The Catholic University of America



Communications Law Program’s Annual Symposium Tackles Hottest Topics of 2013

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In a nearly four-hour discussion covering everything from cyber security to the possible fate of broadcast TV commercials, the annual symposium sponsored by the Columbus School of Law’s Communications Law Institute and its journal, CommLaw Conspectus, offered substance and expertise across a number of issues at the forefront of communications law today.
The April 4 forum, "Global Challenges to Communications Law and Policy in an Age of Austerity" featured expert panelists who discussed Congress’s latest legislative initiatives for securing the nation’s most sensitive computer networks from outside attack, as well as analysis of the “Hopper” controversy.
The Hopper DVR is a device that permits Dish Networks subscribers to record television and then instantly fast-forward past all the commercials. The gadget has stirred the ire of broadcasters who depend on commercial revenue. So far, courts have refused to issue a preliminary injunction to shut down the service.
As in recent years, the symposium was again hosted by the law firm Wiley Rein at its downtown D.C. conference center.
The keynote address was delivered by Ambassador David Gross, a Wiley Rein partner and the former U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, U.S. State Department (2001-2009).
Speakers represented private industry, trade organizations and government agencies, the latter category including FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai.
Catholic University law school Professor Donna Gregg, director of Catholic University’s Institute for Communications Law Studies, moderated at morning panel titled “New Considerations in Communications Policy.”
Outside sponsors of the symposium include T-Mobile, Communications Daily, and CTIA, the Wireless Association.