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ISPs should make sure their customers have a good experience--even when they're not using the online services that the ISP might prefer.
Since people rely on the Internet for such a wide range of services today, it's important that their Internet connections work well. This means that people should be able to access the broadband services of their choice using the connections they pay for--and those services should be fast, reliable, and low-latency. To some extent, this means that consumer ISPs need to do what it takes to make sure the popular services their customers demand--the reason they subscribe to broadband to begin with--work well.
Let me be more specific. Due to this well-reported story from GigaOM, people have been talking about potential issues with regard to Netflix working well on Verizon's network. People are claiming that Verizon is under-investing in its interconnections with the company that carries Netflix's traffic, which causes Netflix's performance to degrade for some users.
A Creative Commons license on a 3D printed sculpture does not mean that you can print it however you want.
The past few days have seen an increase in complaints by 3D printing designers about how companies that manufacture 3D printers use their designs. It raises questions about how copyright works in the world of 3D printing, and what it means to release designs under a Creative Commons license.
Copyright Still Exists in 3D Printing
One of the things that makes 3D printing so interesting is that, especially when compared to the world of music and movies, lots of 3D printed objects are not protected by copyright (or any type of intellectual property right) at all. However, the fact that many 3D printed things are not protected by copyright does not mean that all 3D printed things are not protected by copyright.
It was recently reported that the National Security Agency (NSA) is going above and beyond what should be legal and is spying broadly on people’s internet and phone records. We think that’s wrong and here’s what you can do to help.
One might think that recent allegations that the NSA is spying on everyone’s internet activity and phone records is just a privacy issue, but it is also an affront to the free flow of information on the internet and jeopardizes our ability to promote the ideals of an open internet abroad.
Any massive collection of information on internet activity, whether it be incidental or directed, is bound to cause some internet users to change their activity. That is wrong. People, both internationally and in the US, shouldn’t have to think twice about what they do, where they go, and what they say on the internet out of fear that the government may be watching. People will now be hesitant to use and create new things, and because of that, the growth of the internet as tool for creativity, innovation and democratic discourse will be stunted.
At a hearing on unlocking phones, some suggest that Congress added laws against circumventing access controls not just to fight piracy, but in order to protect particular business models. Businesses use this argument to justify using copyright law to criminalize activities that don't actually infringe copyright.
Up until last year, unlocking a cell phone so that it could be used with a different carrier was perfectly legal. That changed when the Librarian of Congress decided no longer to include it in a list of exceptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which forbids the circumvention of technology that controls access to copyrighted works. The Librarian's decision has sparked a great deal of controversy, and lead to several proposed bills that would once again make it legal to unlock cell phones. In a hearing before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet last Thursday, Congress heard testimony about one of these bills, and about the practice of unlocking phones.
Subcommittee Vice Chairman Tom Marino began the hearing by framing the considerations on each side in terms of their effect on the market and existing business models, pitting the promise of a more competitive marketplace that phone unlocking allows against the ability of carriers to recover the cost of subsidizing phones.
Pandora’s recent purchase of a South Dakota FM radio station to obtain lower rates for its webcasting service reminds us how inefficient and illogical our music licensing system can be today.
Sparked by an op-ed penned by Pandora employee Christopher Harrison, yesterday reports surfaced that Pandora has purchased a terrestrial radio station in South Dakota. At first glance, it seems downright bizarre to see an internet radio company invest in a single FM radio station in a relatively small market. But a closer look at the thicket of licensing rules surrounding internet radio reveals how our current music licensing system can create nonsensical incentives for companies on both sides of the negotiating table.
The real reason for Pandora’s purchase of an FM radio station is Pandora’s royalty rate for musical compositions on its internet radio service. Note: this is a separate legal issue from the licensing Pandora pays for its use of sound recordings. The underlying musical composition gets its own copyright, and must be licensed in addition to the sound recording rights.
New comments by Time Warner Cable CEO back up what we already knew—incumbent companies are holding back video innovation.
It's puzzling to many observers why so many programmers don't make their content more widely available online. It seems like programmers are leaving money on the table. Shows that are available online are talked about more, watched more, and pirated less. Viewers are demanding easier access to shows that is not tethered to their home and does not require a cable subscription, yet the market is not delivering it. Why is this?
There are two big reasons. The giant content companies have a symbiotic relationship with cable. They sell programming exclusively to cable (and satellite) and charge a lot for it. This forces cable companies to raise their bills but, since they're the only source of programming people want, they're able to. There's nowhere to switch to. Only now, as cable bills are reaching unsustainable levels and cable companies are seeing that online video has the technological potential to become a competitor to cable, are some cable companies finally objecting publicly.
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