Clifford M. Harrington
As the Internet’s dynamic technologies revolutionize the communications world, Pillsbury has been at the forefront of this practice, representing trade associations that have pioneered both the Voice over Internet Protocol and webcasting industries, and some of the pioneering Internet service providers, web hosting companies and e-commerce businesses. We have represented webcasters on music licensing and other intellectual property issues and have also worked with those leading the way in providing broadband over power lines. Our areas of involvement include:
Voice over IP (VoIP)
We have played an integral role in developing the body of law that will govern the new services and applications delivered over the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). We represent individual companies and the leading VoIP trade association, counseling clients on the rapidly developing international, federal, and state regulatory environments for this technology. Our work in this area includes representation of clients in rulemaking proceedings before the FCC, state public utility commissions, the International Telecommunications Union, and the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission. Our partners regularly speak on VoIP issues at industry conferences.
Our practice team has been at the forefront of the streaming audio and video revolution and represents one of the most active streaming trade associations. The firm also works with radio broadcast stations and many of the most active independent webcasters, who provide radio-style programming and other services on the Internet. The firm provides advice to webcasters on software licenses, patent matters, and other business and regulatory issues.
The use of music on broadcast stations, the Internet, and other digital transmission systems is subject to a complex set of licensing obligations. We have dealt extensively with these obligations, and are one of the few firms with hands-on experience in negotiating the terms of the statutory license for the use of music for digital transmissions. Our firm represented one of the digital satellite radio companies with regard to its music licensing needs, and negotiated a statutory license for the use of digital music on the Internet for a group of small commercial webcasters.
Broadband Over Power Lines
Broadband over power lines (BPL) is an exciting technology that may deliver high-speed Internet connections to rural and other areas not served by other providers. The firm represents a leading manufacturer of BPL equipment and has been active in FCC proceedings to determine the proper regulatory structure for this new service. We have also prepared experimental filings used in connection with the testing of BPL equipment.