state and local anti-discriminatory statutes. The City of Greensboro has also been charged for distributing ads for a number of different positions via Facebook’s ad platform, including the position of Officer at the Greensboro Police Department. The charging parties accuse Facebook of “enabling, encouraging, and assisting a number of employers and employment agencies, including Greensboro, to unlawfully target their advertisements based on sex and age, and for delivering the ads in a discriminatory manner” in exchange for payment. Facebook and other social media platforms have become dominated by advertisements, especially in relation to the labor market. This alleged discriminatory practice could profoundly affect those individuals, regardless of which gender they identify as, in search of a job. Continue reading »

A Massive Overhaul of Music Copyright Law is Just Around the Corner

By: Matthew Hooker, Summer Blogger

https://pixabay.com/en/music-on-your-smartphone-spotify-1796117/Copyright laws may be getting a major overhaul soon. On June 28, 2018, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a revised and amended version of the Music Modernization Act. The Act, if passed, will likely bring about the most dramatic changes to U.S. music copyright law since the Copyright Act of 1976. The House of Representatives already passed the bill in April 2018, so passage by the full Senate is the last big step before it lands on the president’s desk.  Continue reading »