Communications & Media Administrative Agency

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Communications & Media issues written by leading professionals.
News & Analysis as of

OSHA Announces Request for Information on Communication Tower Safety

On April 15, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published in the Federal Register a Request for Information (RFI) on Communication Tower Safety. The agency requests that the communication tower industry...more

IRS Ordered to Make Non-Profit Form 990s Available In a Useful Electronic Format

Federal agencies cannot avoid their obligation to disclose public records in modern electronic formats merely by invoking budgetary constraints, a judge has ruled in a rare decision exploring the scope of the Electronic...more

Can You Lawfully Prohibit Secret Recordings in the Workplace?

It is a safe bet that most if not all of your employees own a mobile or smart phone. It is also a safe bet that those phones have the capability of capturing pictures, taking video and recording conversations. ...more

CFPB Files Suit and Obtains Injunction Against Participants of Alleged Illegal Debt Collection Scheme

On April 8, the CFPB announced that it filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on March 26 against participants in an allegedly illegal debt collection operation, involving...more

USAC Releases 2015 Federal Poverty Guidelines for the Lifeline Program

The Department of Health and Human Services released an update to the federal poverty guidelines (“FPG”) for 2015 for the 48 states and DC, Alaska, and Hawaii. In order to qualify for the Lifeline program, an applicant must...more

FCC Enters Into $25 Million Settlement Following Cell Phone Carrier Data Breach

On April 8, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a $25 million settlement with an international telecommunications carrier concerning the unauthorized release of the personal information of nearly 280,000...more

FDA Increasing Scrutiny of Cosmetic Marketing Claims, New Agency Warnings Suggest

In addition to truthful and non-misleading advertising requirements, which are enforced by the FTC and certainly familiar to readers of this blog, personal care and cosmetic products are also subject to the Federal Food,...more

CFPB Continues Focus on Mortgage Lender Advertising

Last week, the CFPB announced an enforcement action against RMK Financial Corporation d/b/a Majestic Home Loans (RMK) related to deceptive mortgage advertising practices....more

Analysis: The Supreme Court’s B&B Hardware Decision Could Have a Significant Impact on Trademark Infringement Disputes

On March 24, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court held that, under certain circumstances, rulings by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) on the core issue of “likelihood of confusion” in...more

FTC Settles with Technology Company for Allegedly Misleading Consumers about Refunds

On April 7, the FTC announced a proposed settlement of an administrative complaint alleging that a web hosting provider violated the Federal Trade Commission Act. According to the press release, the company offered web...more

This Changes Everything: The FCC Open Internet Report and Order on Remand, Declaratory Ruling, and Order

I. Not Your Father’s Broadband - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on March 12, 2015, released a new template for future regulation of a basket of mass market retail services it has named “broadband Internet...more

The FCC Just Upped the Ante for Communications Providers and the FTC with a $25 Million Fine, a Detailed Information Security...

The FCC has been warning communications companies for months that protecting consumer privacy and information security is a top priority, and the recent announcement of a $25 million settlement with AT&T over its alleged...more

AT&T Pays $25 Million in FCC Settlement

In the largest ever data security enforcement action taken by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), AT&T agreed to pay $25 million to resolve an investigation into consumer privacy violations at its call centers in...more

FCC Imposes Record Penalty for Data Breach

On Wednesday, April 8, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) entered a consent decree and levied a $25 million civil penalty against AT&T to settle a data breach that exposed the information of nearly 280,000 customers....more

Why Trademark Owners Should Care about the B&B Hardware Decision

On March 24, 2015, the Supreme Court decided the case of B&B Hardware v. Hargis Indus. This case represented a long-standing trademark battle brought in both federal court and before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds FDA’s Primary Jurisdiction Over “Natural” Labeling On Cosmetics But Orders Stay Rather Than Dismissal

Plaintiffs’ lawyers love to challenge products labeled as “natural,” with hundreds of false advertising class actions filed in just the last few years. Recently, in Astiana v. Hain Celestial (pdf), the Ninth Circuit reversed...more

Google’s Pole Attachment Rights in California on Hold for Now

The California Public Utilities CPUC (CPUC) released a Proposed Decision on February 20, 2015 denying a petition by Google Fiber Inc. (Google) to modify the CPUC’s Video Service Provider Decision or DIVCA Order. Google’s...more

FCC Enforcement Bureau Stays Pole Attachment Complaint Proceeding Pending Completion of Arbitration

In a March 16, 2015 Letter Ruling, the Market Disputes Resolution Division of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau granted a request by Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC (“Duke”) for a stay in a pole attachment complaint proceeding brought...more

California Updates Existing Utility Pole Rules to Improve Safety and Reliability

The California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) released a unanimous decision amending the rules governing design, construction, and maintenance of outdoor overhead power and communication lines. The 16 amendments are...more

NLRB Report Targets Unlawful Employer Handbook Rules

On March 18, the National Labor Relations Board's Office of the General Counsel (OGC) published a Report Concerning Employer Rules that discusses a variety of employee handbook rules addressed by the board in recent cases....more

Don't Underestimate the Importance of TTAB Proceedings

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, B&B Hardware, Inc. v. Hargis Industries, Inc., heightens the importance of often-neglected trademark conflict administrative proceedings in the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board....more

Will the FCC Answer Calls to Clarify the TCPA?

We can now count an FCC Commissioner among those imploring the agency to act on the growing number of pending petitions asking for much needed clarification of regulations promulgated under the Telephone Consumer Protection...more

Alert: FCC Continues Aggressive Action on Data Breaches

As noted in previous alerts, the FCC has dramatically increased its enforcement of data security practices and breaches resulting from what the FCC considers to be inadequate security measures. ...more

SEC Files Fraud Action Tied To Sale of Cellular Licensing

The sale of spectrum to operate cell phones can yield millions of dollars in profits. This notion was at the center of an action brought by the SEC against six individuals and eleven entities. Investors who purchased...more

FDA Regulatory and Compliance Monthly Recap – March 2015

In This Issue: - FDA issues guidance on meetings between agency and sponsors to promote consistency and effectiveness - FDA approves Novartis’ Zarxio as the first biosimilar in the U.S., clearing the drug for...more

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