MoveOn.org and the GOA agree on something!


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liberalgunnut
October 19, 2006, 11:27 AM
It's not that often that MoveOn and the Gun Owners of America agree on anything. So last night when I was watching Bill Moyers discussing Net Neutrality on PBS it was a bit unnatural to see them both in agreement. Fortunately it was on the issue of Net Neutrality. Currently nearly all the Democratic legislature supports net neutrality and nearly all of the republican legislature opposes it. Please keep in mind that currently about 60-80% of all content on the internet is supplied by individuals or small groups, like this site.

When internet neutrality is lost not only will a few large companies decide who gets to see what dependent upon what they are will to pay... but they can also block sites that they may find in opposition to their political beliefs or business... such as the GOA's site, moveOn, or this site. As most of you are aware the majority of Americans support some form of gun control... with net neutrality gone it will be majority/money rules on the net.

The argument from those that support losing net neutrality is that "someone needs to pay for the pipes"... let me ask you a couple simple questions...

1.) do you not alreay pay for your internet service ("the pipes") whether it's phone charges or hispeed charges?
2.) Do you support net neutrality?
3.) have you told your legislater?

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MikeB
October 19, 2006, 11:45 AM
Oh please. Net Neutrality is a political football between the cable companies and the telephone companies. I wish the GOA would not spend any time on this issue. I could really care less what Moveon does or doesn't support.

WayneConrad
October 19, 2006, 12:03 PM
I'm not convinced that free enterprise can't handle this problem better than can government. With government driven solutions, we're likely to end up with other, worse problems, the stated problem might not be fixed after all, and we will all be taxed for the privilege.

beerslurpy
October 19, 2006, 12:04 PM
This should be a purely economic argument about infrastructure costs between the various providers but it is being cast in inappropriately political and civil terms. They are trying to avoid having to make compromises with one another by taking their disagreement into the political arena. That is a vast oversimplification, but I think it gets to the heart of the matter.

We need to ignore them and resist the urge to be helpful. The marketplace has already indicated that it has the ability to punish the backbone providers when they dont play nice.

Manedwolf
October 19, 2006, 12:08 PM
Im not convinced that free enterprise can't handle this problem better than can government. With government driven solutions, we're likely to end up with other, worse problems, the stated problem might not be fixed after all, and we will all be taxed for the privilege.

Sure, private enterprise can handle it. The same way they handle your cellphone bill and cable bill. If you want to be nickel-and-dimed to death if you want your website to be served at more than 56k, while infotainment entities shove out their mindless fluff at lightspeed, drowing out any independent voices, (including gun owners vs. the corporate antigun media with lots of $$$) go for it.

Right now, anyone with a personal gun website is on bandwidth equity with the Bradyites, despite their vastly larger funds. If net neutrality ends, they'd be a battleship to your toy rowboat, in terms of traffic speed and the ability of people to quickly find and browse content.

In terms of business, right now, anyone crafting their own goods at home and selling them is on equal footing with a fortune-500, in terms of being able to let people see the images and content on their store site. Good for small business. That'd all end. You could crawl...through...slow...page...loading on Mom and Pop's goods, or GO REAL FAST on XTREME FACELESS HYPERMEGAMART PAGE! Because only the latter could afford the required rates.

Talk about a dystopia.

ArmedBear
October 19, 2006, 12:18 PM
"Net Neutrality" is a brand name for a policy someone wants, just like "Assault Weapons Ban", "Campaign Finance Reform", "Fairness Doctrine", "Digital Divide", "Universal Health Care." These are words being used to create emotional reactions, so we don't actually think. Orwellian Demagoguery. The use of this technique, and the way people, including some people here, buy into it without thinking, bothers me more than the political footballs themselves.

Saying that the Republicans oppose "Net Neutrality" is by no means the same as saying that they oppose free expression, any more than saying that they oppose the "Assault Weapons Ban" means that they support gang violence.

In this case, the policy proposed is a ban on ISP's charging high-volume users differently from low-volume users.

You might note that, with phones, cell phones, etc., this is commonplace, and no one complains -- generally, it helps the consumer anyway.

Now GOA and MoveOn might want something, and I might agree with them, but this is far from the extreme issue it's being painted as.

McCain-Feingold is FAR more insidious, and legit groups, with real political clout, like the ACLU and the NRA, oppose it, and went to court together about it.

Thefabulousfink
October 19, 2006, 12:43 PM
Here is what I predict if Net Neutrality fails:

ISP's will charge sites that use large amounts of bandwidth more than sites that use less bandwidth. Even if the big ISPs decide to shower the Corps. with bandwidth and starve out the Mom and Pops, someone will realize "hey there's thousands of people being screwed, My ISP is going to cater to them." In the business world, you cant afford to ignore marketshare like that or someone else will grab it.

The same thing goes for political censorship. If one ISP decides that "Guns, Abortion, Bush, etc. are bad" and bans that content, some othe ISP will pick it up. Look at PayPal and Gearpay, if the market is there, someone will tap it.

The only thing that we really have to worry about is government regulation screwing everything up.:rolleyes:

ArmedBear
October 19, 2006, 12:51 PM
ISP's will charge sites that use large amounts of bandwidth more than sites that use less bandwidth. Even if the big ISPs decide to shower the Corps. with bandwidth and starve out the Mom and Pops, someone will realize "hey there's thousands of people being screwed, My ISP is going to cater to them." In the business world, you cant afford to ignore marketshare like that or someone else will grab it.

Exactly.

Furthermore, no one is up in arms because AT&T charges business cell phone customers who use the phone 4 hours a day during peak hours more than retirees like my parents, who only use the thing for emergencies, or that they offer different "plans" for different types of users, at different rates.

Servers, whether you buy them or rent space on them, cost more if they support more users and larger downloads. ISP's wanting to charge by how much of their services are actually being used by a customer is hardly shocking.

liberalgunnut
October 19, 2006, 12:56 PM
I'm sure that the free market can deal with net neutrality in much the same positive way that it dealt with energy prices in California.:)

Just curious to those that think that this is a non-issue... how do you think that there is not a "free market" now for the internet? The reason that this issue is being raised is because companies that currently spend millions on network presence find themselves in competiton with individuals that post blogs or boards (such as this) who have virtually no investment in their site. Sites are visited as a result of the quality of their content... not how much is spent to lure your to it.

liberalgunnut
October 19, 2006, 01:05 PM
Servers, whether you buy them or rent space on them, cost more if they support more users and larger downloads. ISP's wanting to charge by how much of their services are actually being used by a customer is hardly shocking.

This is much of the problem. Most people seem to think that this is simply a "free market" issue. We currently have a free market. I'm not saying that there is a problem with paying more for higher speed access (I pay $169/month for mine for my home business)... the problem is who is granted access. For example; if googtube or whatever company the google youtube thing becomes buys "exclusive" access to ultra high speed in their market as ATT, Comcast and other have suggested as a possible business model. Then the concept of "free market" does nto exist. If the NRA came along and wanted to have a pro-gun video channel on the internet... but the Brady's had already snagged the deal on the bandwidth then the NRA would be SOL.

Correia
October 19, 2006, 01:16 PM
I'm sure that the free market can deal with net neutrality in much the same positive way that it dealt with energy prices in California.

Yeah, there's a real apples to shoelaces comparison for you. :rolleyes:

liberalgunnut
October 19, 2006, 01:28 PM
Business goes where the money is. You will find that the only businesses ponying up lobbyist money for this are companies that provide the pipes. Their claim being that they cannot provide faster pipes (like they apparently can do in the rest of the developed world) and still make a profit. What they are asking for is legislation that effectively regulates everyone else. It makes being a monoploy in a "free market" that much easier.

ArmedBear
October 19, 2006, 01:34 PM
I'm sure that the free market can deal with net neutrality in much the same positive way that it dealt with energy prices in California

There's never been a free market for energy in California. There was a partial "deregulation" that was done in such a way as to be almost guaranteed to have the results it did.

It's dangerous to use examples like this as if you know about them. In Portland metro, people might nod and smile uncritically at any leftie truism, but not everywhere. And no, I'm not just being an *******: I'm being serious. It's something to consider.

And BTW what exactly do you know about Internet infrastructure?

beerslurpy
October 19, 2006, 01:38 PM
ISP's will charge sites that use large amounts of bandwidth more than sites that use less bandwidth.

Whoa, really? So if I use more of something I have to pay more? What a failure of the marketplace to not let me have as much as I want without paying!

If this idea were extended to the sale of tangible goods, I might have to pay more for a 12 pack of beer than for a 6 pack! The insanity!

You dont need terabytes of bandwidth to stump for political causes. GOAs site has been plain html without even pictures since probably the early 90s. You could serve it over a rack of modems like an old bbs if you wanted- their site is tiny and services a modest number of visitors. Is GOA really so technically uninformed as to imagine that they use bandwidth on the scale of something like Google, YouTube, p2p or the major news sites?

I'm sure that the free market can deal with net neutrality in much the same positive way that it dealt with energy prices in California.

I think the whole point (which you have missed twice now) is that the free market can't cope with government meddling. The CA energy crisis was due entirely to stupid CA State energy policy. All they had to do was refrain from acting and they wouldnt have had a crisis in the first place. Reminds me of the monetary policy that lead to the Great Depression. Also reminds me of the stupid ideas you are proposing in regards to Net Neutrality.

The free market is not the problem. Government is the problem- whenever it attempts to impose the ill-informed opinions of a small number of people over an enormous multitude of well-informed people acting for their own benefit.

Helmetcase
October 19, 2006, 01:40 PM
Having worked in the telecom world for the better part of the decade, I can tell ya this--you can already toss out whatever you think you know about supply and demand. It's a twisted, corrupt world and a big mess. The only thing that's been worse for it than regulation has been deregulation.

We're pretty much already at the point where Judge Green's landmark 1982 decision to break up the Bell companies has been de facto reversed, with ATT and MCI being absorbed back into the Bell Companies, and Bell South about to join them.

If you really think that the market is preventing media resources from being cobbled into just a few mega entities, you're not paying much attention.

MikeB
October 19, 2006, 01:45 PM
If this idea were extended to the sale of tangible goods, I might have to pay more for a 12 pack of beer than for a 6 pack! The insanity!

Hmmm. I propose a Beer Neutrality law. I want to pay the same for a six pack as for a case of beer. Who's with me?

ArmedBear
October 19, 2006, 01:45 PM
If you really think that the market is preventing media resources from being cobbled into just a few mega entities, you're not paying much attention.

Uh, who cares?

You're assuming that this is a problem, when most businesses that enjoy economies of scale end up that way. That doesn't end competition, not by a long shot.

Do you think you'd get cheaper and better cars if they were still built by mom-and-pop operations, rather than a few large companies fighting for customers?

Furthermore, breakup of AT&T was not "deregulation". It was a highly-regulated plan someone cooked up to try to mitigate the effects of a long-term government-mandated private monopoly.

Either way, when I was a kid, "long-distance" was something you didn't want to do often if you weren't rich. "Car phones" existed, but only for the wealthiest of the wealthy. Now we don't even think about long distance calls, or mobile phones, because they're so cheap. Cellular technology has become cheaper, but it's vigorous competition that has forced this. Anyone who doesn't see how the modern telecom business, with all its problems, is far better for the consumer than what went before must be awfully young, or have major memory loss.

Just do a bit of research on what energy prices, etc., are like in Europe, where they're still highly regulated.

beerslurpy
October 19, 2006, 01:48 PM
Stagnation has that effect. Youre dealing with mature products (telecom and big media) that compete on cost instead of features so the natural inclination is towards consolidation and cost cutting. This will introduce systemic problems (like monopolies etc) but those can be dealt with in other ways.

Seriously, how many independent radio stations does it take to churn out promotions and airtime for bland music industry puke? If you end up with 100k employees churning out the same stuff on 3000 little stations, why not consolidate them into 1000 people and run one national station? If no one is producing value, why are you employing them?

Helmetcase
October 19, 2006, 01:49 PM
We all should care, that's who.

Notice I didn't say that we didn't still see competition in the market, you ASSumed I was saying that. I am saying that we're seeing fewer and fewer resources in telecom and media, and reduced competition; the Intarweb is a nice counter balance to that.

Think you know a lot about the subject? I'd offer that just about nobody knows more about the Internet than the guy who really did invent it. It'd be rather presumptious of anyone to challenge that assumption, appeal to authority or not.

Let's see what he thinks: Vint Cerf on Net Neutrality (http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2005/11/vint-cerf-speaks-out-on-net-neutrality.html).

November 8, 2005

The Honorable Joe Barton
Chairman
Committee on Energy and Commerce
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable John D. Dingell
Ranking Member
Committee on Energy and Commerce
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Barton and Ranking Member Dingell,

I appreciate the inquiries by your staff about my availability to appear before the Committee and to share Google’s views about draft telecommunications legislation and the issues related to "network neutrality." These are matters of great importance to the Internet and Google welcomes the Committee’s hard work and attention. The hearing unfortunately conflicts with another obligation, and I am sorry I will not be able to attend. (Along with my colleague Robert Kahn, I am honored to be receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Wednesday at the White House for our work in creating the Internet protocol TCP/IP.)

Despite my inability to participate in the planned hearing in person, I hope that you will accept some brief observations about this legislation.

The remarkable social impact and economic success of the Internet is in many ways directly attributable to the architectural characteristics that were part of its design. The Internet was designed with no gatekeepers over new content or services. The Internet is based on a layered, end-to-end model that allows people at each level of the network to innovate free of any central control. By placing intelligence at the edges rather than control in the middle of the network, the Internet has created a platform for innovation. This has led to an explosion of offerings – from VOIP to 802.11x wi-fi to blogging – that might never have evolved had central control of the network been required by design.

My fear is that, as written, this bill would do great damage to the Internet as we know it. Enshrining a rule that broadly permits network operators to discriminate in favor of certain kinds of services and to potentially interfere with others would place broadband operators in control of online activity. Allowing broadband providers to segment their IP offerings and reserve huge amounts of bandwidth for their own services will not give consumers the broadband Internet our country and economy need. Many people will have little or no choice among broadband operators for the foreseeable future, implying that such operators will have the power to exercise a great deal of control over any applications placed on the network.

As we move to a broadband environment and eliminate century-old non-discrimination requirements, a lightweight but enforceable neutrality rule is needed to ensure that the Internet continues to thrive. Telephone companies cannot tell consumers who they can call; network operators should not dictate what people can do online.

I am confident that we can build a broadband system that allows users to decide what websites they want to see and what applications they want to use – and that also guarantees high quality service and network security. That network model has and can continue to provide economic benefits to innovators and consumers -- and to the broadband operators who will reap the rewards for providing access to such a valued network.

We appreciate the efforts in your current draft to create at least a starting point for net neutrality principles. Google looks forward to working with you and your staff to draft a bill that will maintain the revolutionary potential of the broadband Internet.

Thank you for your attention and for your efforts on these important issues.

Sincerely,

Vinton Cerf
Chief Internet Evangelist
Google Inc.

Either way, when I was a kid, "long-distance" was something you didn't want to do often if you weren't rich. Now we don't even think about it because it's so cheap. Cellular technology has become cheaper, but it's vigorous competition that has forced this. Anyone who doesn't see how the modern telecom business, with all its problems, is far better for the consumer than what went before must be awfully young, or have major memory loss.I think you enjoy setting up strawmen. Nobody's saying things aren't better today than things were before 1982. The point is that opponents of net neutrality in concert with the conglomeration of media outlets and an essentially reformed Ma Bell are going to have us in a de facto pre-1982 state if we don't pay a little attention.

And BTW, LD cell calls are cheap because LD calls are cheap. With the advent of IP voice termination, the wireless carriers can afford to give it away. It has nothing to do with "cellular technology" per se. And I wasn't saying that the ATT breakup is synonomous with de-regulation; that's merely a different form of regulation. I'm talking about the explosion and then contraction in the local telco CLEC market, which largely precipitated the absorbtion of companies like ATT and MCI back into the bells.

beerslurpy
October 19, 2006, 01:54 PM
I want to pay the same for a six pack as for a case of beer. Who's with me?

No need. I pity the fool that supports the ATF by paying tax on beer.

http://i11.tinypic.com/2d6m5o3.jpg

ArmedBear
October 19, 2006, 01:54 PM
It'd be rather presumptious of anyone to challenge that assumption, appeal to authority or not.


BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Someone whose title is "Chief Internet Evangelist" for Google -- who is PAID by them to make statements to influence politics and the market in Google's favor -- is automatically 100% credible regarding all matters Internet just because he was involved in defining TCP/IP?

Give me a break.

"Presumptious," if it were a word, would describe your statements better than mine.:rolleyes:

Nobody's saying things aren't better today than things were before 1982

Straw man? Uh, your words: "We're pretty much already at the point where Judge Green's landmark 1982 decision to break up the Bell companies has been de facto reversed"

Perhaps you didn't intend for me to infer that you meant that this was a bad thing.

Besides, it's not even true. AT&T was the only nationwide infrastructure provider at the time. It is no longer. We couldn't get back to 1982 very easily, for that reason alone.

beerslurpy
October 19, 2006, 02:03 PM
Helmetcase, 2 things:

1) Vint Cerf agrees with me that interfering with the internet is stupid. He may also beleive that it is possible to interfere with the internet in a good way, but I dont agree- the problem is within the lawmaking process itself. For lack of expertise on a subject, the legislature is going to end up giving someone a big handout rather than letting the best customs form on their own and be codified later. Havent we seen this approach fail enough times in *ahem* the gun control arena?

2) I'm arguing that the old media was a crappy business model that stagnated and was begging to be put down decades ago. It is basically just a huge steady money-making venture. Real artists and real art are risky and potentially can disrupt revenue flow. Is it a surprise that the industry has naturally become full of risk-averse, uncreative people that run it like a mortgage or accountancy business? Fortunately for everyone else this isnt a mentality that leads to growth, this is a mentality that only knows how to defend. Eventually it either changes or it shrivels and dies.

I completely agree with you that the internet is the next big thing and I dont currently feel that it is strangling itself or failing to accomodate the users and consumers. P2P based mechanisms completely destroy all attempts to limit upload capacity, and the big media clowns themselves insist upon the right to send huge amounts of download bandwith to people, so the problem is almost self solving.

Helmetcase
October 19, 2006, 02:09 PM
Is he credible? He's Vint Cerf. He's got just a weeeeeee bit more history and role in all of this than just "helping define TCP/IP protocols". Uh, yeah, he's credible. Certainly moreso than you are. If you're gonna disagree with him, you're gonna need a better, more sophisticated argument than "eh, the market will sort it out." Perhaps you need to read up on who he is before you stick the other boot in your craw. Yes, you're being just a weeeee bit presumptuous. Your argument is kinda like saying Gaston Glock's opinions aren't credible, he's just some guy who figured out a neat way to make pieces of lead go fast. :rolleyes:

Perhaps you didn't intend for me to infer that you meant that this was a bad thing.
Yet another strawman, the surefire and trustworthy argument of the lazy intellect.

It being a potentially bad thing and "worse off than we were before 1982" aren't the same thing.

Besides, it's not even true. AT&T was the only nationwide infrastructure provider at the time. It is no longer. We couldn't get back to 1982 very easily, for that reason alone.

Oh no? (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/05/business/05deal.html?ex=1299214800&en=362486d570806a70&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss) Read up. (http://blog.kir.com/archives/002940.asp) We're not there yet, but we're certainly heading in that general direction. It would be silly to argue otherwise.

beerslurpy
October 19, 2006, 02:11 PM
Do you agree with me or are you ignoring me?

liberalgunnut
October 19, 2006, 02:16 PM
And BTW what exactly do you know about Internet infrastructure?

Actually my clients include several internet infrastructure companies and several content providers. Frankly most of the infrastructure companies are all for anything that gets fat pipes put in as fast as possible. Most have had relatively flat stock prices over the past several years... the providers are totally opposed to the concept. Much of my business is creating visual concepts for abstract ideas on how the interent works for laypeople, IT professionals and investors. Like for example, how routers can be controlled to block viruses, spammers, fishers, and also content.

Let me give you a prime example. Last December I went to one of my favorite leftwingnut websites... My computer could not access it through the comcast network in my home. Given that my business is so interent based I also happen to have a Qwest DSL line in my home as a backup and Verizon EVDO access. I could access the site on the DSL and EVDO. Comcast advised me that they were not blocking the site. through a route check we discovered that the site (IP address, which serves up alot of video) was being blocked by SBC (now ATT) which was the pipe that comcast was connecting to in my area. After going to the local press to complain about blocked sites, I suddenly had the service restored and several comcast VP contacting me to make sure that the problem had been resloved.

My point is that, after this legislation, you may find that your favorite sites are blocked in much the same manner... While you may not have the same tastes in websites that I do I would imagine that you would find yourselves as pissed off as I was that content was being blocked.

btw: Companies currently pay for bandwidth... the argument from the providers is that they should also pay for the infrastructure. In a free market the providers should be providing the infrastructure that generates more bandwidth usage that they can charge for... you do not pay the phone companies for cell towers, you pay them for providing a service that you willing use and pay for the time you use it. The profit by having towers that provide the service that gets used... They don't stick towers out in the middle of Nevada for one person to use because the market isn't there. we already have a free market.

beerslurpy
October 19, 2006, 02:19 PM
So do you oppose or support a legislative solution?

One of Many
October 19, 2006, 02:19 PM
I think that a bigger problem exists than how much you pay for a Internet service based on volume. That problem is lack of competition in local access. In most local areas, there is only one ISP that you can obtain service from, or at best there is one dialup ISP, and one high bandwidth ISP. That lack of competition allows the ISP to charge higher prices than they could if a choice of provider existed, and allows the user to choose only a "take it or leave it" package.

Lack of choice means that if you have a problem with your service, the ISP can blow you off for a week (they don't have the manpower to fix your problem quickly - you go on the waiting list). It means that you have to pay for a service call, even though the problem is due to a breakdown in ISP equipment.

What we really need is more competition. Require all the ISP companies to go head to head in all markets, rural as well as urban. The way things are now, ISP companies can ignore areas that have lower population densities, and concentrate on major cities where they maximize profits.

Internet service at this time is like electric power service or telephone service in rural areas was for many years; either unavailable, or monopolized by a single provider.

Helmetcase
October 19, 2006, 02:21 PM
Do you agree with me or are you ignoring me?
Me? You know you're my main man, would do no such thing ;). I think I do largely see the merits of the points you're making--I think it's a matter of deciding which poison we want to swallow, a clumsy govt effort at keeping MCI/Verizon and ATT/BellSouth/SBC from getting an oversized say in what we see on the net, and just letting them duke it out the way we've largely done with other media outlets, and see what comes from it.

Because traditional media are so closely held by just a few outlets (Ted Turner, NewsCorp, etc), I think it drives a market for an independent web driven alternative. I know I get most of my news from various right and left blogs, sites like THR, etc.

liberalgunnut
October 19, 2006, 02:32 PM
By the way... I selected the location of my home based in large part due to the available hi-speed access. I don't think that companies should be forced to put in broadband access for everyone. I think that should be market driven. I just don't think that we should be paying for the infrastructure AND the access... while at the same time getting less service. What this primarily republican lead legislation is suggesting is that we should be doing exactly that. Like Ted Stevens says... and he's much more of an expert on this than any of us given that he leads the committee that is pushing this...

I just the other day got, an internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday and I just got it yesterday. Why?
Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the internet commercially...

They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the internet. And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a truck.

It's a series of tubes.

And if you don't understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and its going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.

ArmedBear
October 19, 2006, 02:39 PM
It being a potentially bad thing and "worse off than we were before 1982" aren't the same thing.

Okay, so you're asking me to be upset about a "potentially bad thing"? I'm not upset about it, and I say so. And you fire back all sorts of crap.

"Intellectually lazy" -- no, hopelessly naive -- is what I call it when people quote someone who is being paid -- well -- to say what he's saying as if his words are truth. I don't care what his name is.

Vint Cerf's words are as subject to dispute as anyone's. Ad hominem is no more basis for defense as it is for attack.:rolleyes:

liberalgunnut
October 19, 2006, 02:41 PM
interesting article from internetweek...

http://internetweek.cmp.com/news/189601945

ArmedBear
October 19, 2006, 02:43 PM
just don't think that we should be paying for the infrastructure AND the access... while at the same time getting less service.

So don't.

Oh, wait... You've set up a business that depends on others supplying you with cheap access, and now you want legislation to protect you from higher broadband bills? But otherwise, you're all for the "free market"?

liberalgunnut
October 19, 2006, 02:49 PM
Oh, wait... You've set up a business that depends on others supplying you with cheap access, and now you want legislation to protect you from higher broadband bills? But otherwise, you're all for the "free market"?

In my home I freely pay whatever I need to for access. I never said that I had ANY problem paying for access (my total internet bill exceeds $300/mo) I pay comcast $169 for 7meg down 1.5 up. My business operates in a totally free market based economy. Where did I say I needed protection? All I want is access... if it cost more I could care less. Most of my clients are operating several OC3 connections that cost 500k+ per month... they are not complaining. the problem is legislation that controls WHO gets access. Please don't put words in my mouth.:banghead:

By the way... in case you don't understand... I am a capitalist, I am for a totally free market were I can get the same access as you given that I'm willing to pay the same for access as you.

beerslurpy
October 19, 2006, 02:59 PM
Liberal, who is proposing such legislation? The only legislation I have come across is one that proposes to do the exact opposite of what you are condemning.

I dont oppose it because of the proposed substance of the legislation, I oppose it becase
1) I have low confidence in washington getting it right

2) most of the problems at this point are purely speculative. Most of the people who have a horse in this race spend little time talking about actual problems that need to be solved and lots of time attacking hypotheticals.

It basically seems like an excuse to exercise the old legislative prerogative. I would bet money that the end result of any such legislation will favor these big businesses over you or me. Ironic that the liberals are arguing in favor of such interference while the supposedly evil conservatives are arguing against it. Is the free market evil even when it works?

liberalgunnut
October 19, 2006, 03:11 PM
slurpy,

There is a net neutrality proposal (put up by members of both parties but it's being blocked by mostly republicans and a few dems lead by Ted Stevens) that would keep things on a payment for access/use basis. it would require providers treat all content the same. It does not suggest that fees cannot be charged accordingly for internet use. currently the provider lobbyists are pushing for a system that lets them decide which content has the most market value for them and allow them to give that content access to ultra-high speed access while denying that access to say people like those running this site.

No one is asking for anything for free... this is about access and content. By the way... to be clear I'm all for getting rid of the democrats that do not favor net neutrality. Sorry if my original post was a little confusing on the legislative side. :o

I would bet money that the end result of any such legislation will favor these big businesses over you or me.
good bet.

ArmedBear
October 19, 2006, 04:35 PM
interesting article from internetweek...

http://internetweek.cmp.com/news/189601945

So wait...

You're expecting me to believe the following:

Google's goal is to utterly dominate the delivery of whatever content on the Web it can get that can generate ad revenue based on its software that looks for the content of searches, e-mail messages, location searches, etc.

Google is a publicly traded for-profit company with a market cap of $130 Billion.

According to the article, these proposals would make things a lot more difficult for startups who wish to dethrone companies such as Google.

Google pays its top PR guy to go to Washington to argue AGAINST policies that would make things harder for its competitors, and therefore easier for Google in the big picture, by making them pay more to join the Internet that Google itself has helped pay for, if only through its enormous telecom bill?

If this is true, SELL GOOG!!! Clearly the board and top management team are either REALLY high on hash, or they're consciously not upholding their legal and moral responsibilities to their stockholders.

Sorry. I don't buy it. I wasn't born yesterday. It is possible, I guess, but it's dubious.

I actually like "net neutrality", but I'm not shaking in my boots here. I don't trust any of this.

As far as I see it, there are three groups who could pay for the Internet (since telecoms are also publicly traded companies whose manag

1. Taxpayers
2. All Internet users
3. Those who profit most directly from the Internet

Currently, it's all 3. Such legislation could shift the percentages around, but that's about it. Like I said, I'm not shaking in my boots. Furthermore, a server farm to feed a big pipe costs a lot of money. It's not like I can go out and buy one today. A possible bigger bill for the "pipe" is just a part of the expense.

The Web first piggybacked on a lot of DoD and education sector hardware. Why shouldn't big commercial users pay for more of it now that things have changed?

Again, I'm not even saying I'm for this change; I'm just hard-pressed to find a cogent argument against it.

liberalgunnut
October 19, 2006, 05:13 PM
I simply pointed out that I thought it was an interesting article. I pretty much agree with your google analogy. Although I would point out the google at one point was a couple guys in a dorm at stanford trying to figure out how to wade through the web... When I was a photographer in the mid 90s and they were just becoming famous in the SF area they came to our studio for a shoot and we had to buy them lunch because they had no money. at the time no one was going to unseed AOL... is some guy going to sit in his garage and come up with the next great thing? absolutely. Google may buy them for 2 billion... but if when this guy does and someone types his search engine in their browser or their favorite gun site... and they get a response like "we can connect you to google, or the brady campaign now or please hold for noname.com" the odds of innovation are greatly reduced. The business model that was get a good idea and you can get venture captial for it are long gone. People don't know what is the next big thing... they'll know it when they see it. But they won't see it if they can't get to it.

As far as your taxpayer/internet user/business thoughts... taxpayers are long done paying for the internet, that went away after Gore invented the internets. #1 does not apply at the moment. I'm simply saying that I vote for a system that allows #2 and #3 to happen without corp censorship. If comcast wants to create fast pipes and then tell me that it costs $500 a month to get on them I'm fine with that... I just don't want them to build the pipes and tell me that I can't get on them because my competitor has an exclusive rights to it. or I can't view that site because it's in opposition to the political position of my provider.

Regardless, it ain't capitalism if you can't get on the playing field.

By the way... you put up a good argument.

ArmedBear
October 19, 2006, 05:26 PM
#1 does not apply at the moment.

Not true. I'm sitting on tax-funded infrastructure at the moment. Internet II. Lots of packets bounce around the tax-funded 'net. But I'll agree, that's fading fast as a major factor in the 'net, at least in North America.

My point was just that, the taxpayer COULD be made to fund the infrastructure to provide a "level playing field". This of course presents a cornucopia of OTHER problems that, IMO, are worse. Since the Transcontinental Railroad, large-scale "service providers" have defrauded the taxpayer in ways that are not possible with private clients, and they've only gotten better at it. My prediction is that it would cost all of us even more, and we'd have no choices about it.

I just don't want them to build the pipes and tell me that I can't get on them because my competitor has an exclusive rights to it. or I can't view that site because it's in opposition to the political position of my provider.


Totally agreed.

I'm just not sure what to do, exactly. Something like Common Carrier laws, perhaps, could work, though I really want to avoid the 19th-century railroad model, at all costs! There's a lot of history behind this stuff.


Regardless, it ain't capitalism if you can't get on the playing field.

True. The Common Carrier thing is the best idea I can come up with. But that still doesn't, and shouldn't, stop UPS from cutting a deal with, say, Cabela's or Amazon, to provide cheaper deliveries in return for enormous volume, cooperative mailroom staff, and assistance with automation. The only absolute is... that there are no absolutes.:p

By the way... you put up a good argument.

Thanks! As do you.:)

MikeB
October 19, 2006, 05:29 PM
I could care less what Vinton Cerf's opinion is.

Sorry but to me verizon wanting to institute QoS on their lines to deliver Video to compete with Comcast doesn't rise to the level of needing congress to get involved.

liberalgunnut
October 19, 2006, 05:42 PM
I'm just not sure what to do, exactly. Something like Common Carrier laws, perhaps, could work, though I really want to avoid the 19th-century railroad model, at all costs! There's a lot of history behind this stuff.

the 19th century railroad model is exactly what these providers are proposing.

If we started out on the wrong foot please forgive me... sometimes I get rather passionate (as with many here) on my positions. I really do appreciate the thoughtful responses.

BTW: The thing that sparked this thread was the following program...

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/moyersonamerica/net/index.html

I found it quite compelling and they put up some great arguments... but then again I'm a liberal and this is Moyers...

ArmedBear
October 19, 2006, 05:56 PM
The 19th Century railroad model was primarily one of massive taxpayer ripoffs. I used to be a railroad buff, and did a lot of reading when I was a kid. The modern boondoggle began with the "Credit Mobilier." http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/history/A0813974.html

The whole idea of "robber barons" is often misunderstood. These men did what they did with the help of the Federal Government, and with a lot of tax money. They weren't by any stretch of the imagination "free market capitalists."

WRT the foot thing, I'm sorry, myself. I've become a bit oversensitive to wacky political extremism and paranoia of late, and I say that as a wacky, paranoid gun-toting libertarian whose antecedents literally escaped death at the hands of the Nazis!:eek:

beerslurpy
October 19, 2006, 06:00 PM
What youre saying doesnt make much sense. All of the infrastructure guys have been arguing since day one that they are content neutral service providers. The second they start regulating content, they open themselves up to a galaxy sized pile of liability for things that their customers do and say.

If their customers are in a legal grey area that turns out to be pitch black, they get held vicariously liable for the harm. Look at what happened with napster. Even plausible control over your users is enough to trigger liability.

I oppose the bill you guys have been talking about, but I also oppose the other bills that have been hinted at. I oppose government control over the internet even in small, supposedly helpful ways. There may come a time for it, but that time is not now.

ArmedBear
October 19, 2006, 06:01 PM
The second they start regulating content, they open themselves up to a galaxy sized pile of liability for things that their customers do and say.

If their customers are in a legal grey area that turns out to be pitch black, they get held vicariously liable for the harm. Look at what happened with napster. Even plausible control over your users is enough to trigger liability.

EXCELLENT point.

BigFatKen
October 19, 2006, 06:11 PM
While AL Gore was taxing us to hard wire the schools, wireless broadband was in the works.

I know this much: when it was Yahoo! vs Netscape you got a 4MB free account at Yahoo! and 5MB at Netscape for a free email. My little website cost $8.95/mo and I got 25MB.

Enter Google and overnight my website was allowed 2000MB and bandwidth I could never use. Free website anyone? Competition worked. Cost at Godaddy? $39.95 prepaid got me two years.

With tabbed browsing here and pop-up blockers common, does anyone know the replacement HTML attribute for target=_blank? This causes a new window to open and is blocked in some sites. Thank you.

liberalgunnut
October 19, 2006, 06:31 PM
The second they start regulating content, they open themselves up to a galaxy sized pile of liability for things that their customers do and say.

Actually they can regulate content without "regulating content" by simply providing a service for a fee through exclusive contracts. they would simply be "regulating users" not "content". Napster failed because napster's basic business model was based upon an illegal activity. Not because they regulated content... they were successful BECAUSE they freely allowed the giveaway of copywrite protected materials through their model. The "illegal" part was what killed them. the name is useless without any service.

While AL Gore was taxing us to hard wire the schools, wireless broadband was in the works.

and while 802.11a was being installed they switched to 802.11g :banghead:

and while they are installing 11.g...

The city of Mountain View is on free wireless provided by Google, Portland is coming soon. the catch is that it's around 256k... if you want faster you pay

The point is that you have to start somewhere. Gore did the right thing at the time. the internet, as shown right here... is a great learning tool.

Internet TV is very close to real... Cisco's purchase of Scientific America, that and Apple's iTV, would tell the average viewer that full screen full quality internet TV ain't that far off.

MikeB
October 19, 2006, 06:38 PM
The city of Mountain View is on free wireless provided by Google, Portland is coming soon. the catch is that it's around 256k... if you want faster you pay


Oh the horror. Someone quick get the government involved they are charging for premium service.

beerslurpy
October 19, 2006, 06:45 PM
libgunnut, what matters is not the formalities, but the actual existance of control. It also isnt the illegality, ironically enough- remember that neither napster nor its users were charged with criminal infractions, they were hit with a civil suit by the record companies who got injunctive relief, not criminal sanctions. Many P2P companies are profiting from illegal activity, but only napster bit the dust because only napster had a system designed with centralized servers over which they had exclusive control. Even if they cant bar users from trading copyrighted material, they can shut down the servers. This would bring all their users into compliance with the law by denying them access to the service entirely.

For a counterexample, if you sued edonkey to halt the illegal actions of its users, they would simply answer that you havent stated a claim upon which relief can be granted because they exercise no control over anything but the publication of the software, which is already in the wild and cant be called back in. There is literally nothing they can do to stop or hinder their users, legal or otherwise, from doing anything. And they cant be sued for creating the software because they didnt encourage anyone to break the law with it, just like no one encouraged anyone to pirate stuff in the 80s with high speed modems or rob people with legally produced guns. It's just another file transfer program like FTP.

If your carriers are picking and choosing which customers to give exclusive contracts to, they have a degree control over those customers. Those customers will know the likely criteria for picking one over the other and they will craft their behavior and policies to curry favor with the carriers. It is really that simple. And it is control.

liberalgunnut
October 19, 2006, 07:05 PM
Even if they cant bar users from trading copyrighted material, they can shut down the servers. This would bring all their users into compliance with the law by denying them access to the service entirely.

great point.

And they cant be sued for creating the software because they didnt encourage anyone to break the law with it, just like no one encouraged anyone to pirate stuff in the 80s with high speed modems or rob people with legally produced guns. It's just another file transfer program like FTP.

While I agree with you. I'd remind you fo the 6 months Tommy Chong spent in jail (thanks to Ashcroft) for producing "tobacco" pipes.

If your carriers are picking and choosing which customers to give exclusive contracts to, they have a degree control over those customers. Those customers will know the likely criteria for picking one over the other and they will craft their behavior and policies to curry favor with the carriers. It is really that simple. And it is control.

It's not only control... it's a indirect form of censorship.

regarding Napster... I was thinking...
It also isnt the illegality, ironically enough- remember that neither napster nor its users were charged with criminal infractions, they were hit with a civil suit by the record companies

Actually copywrite infringement is a violation of the law... although you are correct that its a civil, not criminal issue. it's is illegal when a court agrees that there is an infringement. Much like it is illegal for me to build a house on your property... your remedy is a civil suit, or to chase me off with your guns :)

If I'm reading your post right it seems that we're pretty much in agreement on the desired end result we just have different methods to get there.

liberalgunnut
October 19, 2006, 07:08 PM
Oh the horror. Someone quick get the government involved they are charging for premium service.

the city of Mountain View was smart enough to keep out of the way. It's good business for Google, and a great business for Mountain View.

beerslurpy
October 19, 2006, 08:07 PM
Yeah, I am aware that copyright infringement is a crime, but it is fairly difficult to get people for it due to the requirements that people actually exploit the copyrighted material for their economic benefit. The NET Act in 97 updated "economic gain" to include ratio FTP sites, but by then everyone had moved on from that technology and it became meaningless again.

Besides, if you can prove that someone was distributing stuff (even for free), the 17 USC 504 (c) "statutory damages" are ridiculously high. It is basically a per-work damage of $750-$30,000 so if you share songs from 1000 different CDs, they can sue you for 30 million dollars without having to prove any damage to themselves at all. IMO it is really unfair and congress gave them a far bigger stick with a far lower burden of proof than they even give to law enforcement. I pretty much rest my case about it being bad for the general public whenever congress is in session.

However, I beleive there was a requirement added (thanks Scalia!) that says that a jury actually has to assess the damages even though they are statuatory. A rich guy got sued for running shows on his TV station without paying and appealled up to SCOTUS. Can't remember the name of the case. In any case, a sympathetic defendent with a decent lawyer might be able to get the jury to go outside the statute and let you off lightly. But it is still a very painful and costly process if they go after you. But most people are far too close to judgment proof to even bother suing. Not to mention most people downloading and sharing are outside US jurisidctions.

Oh, and thanks to one of the ISPs successfully fighting off a discovery for the names of their users, the lawyers cant get infringer's names until they sue them and bring them into court. Not being able to cherry pick the unsympathetic defendents quickly leads to situations where very sympathetic and newsworthy infringers are sued (politicians, recording industry bigwigs, people without computers, children), which leads to very bad publicity and lots of wasted legal costs and embarassment.

I'm going into patent law, but I'm coming out of the tech sector so I sort of keep up to date on this stuff.

308nato
October 19, 2006, 11:01 PM
Beerslurpy:

I just have to ask when I visit my brother inlaw in Jacksonville can I
stop by and help taste test what you have in the white container.

liberalgunnut
October 20, 2006, 12:01 AM
I'm going into patent law, but I'm coming out of the tech sector so I sort of keep up to date on this stuff.

You're a good person to know.

I have to agree with you on the insane infringement damages... I'm from photography background. when we were shooting copywrite infringements were starting at $52k. I had a good buddy who paid for his kids college after Leno swiped one of his stock images of his kid for a joke image on the tonight show.

Critter183
October 20, 2006, 12:14 PM
Beerslurpy said: The marketplace has already indicated that it has the ability to punish the backbone providers when they dont play nice.

I agree. I think if any move is made to change the status quo, the loss of subscriber revenue to providers would be sufficient to effect a rethinking of thier ideas.

I know my $40 per month, and probably a few million others, would dry up in an instant. I don't know many industries that can lose $400 million per month in revenue and not be "punished". hehehe

Critter183
October 20, 2006, 12:26 PM
Maned Wolf said: If net neutrality ends, they'd be a battleship to your toy rowboat

But they would be a battleship with only a choir as an audience. The value of the internet is the wealth of information instantly accessable to anyone looking. Once that information becomes difficult to get, internet usage will shrink drastically, I think. Along with lost users goes lost revenue for providers.

I don't know many people willing to fork over $30 or $40 or more per month for high speed access to a select few sites they may or may not ever think of visiting. I know I won't.

I might switch to very cheap or free dial up just to be able to use email, but that's about it. My $40 a month for DSL will be gone, and so will my $50 per month for webhosting. That is $90 a month from one lost user. Multiply that by a few million, and it adds up quickly.

Ending net neutrality will be suicide for many ISPs, I think.

WayneConrad
October 20, 2006, 12:40 PM
I vote with my dollars already. I pay extra for a DSL provider that promises not to portscan me, not to filter my data, and not to care how many or what servers I am running.

Gee, you can charge more for a service and some people will desire it because it's got some differentiating feature? Who would have thought that the free market actually works.

The internet has been a spectacular economic success precicely because it's grown faster than the federal government's ability to regulate it.

The free market really can take care of most of what ails ya. In many cases where people say it hasn't, if you look behind the curtain, you'll find the hands of government were pulling the levers that were causing the whole mess.

Gifted
October 22, 2006, 03:21 AM
If the cable company needs more money to maintain the connection to my how, they can just raise the rates. They don't need this crap. If you look at website hosting, you'll see that you already pay more for greater bandwidth. So that's what told me this is crap.

I don't know many people willing to fork over $30 or $40 or more per month for high speed access to a select few sites they may or may not ever think of visiting. I know I won't. WHy I don't have cable TV, even though Charter keeps sending me crap. If they threw it on top of my 30+ highspeed, I might get it, but not paying an EXTRA 30 for it.

Some of the stuff about wireless I've heard means that in a few years, this crap will be useless. Even if they pass it, it won't happen.

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