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The Uneconomics of Data Cap Price Regulation and Legislation -- Part 14 Broadband Internet Pricing Freedom SeriesSubmitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2012-12-20 18:00
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."
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2012-12-17 22:08
Please sing to the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas."
On the twelfth day of Christmas the FTC gave to me:
Twelve winkers winking
Eleven fibbers fibbing
Ten bluffs a bluffing
Nine Google's poodles
Eight flacks a flacking
Seven fawns a fawning
No enforce-ment! ...
Three big passes
Troubling Irregularities Mount in FTC Commissioners' Handling of Google Antitrust Investigation -- Part 14 Google Unaccountability SeriesSubmitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2012-12-17 00:25
The mounting number of unprecedented, inexplicable, and troubling irregularities in the FTC's cumulative law enforcement record of Google warrants oversight by Congress and renewed vigilance by other law enforcement officials -- State Attorneys General, the DOJ, and the European Commission -- in order to maintain the integrity and deterrent value of the antitrust law enforcement process.
Each of the following sets of facts and circumstances in the FTC's law enforcement experience with Google have raised eyebrows, together there is head-shaking cumulative evidence that reeks of either special treatment for Google or political interference by Google in the process.
Consider the following evidence to judge for yourself if something appears amiss here.
Only Google has been able to get FTC commissioners to twice politically overrule staff recommendations to prosecute after in-depth antitrust investigations, in approving Google-AdMob despite "serious concerns," and in rushing to close the current Google search bias investigation without seeking the most incriminating evidence available.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2012-12-14 11:13
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.
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!
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2012-12-13 14:28
Kudos to the Center For Individual Freedom CFIF for its outstanding paper: "The Constitutional and Historical Foundations of Copyright Protection" authored by former Solicitor General Paul D. Clement, Viet D. Dinh, and Jeffery M. Harris, all of whom clerked for the U.S. Supreme Court.
This paper is an exceptionally lucid and particularly timely addition to the current discourse on copyright, given the recent boomlet in revisionist copyright history proffered of late by opponents of copyright specifically, and intellectual property in general, who obviously have not done their homework.
The best new fact that I learned from the paper is that: philosopher "John Locke himself... argued in a 1694 letter to the Parliament that formal publishing rights should last for the life of the author plus seventy years."
That shows that the penultimate natural rights conservative, John Locke, would not find current copyright durations out of bounds.
Copyright Reform or Neutering? Depends If Baby's Thrown Out with Bathwater? -- Part 5 Defending First Principles SeriesSubmitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2012-12-12 13:23
Current attempts to deem consensus around copyright legislation appear contrived and one-sided because they isolate a particular copyright problem out of context of the other countervailing problems with copyright law. TechFreedom's event this week asks: "CopyRIGHT: Can Free-Marketers Agree on Copyright Reform?"
The initial question for free marketeers will be whether the goal here is true "reform" that addresses the full range of real copyright problems for copyright holders, users, and intermediaries, or if the goal is more about a one-sided "neutering" of copyright by those who don't believe in intellectual property rights at all, and/or those who politically seek a property-less and permission-less Internet commons (i.e. the "information wants to be free" tech-left of Professor Lessig's Free Culture/CopyLeft movement and the Google-led Internet lobby.)
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2012-12-10 16:33
Please don't miss my new Op-ed for The Hill here, entitled "Courts, Not FTC, Should Decide On Google Practices."
Simply, why shouldn't a court of law, based on the law, due process and the facts be the entity to ultimately decide if Google is guilty or innocent of deceptive search bias, not the FTC?
Why Conservatives Should Be Skeptical of Copyright Reform -- Part 4 Defending First Principles SeriesSubmitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2012-12-05 15:44
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.
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.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2012-12-04 18:10
While the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals gave the FCC a significant win in upholding the FCC's Data Roaming Order, the incremental, serpentine, and limiting way the court did it suggests that this same Court will likely not uphold the FCC's sweeping assertion of legislative-like Internet regulation authority in its Open Internet Order.
In upholding the Data Roaming Order, the Court was faced with a set of facts where the FCC already had clear authority to require mobile voice roaming and the question was whether the FCC had enough authority to extend it to data roaming. In excruciating legal detail, the Court explained why the FCC had the Title III radio authority for this limited action and why the FCC "warrants deference" in this "gray area" of determining when a service is or isn't common carrier. Nevertheless, the court warned the FCC to not try and overreach beyond the narrow boundaries that the court allowed.
Simply, the court gave the FCC more leash in this set of circumstances, but still warned they remained on the court's leash.
Oversight Questions for FTC's Handling of Google Antitrust Probe -- Part 12 Google Unaccountability SeriesSubmitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2012-11-30 11:55
The number and seriousness of irregularities, deficiencies, and unanswered questions in the FTC's antitrust investigation of Google's alleged search bias warrant oversight by the Senate and House Antitrust Subcommittees and investigative reporting by the media.