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Sep 27, 2016

Mitch Stoltz (@mitchstoltz) is a Senior Staff Attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Mitch works on cases where free speech and innovation collide with copyright and trademark law. His current projects include improving the legal environment for mobile software developers and tinkerers, fighting the use of copyright as a tool for censorship, litigation on the copyright status of mandatory safety codes, and legal analysis in the field of Internet television and video. Mitch also counsels clients on Internet video technology and open source software licensing.

Before joining EFF, Mitch was an associate at Constantine Cannon LLP in Washington DC, where he worked on antitrust and copyright litigation on behalf of consumer technology, advertising, medical, and transportation companies. He also represented technology companies and trade associations before the Federal Communications Commission and other agencies.

Long ago, in an Internet far far away, Mitch was Chief Security Engineer for the Mozilla Project at Netscape Communications (later AOL), where he worked to secure Web browsers against malicious Internet content and coordinated the security research efforts of hackers on three continents.

Mitch has a JD from Boston University and a BA in Public Policy and Computer Science from Pomona College, where he co-founded the student TV station Studio 47. When not working, he can be found tinkering with electronics or chasing new levels of suffering on a bicycle.

In this episode we discussed:

  • key issues in the FCC's controversial set-top box proceeding.
  • why copyright law does not apply in the context of set-top box manufacturers providing access to content consumers have already paid for.



Yahoo! was the latest target of what Yahoo company officials say was yet another state-sponsored hack into the servers of American institutions. It’s believed to be the largest hack of a single company, according to David Gelles of The New York Times. Some 500 million Yahoo user accounts were breached.

The intrusion came as company officials were putting the final touches on Verizon’s proposed $4.8 billion acquisition of Yahoo! Now experts are wondering whether the transaction is going to go through.
Jessica Guynn at USA Today obtained an email from Google revealing the tech giant’s plans to open a diversity-focused tech lab in Oakland, California. The city is more than half African American and Latino. The tech lab, which is a partnership with MIT Media Lab, is called Code Next, and it is slated to open in October. Code Next is expected to work with the Oakland Unified School District in its efforts to bring more minority students into the tech sector pipeline.
Jessica Guynn at USA Today also reported on Facebook’s new voter registration drive, which the company launched on Friday in the U.S. The company sent out voter registration reminders that sends users to, where they are guided through the registration process.

VR Company Oculus is doing damage control after it was discovered that the company’s co-Founder, Palmer Luckey, donated $10,000 to a group called Nimble America, which is basically a trolling site that calls itself a QUOTE “shitposting” meme generator to help drump up support for Donald Trump among younger voters.

Luckey apologized to his company and its partners. He says he is a libertarian who supports Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson.

Kyle Orland and Ars Technica has the full story.
Dating app Tinder and music streaming site Spotify announced a new partnership last week. Jacob Kastrenakes at the Verge reported last week that Tinder users will now be able to see each others’ last few songs they listened to. All users, whether they are Spotify users or not, will be able to feature their one favorite song on their profile.
Catherine Ho at the Washington Post reports that John Boehner is headed to Squire Patton Boggs-a major lobbying and law firm. Boehner has also joined the board of Reynolds American--the maker of Camel cigarettes. Boehner will reportedly not be lobbying congress but will instead be advising corporate clients on global business development.
Last week, the Government Accountability Office reported grim news to the President’s Commission on Enhancing Cybersecurity. The report states the number of cyber incidents involving the federal government has jumped 1,300% between 2005 and 2015. Joe Davidson at the Washington Post has the story.