American Society of Magazine Editors

MPA Washington Newsletter – February 25, 2013



February 25, 2013


USPS Surprises with Unilateral Five-Day Delivery Announcement; Senate Holds Hearing on Postal Crisis

Despite years of declarations that a move to five-day delivery required congressional action, the United States Postal Service (USPS), on February 6th, announced its intent to eliminate Saturday delivery of mail beginning August 5, 2013 – with or without congressional action.  In a statement released the same day as the announcement, MPA expressed concern, but a willingness to cooperate with the Postal Service as they seek to right-size their infrastructure...Read More

MPA Helps Strike First Amendment Chilling Provision from Senate Intelligence Bill

Using legislative tactics they tried unsuccessfully earlier in the year, the sponsors of S. 3454, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, recently attempted once again to “hotline” a bill containing a section with serious First Amendment implications...Read More

Federal Trade Commission Issues Revamped Final COPPA Rules; Addresses MPA Concerns

Two and a half years after initiating a review of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA), in late December the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued its long-awaited final amendments to the rule.  As issued, the Commission recognized the concerns and objections MPA raised in comments submitted in September, and did not proceed with some of the proposed changes that could have led to a dramatic expansion of websites covered by COPPA...Read More

Federal Trade Commission Continues Focus on Privacy

As part of their ongoing effort on privacy, a trio of privacy-related developments emerged from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as 2012 drew to a close...Read More

Discussions on Mobile Transparency Continue; Congress Gets Started, Too

Continuing a process started in August of 2012, the Department of Commerce, under the auspices of the NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) continues to hold “stakeholder meetings” in an effort to create a voluntary code of conduct for mobile app transparency.  The most recent meeting was the tenth the NTIA has held...Read More

State Efforts to Regulate Marketing Techniques & Eliminate Magazine Subscription Tax Exemptions Get an Early Start

Not even a month into 2013, legislators in several states, (including Connecticut, New York and Maryland) introduced bills attempting to regulate automatic renewals and negative option offers...Read More

MPA Files Comments on Copyright Office Orphan Works Notice of Inquiry

In October, the Copyright Office issued a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) relating to the subject of orphan works – an original work of authorship for which a good faith prospective user cannot readily identify and/or locate the copyright owner in a situation where permission for use is necessary.  Though the Copyright Office has looked at the issue before, the latest NOI asks respondents for information on two questions:  1) what is the state of play on “one off” uses of orphan works?  2) What are the issues raised by orphan works in the context of mass digitization (i.e., the Google Books project)?...Read More

Quick Hits

113th Congress Brings New Committee Chairs: Key committees in both the Senate and House have new committee chairs. Of note, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs new Chairman is Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) replacing Senator Lieberman (I-CT) who did not run for another term. The new ranking Republican on the committee is Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), who follows Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) after she reached her term limit as Ranking Republican on the committee. In the House, Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) has become Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary after Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) was term limited out as Chair. …Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus Holds Briefing on Data Brokers: In December, Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus Co-Chairs Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Representative Joe Barton (R-TX) held a congressional briefing with privacy advocates, FTC Commissioners, and data brokers. The briefing followed an inquiry about how data brokers operate and how consumer information is collected and shared with third-parties. ... FTC Concludes Investigation into Google Anti-Trust Claims; Possibility of EU Action Still Pending: In January, the FTC concluded its anti-trust investigation of Google, with the determination that there was insufficient evidence to enforce any anti-trust action. Google, however, is still facing inquiries by the European Commission (EC) and the European Union (EU) has issued strong statements suggesting impending action. At the end of January, Google filed a proposal with the EC, hoping to avoid anti-trust action on issues such as search bias, diversion of traffic, improper use of third-party content, and exclusive agreements with third-party publishers. … California Attorney General Releases Mobile Privacy Report: Stemming from an agreement between the California Attorney General’s office and the six largest app platform providers, in January the California AG’s office issued a report titled “Privacy on the Go.” The report makes several recommendations on the types of privacy policy disclosures that should be used by companies utilizing mobile apps and could serve as the basis for legislative proposals in California.