Digital Daily Dozen: 2/24/2016

Apple-FBI Fight Asks: Is Code Protected as Free Speech? (Bloomberg)

Is software merely a set of instructions, telling a computer what to do? Or is it a unique, creative work that expresses a point of view and is protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? The answers to these questions get to a key part of the legal fight between Apple Inc. and the U.S. government.   

With Smartphones Ubiquitous, Add-Ons Take Center Stage at Mobile World Congress  (Recode)

When everyone has clothes, it’s time to accessorize. That was basically the theme at this year’s Mobile World Congress. Sure, there were lots of new phones. But it was the devices that plug into smartphones that were of more interest on the Barcelona showroom floor.   

Yahoo Exec Calls Out Mobile Ad Blocker for ‘Destroying the Ecosystem’ (Ad Week) 

Speaking to a packed room full of marketers, execs from Google, Shine, Nestle, AOL and Yahoo talked about why consumers use mobile ad blockers and what marketers can do to improve the quality of online ads. Much of the talk specifically revolved around mobile ad blocker Shine and how it is working with carriers to remove ads.   

LPTV Threatens to Sue to Block Spectrum Auction (Broadcasting & Cable) 

LPTV operator Latina Broadcasters of Daytona Beach has asked the FCC to either stay its Feb. 12 decision not to let the broadcaster participate in the incentive auction or alternately delay the incentive auction, scheduled to launch March 29. It has given the FCC until Feb. 24 to make a decision, after which it says it will go to court.   

FBI chose moment well, raising stakes on Apple (USA Today)    

FBI Director James Comey chose well for his gambit to make law enforcement easier by trying to compel Apple to weaken a key feature of its most important product. Linking the government’s legal effort to the terrorist shootings is an effective way to remind everyone that the main job of law enforcement is keeping people safe.   

Fremantle’s Buzzr TV Facing Trademark Suit From Website (Hollywood Reporter)

In a move that’s sure to create a buzz in the digital entertainment world, a social website publisher is suing the production company behind American Idol for trademark infringement and unfair competition over its use of the term “Buzzr.”     

ESPN, Verizon Make Progress in Settling Lawsuit Over Custom TV (Hollywood Reporter)  

ESPN and Verizon have told a New York judge that they’ve made “progress in their ongoing settlement negotiations” and wish to pause a legal dispute. As a result, the sports network’s big lawsuit filed last April over skinny bundles — including a basic package without sports — might never get past the negotiating table again.   

AMC Moves to Fight Pirated Leaks of ‘Walking Dead,’ Other Original Series (Variety) 

AMC Networks has adopted new technology aimed at preventing shows like “The Walking Dead” from being consumed by hordes of Internet pirates before they air on TV. The cable programmer is embedding digital watermarks into episodes of original shows like “Walking Dead,” “Better Call Saul” and “Humans.”   

INTERNET FOR ALL NOW  (The Hill- Commentary)

Rarely is there a moment in time when just five people hold in their hands the destiny of millions, but such is the case for the FCC. In the next few weeks, the commissioners will decide on a Broadband Lifeline Program and the corporate consolidation application by Charter Communications to acquire Time Warner Cable and Bright House.   


In a short period of time, the Internet has become an influential arena for public debates about political and social issues. Around the world, many consider free expression in cyberspace to be a fundamental right. Majorities in 32 of 38 countries believe that allowing people to use the Internet without government censorship is important.   

It’s About Human Rights: Social Media Platforms Must Safeguard Citizen-Generated Content  (Huffington Post- Commentary)   

Content shared on social media has ever-increasing potential to be used as evidence of wartime atrocities and human rights violations. However, traditional social media models are stifling activists and burying evidence. There is a need for more tools and technologies built specifically for activists.   

O’Rielly: No Repack Changes Before Auction (Morning Consult)  

Commissioner Michael O’Rielly told broadcasters they will likely have to wait until after the FCC’s spectrum auction to see changes to the agency’s spectrum re-allocation process. “Deep concerns have been voiced over whether 39 months is sufficient to repack remaining broadcasters and the sufficiency of the overall budget.”   

Majority Of Mobile Users Say Apps Experience Disappoints (Media Post)

Sixty percent of mobile users said that their expectations of mobile experiences in apps have not been totally met. When that happens, 93% of mobile users say they would take action as a result, including making a complaint to customer services, purchasing from an alternate brand, or never purchasing from the offending brand again.