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Net Neutrality

Exposing the Copyright Neutering Movement's Biggest Deceptions -- Part 7 Defending First Principles

The copyright-neutering movement, which is fueled by free culture activists and Big Internet interests, regularly employs four deceptions in their lobbying efforts to weaken copyright law and change the public conversation about copyright.

The movement obviously seeks to distract political attention from the proven real-world problem of online piracy and the urgent need for more anti-piracy enforcement of online copyright-infringement and counterfeiting, to their artificially-manufactured problem that copyright itself is the problem because it limits free online "sharing" and "innovation without permission."

The four deceptions are:

  1. Advocate with deceptive "free" and "open" messaging.
  2. Claim copyright's power comes from industry lobbying.
  3. Represent infringers as victims.
  4. Rewrite the history of SOPA/PIPA.

 

1.  Advocate with deceptive "free" and "open" messaging.

Free culture and Big Internet interests view copyright-property-rights and enforcement of those rights as a threat and obstacle to the realization of their techtopian vision for the Internet where "free" means no cost (or online ad-funded), and "open" means taking without permission (no property online) and government regulation (net neutrality).

Implications of Google's Broadband Plans for Competition and Regulation -- Part 1 Modernization Consensus Series

Google's latest broadband pilot, experimenting with micro-cell (mesh) wireless broadband in its Mountain View headquarters, comes on top of Google Fiber's high-profile, commercial broadband pilot in Kansas City, that Google's CFO recently told investors was not a "hobby" but a real business opportunity.

These broadband pilots put a spotlight on Google's overall broadband plans and beg an analysis of the potential implications of Google's broadband plans for competition and regulation.

Summary of Conclusions:

  1. Securing much-faster broadband access for its users is a strategic imperative for Google.
  2. Google can offer much-faster broadband access, more widely, less expensively, and potentially more profitably, than conventional wisdom believes.
  3. Competitively Google is counting on favorable industrial policy to accelerate rollout of its broadband offering in the U.S.
  4. The more Google offers broadband access the more it will need modernization of obsolete communications laws.
  5. Potential FCC Title II regulation of broadband could be the single biggest threat to Google's ultra-fast broadband plans.

 

Net Neutrality's Misrepresentation of Free Speech -- Part 6 Defending First Principles Series

In defense of the FCC's Open Internet Order, which unilaterally mandates net neutrality, four former FCC Commissioners and Professor Susan Crawford argue to an Appeals Court that Verizon and broadband providers should enjoy no broadband freedom of speech under the Constitution.

Why are many of the biggest political supporters of net neutrality focusing their legal defense of net neutrality on the constitutional freedom of speech argument and not the main event of the case, the Comcast vs. FCC precedent, i.e. does the FCC have direct statutory authority to regulate the broadband Internet?

The reason probably has a lot more to do with politics than the Constitution. That's because the net neutrality movement has long analogized and politically marketed net neutrality to be like an individual's freedom of speech under the U.S. Constitution -- in a desperate attempt to make an arcane regulatory pricing issue relevant to the public and to mask that it is a solution of preemptively restricting freedom without evidence of a real freedom problem.

The net neutrality movement has long misrepresented the American Constitutional notion of freedom of speech in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights in two major ways.

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."

Professor Crawford's Obsolete Public Utility Thinking for Broadband -- My Daily Caller Op-ed

Please see my latest Daily Caller Op-ed "Professor Crawford's Obsolete Public Utility Thinking for Broadband" -- here.

  • It's a critical review of Professor Susan Crawford's new book on broadband and media concentration.
  • It's also Part 16 of my Obsolete Communications Law research series.

* * * * *

Obsolete Communications Law Research Series:

Note: Please see here for a summary powerpoint presentation of the problems with obsolete communications law.

The Uneconomics of Data Cap Price Regulation and Legislation -- Part 14 Broadband Internet Pricing Freedom Series

 

The latest attempts to subvert the competitive success of the current free market broadband Internet to advance the fantasy of abundance uneconomics and cost-less Internet commons is the New America Foundation's (NAF) white paper entitled: "Capping the Nation's Broadband Future? Dwindling competition is fueling the rise of increasingly costly and restrictive Internet usage caps;" and Senator Wyden's proposed "Data Cap Integrity Act" to have the FCC effectively price regulate broadband usage and ban traffic discrimination a la "net neutrality."

In a nutshell, the NAF paper argues competition, usage-based pricing and the profit motive ill-serve the broadband Internet consumer; thus the Government should prohibit the market-pricing model of broadband data caps.

In a nutshell, Senator Wyden's proposed legislation argues that broadband usage and tiered pricing harm consumers by discouraging Internet use, discriminating against high-bandwidth services, and inhibiting innovation because ISPs make money on heavy broadband usage. Thus the Government should price regulate competitive broadband companies to prevent extraction of "monopoly rents."

Don't Miss FSF's Book: Communications law and Policy in the Digital Age

For those who have been following my Obsolete Communications Law Series, and those interested in an outstanding and more in-depth free-market analysis of the many communications matters that demand modernization for the digital age, please don't miss: Communications Law and Policy in the Digital Age -- The Next Five Years, edited by Randy May of the Free State Foundation.

  • One can get it on Amazon here.

The important work and views of Randy May, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Seth Cooper, Christopher Yoo, James Speta, Michelle Connolly, Daniel Lyons, Ellen Goodman, and Bruce Owen are a must read for those who want to learn how we can vastly improve current obsolete and increasingly dysfunctional communications law and policy in the United States.

Kudos for an important book well done!


Google Fiber's Avoidance of Phone Service Makes Case for Obsolete Law -- Part 15 Obsolete Communications Law Series

This week Google's actions made the case that U.S. communications law and regulation is obsolete.

The Head of Google Fiber disclosed that Google considered offering phone services in Kansas City as part of its bundle of Gigabit "ultra high-speed" Internet service and TV offering, but declined to do so when they became familiar with the prohibitive morass of legacy analog federal and state telephone regulations with which Google would have had to comply. While acknowledging that the incremental cost of offering voice services would have been "almost nothing," Mr. Medin lamented that Google would have had to build a more complex billing system to comply with the various state calculations in Kansas and Missouri.

It is telling that with all the special tax breaks and large business subsidies that Google was offered to choose Kansas City as the pilot Google Fiber city, they were still not enough to offset the high operational, management, and regulatory costs to comply with legacy telephone regulations.

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.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths