You are here

Freedom of Speech

FCC Creates "Abundant" Uncertainty -- Part 12: Broadband Internet Pricing Freedom Series

Unfortunately, the FCC Chairman's remarks to a Silicon Valley audience last week -- trumpeting his new concern for "anything that depresses broadband usage" -- are creating abundant uncertainty for broadband businesses and investors.

Specifically, Gigaom reported: "When asked about the impact of data caps on broadband innovation by my colleague Janko Roettgers and how his thinking had evolved on the topic, the chairman said he was concerned about data caps. He added, “Anything that depresses broadband usage is something that we need to be really concerned about.” And he further said, “We should all be concerned with anything that is incompatible with the psychology of abundance.”

This appears to signal a stupefying 180-degree reversal of the FCC Chairman's well-established policy position on broadband usage pricing.

Four Under-Appreciated Implications for Google from Apple-Samsung Verdict -- Part 11 of Google's Disrespect for Property Series

Apple's major $1.05b patent court victory over Google-Android partner Samsung has four under-appreciated implications for Google going forward.

  1. The purported Google-Apple settlement talks are going nowhere.
  2. Google-Apple patent talks compound antitrust risk.
  3. Google's actions, defense strategy, and IP track record drip of guilt and legal vulnerability.
  4. Google's acquisition of Motorola has backfired badly.

1.  The purported Google-Apple settlement talks are going nowhere.

Think about it. Whose interest is it to spotlight a phone conversation between Google's CEO Larry Page and Apple CEO Tim Cook and characterize the conversation as an indicator of a coming "truce" or "détente" in the thermonuclear war" between Apple and Google? Google's alone.

FCC's Slippery Slope to Regulating Content, Speech, and the Press

Please see my latest Daily Caller op-ed: "FCC's Slippery Slope to Regulating Content, Speech, and the Press" here. It urges the FCC to swiftly overturn their Administrative Judge's ruling in the wrong-headed Comcast-Tennis Channel decision.

*****

Obsolete Communications Law Op-ed Series:

Part 1: "Obsolete communications law stifles innovation, harms consumers"

EU-Google Antitrust Primer -- Top Ten Questions & Answers

In preparation for the EU antitrust authorities likely Statement of Objections against Google, Precursor has assembled a primer that answers the top-ten most likely and important questions many will have about the EU's action. Please see the primer here.

Top 10 EU-Google Antitrust Questions & Answers

 

Google's Labeling Antitrust Remedy: "One Trick Away" -- A Satire

 

Attorney-Client Privileged Communication

Confidential Memorandum For: Larry Page, Google CEO

From: Google's Mensa Legal & PR Brain Trust

Subject: Recommendation to settle EU/FTC antitrust complaints with a labeling remedy

You tasked us to be more innovative in solving our antitrust problem. We have succeeded. We are now one trick away from absolving Google from all of its antitrust liability.

Our plan is to deploy Google responsibility-evasion algorithm #784923, code-named "Lipstick on a rhino," which our calculations indicate has an 91.265918735% chance of success, given expected temperatures in Brussels, the wing speed of a butterfly in Sumatra, news that Google plans to rank highest, and most importantly the data we have collected and analyzed on the antitrust decision-makers' proclivities and intentions via Google's knowledge of their: search history, website-visits, scanned-emails, wiretapped-routers, hard drive files, DNA sequences, and Google X's artificial intelligence intention-discernment-algorithms.

Many of Google's brightest engineers have read and wholeheartedly support our antitrust-liability-evasion design document, but per company practice none will ever admit to having read it. In addition, a scientific poll of Google's 16,337 PR spokespeople resulted in 102% of them voting yes that they could sell our proposed responsibility-evasion plan to the public.

SCOTUS Indecency Ruling's Effect on Net Neutrality

The Supreme Court's 8-0 decision on FCC vs. Fox, vacated the FCC's indecency penalties against Fox and ABC for "fleeting expletives and momentary nudity" because the FCC violated constitutional "due process protection against vague regulations" for failing to provide fair notice of what would be "actionably indecent."

How is this decision relevant to net neutrality?

First, "net neutrality" is like "obscenity" or "indecency", in that it's often in the eye of the beholder, and is devilishly difficult to define definitively. The tweet-length provision of law in question (Section 1464) is: "Whoever utters any obscene, indecent, or profane language by means of radio communications shall be fined…"

The term "net neutrality" -- that proponents have gone so far as to hype as "the first amendment of the Internet" -- can be found nowhere in law. The concept is wholly organic to the FCC, in that it started as a concept in a speech that called for no regulation for it, became an unenforceable FCC policy statement, was then used as the basis for an enforcement action, and then became an FCC order that has been challenged in court for being unconstitutional, arbitrary and capricious, and without statutory authority.

Poll: Americans Not With Internet Lobby on SOPA/PIPA

A recent poll from JZ Analytics on how Americans view the problem of online piracy and online counterfeit goods – the problem that anti-piracy legislation (SOPA/PIPA) attempted to address -- indicates that Americans’ views overall are different than the several million subset of Americans that signed Google’s and other’s online petitions opposing the anti-piracy legislation as “censorship” that would “break the Internet.” The poll also indicates Americans have concerns with Google’s record and stance on piracy.

The JZ Analytics online survey of 1,001 Americans was conducted December 27-28, 2011 and has a margin of error of +/-3.2%.

I. Summary of Poll Results:

A. General Questions

Spotlighting Threat of UN Regulation of Internet at CPAC Today

I will  be on the CPAC Digital Liberty panel today with FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, Kelly Cobb of ATR and Ryan Radia of CEI.

The very important sleeper issue I expect we will spotlight for the CPAC audience is the imminent threat to the Internet from a China/Russia-led effort to get the United Nations' International Telecommunications Union to regulate the Internet similar to the way they regulate telephony and postal service, via a renegotiation of the treaty that affects telecommunications in Dubai in December 2012.

UN regulation of the Internet would kill the proverbial goose that laid the golden egg, by locking in the past and making innovation difficult in the future.

This is a not so subtle effort to undermine and slow America's high tech innovation leadership in the world by miring U.S. Internet companies in the ITU regulatory swamp.

UN regulation of the Internet is a big, under-appreciated, looming threat to freedom and economic growth.

Where's the Market for Online Privacy?

Why are market forces so weak in protecting users’ online privacy?

The main reason is that the online marketplace is economically structured around users being a commodity, data, to be aggregated and mined, not customers to be served and protected in a competitive marketplace. That’s because the overriding economic force that created the free and open commercial Internet – the predominant Silicon Valley venture capital/IPO value creation model – was and remains largely antithetical to protecting online privacy.

The Silicon Valley venture capital/IPO driven model is laser-focused on achieving Internet audience/user scale fastest in order to gain first-mover advantage and then rapid dominance of a new product or service segment. This predominant Internet economic model is predicated on a precious few investments achieving such rapid user scale that it: warrants a buy-out at an enormous premium multiple; enables fast and exceptionally-profitable liquidity (via the new secondary derivative market for private venture shares or employee options); or broad liquidity via a public IPO.

What is the essential critical element of achieving audience/user scale fastest? Free. No direct cost to the user fuels fastest, frictionless, viral adoption. This free economic model presupposes online advertising as an eventual monetization mechanism and shuns products and services directly paid for by the user because their inherent time-to-market is too slow and their upfront sunk cost of sales and customer service is too high for this predominant value creation model.

Pages