Entries Matching: Deregulation
As we speak, one giant telecommunications company, the cable/programming megalith Comcast, is poised to take over another, the NBC network of local stations, cable channels and even a movie studio. At the same time, two other giants, NewsCorp., owner of the Fox network, is in a cage death match with Cablevision, another distributor/programmer as three million customers fume at the loss of the World Series and other programming.
The tone for the latest round of debate about whether there should be an Open Internet was set, not by the latest round of speeches and statements by industry executives, nor even by the emphatic statements of self-righteous politicians at a Congressional hearing.
No, what’s happening now could be summed up in a thought from the author Thomas Pynchon, and his book, Gravity’s Rainbow. Scattered throughout the 800-some pages of the novel are five “Proverbs for Paranoids.” The one relevant to our discussion of the Open Internet is #3: “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers.”
The wrong question is – how should the Internet be regulated? The right question is – how should the online rights of consumers be protected? Yet, it’s the wrong question on which the industry-fueled discussion has dwelled. This is not to say that even wrong questions don’t deserve answers.
Today, Public Knowledge, along with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed comments in the 2010 Special 301 review process. We wrote about this issue last time calling upon you to file comments with the USTR. I want to thank everyone who responded to our call and filed comments. Here are our comments.
As we said before, the Special 301 process, which is supposed to ensure protection for US intellectual property, has morphed into an instrument used to exert pressure on foreign countries to curtail socially beneficial intellectual property limitations and exceptions, ratchet up penalties for infringement, and force countries to sign treaties that are not necessarily in their best interest.