Keeping the Internet Open (Even for Those Who Would Prefer it Closed)

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2 comments posted

As both an ISP and a

Submitted by Brett Glass (not verified) on October 1, 2009 - 1:06pm.

As both an ISP and a musician, I think you may want to reconsider your position. The proposed regulation would enable copyright infringement and music piracy by making ISPs leery of blocking even the most egregious illegal conduct without a court order. Want to see your album sales plummet and your work distributed for free all over the Net? The proposed regulation would make sure it happened. The regulation would also prevent ISPs from reining in P2P — the main way in which artists’ work is pirated. This would not only enable more piracy, but because bandwidth hogs degrade the quality of service for other users, it would degrade and delay legal playing of your work (e.g. MP3 samples you might put on your Web site).

The proposed regulation would also place a disproportionate burden on small and competitive ISPs. Your posting above states that you believe that there is insufficient competition among ISPs. Want to see even less? Burden the little guys — like my small ISP — with regulation. The big guys, with deep pockets and multiple revenue streams, will survive, but competitive ISPs won’t. So, l that will be left is the cable company and telephone company.

As for the Pearl Jam “tempest in a teapot:” it was caused — ironically — by FCC regulation. When the FCC levied fines against broadcasters after the Janet Jackson Super Bowl “wardrobe malfunction,” it put a scare into anyone who streamed live performances — including AT&T, which was streaming the Pearl Jam concert as an “all ages” event. Knowing that the band’s Eddie Vedder frequently uses profanity onstage, AT&T hired a third party contractor to monitor the event. The contractor put the stream on a 2 second delay and stood ready to delete any language which might trigger a fine. With all of two seconds to think out what to do, the contractor — concerned that insults directed at the Bush Administration might result in fines from the Bush FCC — cut the sound. AT&T had no direct hand in this, but the result was that the language was removed. Ironically, not because there was no FCC regulation, but because there was FCC regulation.

Artists should oppose increasing government intrusion into the Internet. Once it starts regulating how ISPs treat content, it won’t be long before the government starts telling them that they can’t carry controversial content — including, perhaps, your work. But the same regulation will allow your work to be pirated; a lose/lose. This is not what artists need or want.

—Brett Glass

 

 

I see that you still have

Submitted by Brett Glass (not verified) on October 5, 2009 - 2:32pm. I see that you still have not posted my comment. I guess that this speaks volumes about your concern for free expression!

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