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Cell Phone Cost Calculator Killed In Canada 214 writes "Internet and law genius Michael Geist writes about some shenanigans by the cell phone carriers and the Canadian government in his column in The Star. Canadian taxpayers funded a 'Cell Phone Cost Calculator' so that the average person could theoretically wade through the disjointed and incongruent package offerings. The calculator wound up being yanked a couple weeks before launch. Geist suggests that the major cell carriers lobbied the appropriate public officials to have the program nixed because it would bite into their profit if the general public could make sense out of pricing and fees. Geist continues, 'Sensing that [Tony] Clement (Industry Minister) was facing pressure to block the calculator, Canadian consumer groups wrote to the minister, urging him to stick with it.' Moving forward, Michael makes a novel suggestion, one that would show an immense level of understanding by the government: 'With public dollars having funded the mothballed project, the government should now consider releasing the calculator's source code and enable other groups to pick up where the OCA (Office of Consumer Affairs) left off.'"

Court of Appeals Rejects FCC's Cable Subscriber Cap 87

olsmeister writes "The US Court of Appeals Friday threw out the FCC's cap on the number of cable subscribers one operator can serve, saying the FCC was 'derelict' in not giving DBS its due as a legitimate competitor. 'We agree with Comcast that the 30% subscriber limit is arbitrary and capricious. We therefore grant the petition and vacate the Rule,' said the court, which concluded that there was ample evidence of an increasingly competitive communications marketplace and that cable did not have undue control on the programming pipeline. The FCC commissioner's statement (PDF) is available online."

Biden Promises 'Right Person' As Copyright Czar 492

Hugh Pickens writes "Vice President Joe Biden lauded Hollywood at a gala dinner in Washington, assailed movie piracy, and promised film executives that the Obama administration would pick 'the right person' as its copyright czar. Biden warned of the harms of piracy at the private event organized by the Motion Picture Association of America in the sumptuous, newly renovated Great Hall of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. 'It's pure theft, stolen from the artists and quite frankly from the American people as consequence of loss of jobs and as a consequence of loss of income,' Biden said, according to a White House pool report. Biden addressed President Obama's forthcoming decision about who will be named the intellectual-property enforcement coordinator, better known as the copyright czar. Under a law approved by the US Congress last October, Obama is required to appoint someone to coordinate the administration's IP enforcement efforts and prepare annual reports. Copyright industry lobbyists sent a letter to the president asking him to pick someone sympathetic to their concerns, while groups that would curb copyright law sent their own letter (PDF) urging the opposite approach. We 'will find the right person for intellectual property czar,' Biden said."

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg