Werbach's kick-ass spectrum paper

Kevin Werbach — former counsel for New Technology Policy at the FCC — has released a 88-page draft of a whitepaper on spectrum allocation called "SUPERCOMMONS: Toward a Unified Theory of Wireless Communication." From the opening sentence ("A specter is haunting spectrum policy – the specter of commons.") to the real nut-grafs (Buried on page 55! Kevin, this should be on PAGE ONE!):

In short, fair use is outside but not opposed to the exclusive rights copyright grants. It is a realm of unconstrained sharing that balances a complex array of competing claims on
published work. All of these rationales can be applied to supercommons transmissions
around the exclusive transmission rights that administrative licensing or private ownership
guarantee. The primary difference is that fair use is limited to functions such as education and parody that do not directly compete with the primary commercial exploitation of the work.
The supercommons is a full-fledged communications space that may be utilized for any

The universal access privilege, in effect, says that any transmission that is not otherwise
prohibited is allowed, though whether it is subject to a Hohfeldian privilege depends on
whether it exceeds a flexible set of boundaries developed through decentralized legal
mechanisms. This proposal reverses the current approach, under which actions must be
expressly authorized by the government, or in a property regime by the property owner. It
resembles the unambiguous language of the First Amendment, which is nonetheless is limited
and balanced in application.

this paper is provocative, comprehensive, lucid and brilliant. If you want to understand how spectrum came to be allocated the way it is today; how the spectrum auctions of the 80s took place, how the new property and commons models of spectrum allocation arose; how they differ, and what a credible path forward to universal connectivity through the public's airwaves is, you've come to the right place. Bravo!

495K PDF Link

(via Werblog)