Will wireless e-book technology be subject to U.S. federal control?

Ronald K.L. Collins, a First Amendment scholar at First Amendment Center, had a piece published on January 15th, New e-book may 'kindle' fires of regulation — or of freedom, in which he points out that the transmission of e-books through wireless connectivity could be subject to regulation by the U.S. Federal Communication Commission.

But what separates Bezos’ Kindle from competing e-book devices, like the Sony Reader, is its continuous wireless connectivity via EVDO broadband service, the kind offered by advanced cell-phone carriers. That technology allows users to download content anywhere, not just at Wi-Fi hotspots.

That technological fact means that the FCC might one day try to regulate Kindle’s content, because that agency administers the law governing cell phones and other wireless devices, as well as broadcast licensees under the Communications Act of 1934 as amended.

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