You are here

Open Source

The open source model of operation and decision making allows concurrent input of different agendas, approaches and priorities, and differs from the more closed, centralized models of development. -from Wikipedia:

New App-Based AllVid Proposal Smokes-out Google & Public Knowledge’s Agenda

Are the FCC’s set-top-box proposed rules really about unlocking the set-top-box to competition or are they really about advancing Google and Public Knowledge’s real agenda – forced unlocking of the licensing and copyright protections of the underlying video programming that generates ~$200b in annual revenues?

In response to the FCC Chairman’s request for an alternative approach to the FCC’s current AllVid proposed rules, the Pay TV coalition has proposed an app-based solution that solves all of the FCC’s publicly-stated problems with cable set-top boxes.

Google’s Growing US Search/Android Share Complicates FCC’s AllVid Proposal

[Note: this blog was submitted to the FCC as a reply comment in the AllVid Set Top Box NPRM.]

As more evidence comes to light exposing Google’s much increased search and Android dominance in the U.S. since the FTC closed its search and Android antitrust probes in January 2013, it only becomes clearer that the FCC’s AllVid proposed rulemaking to “Unlock the [set-top] Box” is obviously anticompetitive overall, not pro-competitive as the FCC naively claims.

(A brief context refresh is needed here. In a nutshell, Google is the primary impetus behind the FCC’s controversial AllVid set top box proposal that would force U.S. pay-TV providers to effectively open-source  cable set-top boxes and the $200b worth of proprietary video programming/information that flows through them, so that Google and other edge platforms could monetize that proprietary video programming without a license -- for free.

How Oracle v. Google Magnifies Google’s Android Antitrust Vulnerabilities

1 Oracle v. Google case + 1 EU Android Tying Case = 3

While the U.S. Oracle v. Google Java API copyright case that will recommence in public court this month has been completely independent of the EU Google-Android antitrust case, in sovereign jurisdiction, type of law, legal process, timetable and alleged offense, these two cases ultimately could have huge, much underappreciated implications for each other, because they are both about the same thing -- purposeful illegal actions that Google chose to do to extend its search-related dominance into mobile via  Android.


The Bitcoin/Virtual Currency Bubble – Beware of the Alchemy of “Abundance Economics” – Part 2 The Code War Series

Bubbles happen because people ignore economics and assume away reality in their excitement over a new idea. “Virtual currencies” could be the latest tech “economics of abundance” bubble in the making. Fans of abundance economics imagine that the free and open Internet’s near zero marginal cost of borderless transactions will ultimately slay traditional economics of scarcity.

Cyber-utopians imagine that currency, or money, is a simple function, like any other product or service that they have made openly available to everyone in the world at virtually no cost on the Internet. They imagine the only thing that matters with the business of money is how money is transmitted.

They assume creating money is just a coding and crowd-sourcing task. How hard could that be? What possibly could go wrong? It’s only money.

Why Google is America’s Cybersecurity Achilles Heel -- Part 14 Security is Google’s Achilles Heel Series

Every system has a most vulnerable point, an Achilles heel. The overwhelming evidence below indicates that Google is America’s cybersecurity Achilles heel.

While America faces a plethora of serious cybersecurity vulnerabilities, Google’s unique scale, scope, tracking, and centralization puts Google alone at the pinnacle of America’s cybersecurity vulnerabilities, in a class all by itself.

Simply, hackers understand Google is by far the world’s single most-comprehensive source of intimate surveillance information on people and their behaviors, while also being the major entity that is least-committed culturally to protecting people’s security, privacy, and property.

What is The Code War?

Ever wonder why there are so many never ending tech policy and political battles?

Why there are so many recurring:

  • Content battles over copyright and anti-piracy enforcement?
  • Software battles over open source versus proprietary software and the legitimacy of software patents?
  • Broadband battles over net neutrality, data caps, and spectrum allocations?
  • General battles over online privacy, surveillance, cybersecurity, and hacking?

Ever wonder why so many of the same people and entities are involved in the same tech policy and political battles over and over again?

The answer is it is an ideological struggle, but not the 20th century kind with which most people are familiar, for example like progressive vs. conservative, or republican vs. democrat. This is a new and different kind of ideological struggle between realspace and cyberspace that is unique to the 21st century and to the Internet Age.

Mr. Khanna’s Call to Arms Over Cellphone Unlocking is More Copyright Misrepresentation -- Part 8: Defending First Principles Series

Free culture activist, Derek Khanna, has thrust himself into the limelight again with yet more misrepresentations of copyright law. His latest copyright-neutering effort is a “call to arms” to “the digital generation” to oppose a Librarian of Congress 1998 DMCA copyright ruling, that it is illegal to break into a cell-phone’s software in order to “unlock” it -- without the permission of, or payment to, the software’s owner.  

The Google Lobby Defines Big Internet's Policy Agenda -- Part 6 Internet as Oz Series

Google not only dominates the web, the Google Lobby also dominates Big Internet's policy agenda in Washington in part via its new proxy, the Internet Association, the self-appointed "unified voice of the Internet economy."

Since market dominance attracts antitrust scrutiny, it necessitates lobbying dominance. The FTC's antitrust investigation prompted Google to hire twelve lobbying firms in a week and to rapidly organize them and legions of law and PR firms into one of the top corporate lobbying operations influencing Washington. Tellingly, a Wall Street Journal op-ed lionized "Google's $25 Million Bargain" lobby and Politico got behind-the-scenes to explain "How Google Beat the Feds."

Why Conservatives Should Be Skeptical of Copyright Reform -- Part 4 Defending First Principles Series

There are many strong reasons for conservatives to be skeptical of proposed copyright reform and new entreaties for conservatives to actually lead a copyright reform effort.

  • Jerry Brito of the Mercatus Center argues the opposite in his introduction to the new book: "Copyright Unbalanced: from Incentive to Excess." In his introduction, "Why Conservatives and Libertarians Should Be Skeptical of Congress' Copyright Regime" Mr. Brito concludes that conservatives may find they "are the best situated to lead a reform" of copyright law.

While Mr. Brito's reasoned intro shows why there is a legitimate debate to be had concerning the Constitutional definition of "limited times" to authors for "their respective writings" and provides some context to justify his position, Mr. Brito does not provide the full context necessary for conservatives to make an informed decision of whether or not they should support copyright reform let alone lead the charge for it.

Let's examine the strong reasons conservatives should be skeptical here.

The Copyright Education of Mr. Khanna -- Part 2 Defending First Principles Series

Mr. Derek Khanna, a new Republican Study Committee (RSC) staffer, distributed a policy brief on copyright "myths" last Friday that the Committee very quickly disavowed and pulled down because it had not been vetted to ensure that it fairly represented the Republican Study Committee's views. Don't expect this policy brief to ever get the official support of RSC because Mr. Khanna has obviously and grossly mischaracterized Constitutional first principles, property rights, and free markets beyond recognition.

There are at least five fundamental flaws in Mr. Khanna's characterizations.

1. Congresses and Supreme Courts have not totally misread the Constitution for over 200 years.

Mr. Khanna's effective assertion that two centuries of Congressional and Supreme Court interpretation of the U.S. Constitution's treatment of property rights, and copyrights in particular, are really "myths" that misinterpret what he posits the Founding Fathers really meant to do in promoting "progress of science and the useful arts," puts his opinion squarely at odds with America's two centuries of experience with Constitutional rule of law.


Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths