Weiser, Philip J. 1968(?)-

views updated

Weiser, Philip J. 1968(?)-

PERSONAL:

Born c. 1968. Education: Swarthmore College, B.A. (high honors), 1990; New York University School of Law, J.D. (high honors), 1994.

ADDRESSES:

Office—University of Colorado Law School, 404 Wolf Law Bldg., 401 UCB, Boulder, CO 80309-0401. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

United States Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, Washington, DC, senior counsel to the assistant attorney general; University of Colorado School of Law, Boulder, associate professor, 1999-2006, professor of law and telecommunications, 2006—, associate dean for research, 2007—; Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship, founder and director, 2000—; previously served as a law clerk for Justices Byron R. White and Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the United States Supreme Court, and Judge David Ebel at the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, Washington, DC. Princeton Law and Public Affairs Program, Princeton, NJ, visiting professor, 2001-02; University of Pennsylvania School of Law, Philadelphia, visiting professor, 2006.

MEMBER:

Jewish Community Relations Council, Colorado Innovation Council (cochair, 2007—), Telecommunications Policy Research Conference (member of board), Rose Community Foundation Jewish Life Committee.

WRITINGS:

(With Jonathan E. Nuechterlein) Digital Crossroads: American Telecommunications Policy in the Internet Age, MIT Press (Cambridge, MA), 2005.

(With others) Telecommunications Law and Policy, Carolina Academic Press (Durham, NC), 2006.

Clearing the Air: Convergence and the Safety Enterprise, Aspen Institute, 2006.

The Future of Video: New Approaches to Communications Regulations, Aspen Institute, 2007.

A Framework for National Broadband Policy, Aspen Institute, 2008.

Contributor to journals, including the Fordham Law Review, Columbia Law Review, New York University Law Review, Journal of Communications Law and Policy, Policy Studies, and the University of Michigan Law Review. Contributor to periodicals, including the Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, and the Rocky Mountain News.

SIDELIGHTS:

Attorney and writer Philip J. Weiser was educated at Swarthmore College, where he graduated with his undergraduate degree with high honors. He then continued his education at the New York University School of Law, earning his J.D. in 1994 and again graduating with high honors. He spent time clerking for several prestigious judges, including United States Supreme Court Justices Byron R. White and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Judge David Ebel at the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, Washington, DC. Weiser eventually went to work at the United States Department of Justice, where he served as senior counsel, in an advisory capacity related to telecommunications, to the assistant attorney general for the Antitrust Department. He then went on to join the faculty of the University of Colorado Law School at Boulder, where he serves as professor of law and associate dean for research, and the Interdisciplinary Telecommunications Program. He is also the director of the Silicon Flatirons Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship. His areas of research and academic interest include telecommunications law, Internet law, antitrust law, intellectual property, and constitutional law. Weiser has contributed to various periodicals, including journals such as the Fordham Law Review, Columbia Law Review, New York University Law Review, Journal of Communications Law and Policy, Policy Studies, and the University of Michigan Law Review, and to periodicals such as the Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, and the Rocky Mountain News. He is also the author of several monographs, including Clearing the Air: Convergence and the Safety Enterprise, The Future of Video: New Approaches to Communications Regulations, and A Framework for National Broadband Policy, all published by the Aspen Institute. In addition, he has written Digital Crossroads: American Telecommunications Policy in the Internet Age, in collaboration with Jonathan E. Nuechterlein, and Telecommunications Law and Policy.

In Digital Crossroads, Weiser and Nuechterlein tackle the weighty subject of the development of the telecommunications industry, and all the ways in which it has altered due to advances in technology as well as changes to the economy and to the legal environment, particularly in relation to telecommunications regulations. These changes have been especially affected by the emergence of Internet technology as a major means of communications. Weiser and Nuechterlein each bring their impressive backgrounds to bear on this subject, with Weiser's time at the Department of Justice balancing Nuechterlein's experiences with the Federal Communications Commission. They have geared their book toward individuals not currently working in the telecommunications field who are nevertheless interested in the industry and in understanding the rapid alterations to the landscape as they touch on other types of business. The book starts with an overview of the telecommunications industry as a whole, then goes on to itemize all of the issues that will present a challenge to the system going forward, including developments in technology, the economy, and policy. They also discuss the Internet as a means of communications and the ways in which it affects competition within the telecommunications industry. They go on to touch on various types of new devices, such as Internet telephone protocols, known as VoIP, wireless mobile telecommunications services, and digital television. Weiser and Nuechterlein discuss how changes in these types of technology have resulted in a rapid decline in the use of standard services in favor of new devices and services that rely on more modern technology.

Beyond explaining these technologies and alterations in the telecommunications landscape to the average reader, Weiser and Nuechterlein set out to provide their own analysis of the subject and the future of the industry in an effort to aid with future policy that might regulate these new facets of the telecommunications realm. Rather than taking sides or making suggestions, the authors chronicle the various options that might be available in the future depending on the further development of the newer forms of communications and their results. They also point out potential conflicts and how suitable different policies might be in light of these. They then look at other industries, as well as the political and economic landscape, to determine how each touches upon the telecommunications industry and how changes in these other areas might impact the continued success and progress of telecommunications. One of their primary examples focuses on the way opposing sides in various forms of legislation frequently cause a stalemate situation that effectively ties the hands of the legislative body in question. This can hinder progress, and also force the telecommunications industry into a situation where competition fails to spur growth. Rather than allowing outside influences to cause these types of logjams, Weiser and Nuechterlein stress the need to apply similar regulatory guidelines to all entities that could be considered similar, eliminating the stalemate situations and in-fighting among the various competitors.

Digital Crossroads met with favorable reviews upon its publication. James A. Montanye, in the Independent Review, wrote that Weiser and Nuechterlein's effort makes for a "readable, comprehensive, and thoroughly documented tutorial covering the policy aspects of voice, data, video, and Internet services." He went on to state that "it provides just enough technical detail and economic background to place the policy issues in perspective. The book is certain to become a primary reference for industry practitioners, regulators, attorneys, historians, and students," and concluded that he found it "a welcome contribution to the telecommunications policy literature." Kathleen Wallman, a contributor to the Federal Communications Law Journal, remarked in her review of Digital Crossroads that "the book keeps the reader's eye trained on the horizon by unifying the details of policy with higher level themes in regulation." She went on to state: "The approach of the book is boldly interdisciplinary, with the authors … making no apology for wading into explanations of economic and engineering subjects that telecommunications policy students and practitioners simply must understand." Finally, Wallman pointed out that "a final challenge for a work in this field is its ability to remain current, or at least relevant…. But this work is positioned to have a great shot at righting itself in the waves." She cited added material updated on the publisher's Web site as just one example of this effort to remain current.

Weiser told CA: "My general motivation for writing is to influence and elevate the policymaking process. With respect to Digital Crossroads, my coauthor and I believed that policymakers and students of telecommunications policy needed and deserved a book that could provide a clear and fair-minded guide to the challenging policy issues of the Internet age.

"I have a number of influences, including the judges I clerked for, all of whom helped me improve greatly as a writer; a number of professors at Swarthmore and NYU Law, notably F.M. Scherer who taught me about the economics of technological change; and Alfred Kahn, who demonstrates how serious academic work can be important to advancing regulatory reform.

"Start writing as soon as possible and remember that ‘there is no good writing, only good re-writing.’

"The most surprising thing I have learned as a writer is that it is very hard work.

"My first book, Digital Crossroads, is my favorite because it was such an ambitious project and we were able to complete it successfully.

"I home my books will inspire students and policy-makers to be enthusiastic about telecommunications policy issues and approach them with rigor and care."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Federal Communications Law Journal, May, 2005, Kathleen Wallman, review of Digital Crossroads: American Telecommunications Policy in the Internet Age, p. 579.

Independent Review, summer, 2006, James A. Montanye, review of Digital Crossroads, p. 151.

Industry Week, April 2005, "Transforming Telecommunications," p. 18.

Journal of Economic Literature, September, 2005, review of Digital Crossroads, p. 901.

Law and Politics Book Review, May, 2005, Ann Bartow, review of Digital Crossroads.

ONLINE

University of Colorado Law School Web site,http://lawweb.colorado.edu/ (March 26, 2008), faculty profile.