Net Neutrality, Freedom of speech is at stake

Net Neutrality, Freedom of speech is at stake

PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:51 am

The response to this deserves its own thread....

Devil5052 wrote:So how do you stop the media from doing these things in a free society? My view is that you simply allow all sides to have equal access to the public airwaves, newspapers, etc....& let the American voters sort it out.


You have that now, it's called the internet. That's why it's of utmost importance that anytime you see the two words "net neutrality" put together in the next couple of years you pay very close attention to what your legislator is doing. This is by far the the most important thing regarding freedom of speech, how and what you can use to communicate and a whole lot of other issues. I rarely see this mentioned in the mainstream news and for the most part its rarely mentioned outside of tech circles.

"Net Neutrlality" as defined by wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_neutrality
Network neutrality (equivalently net neutrality, Internet neutrality or simply NN) refers to a principle that is applied to residential broadband networks, and potentially to all networks. Precise definitions vary, but a broadband network free of restrictions on the kinds of equipment that may be attached, on the modes of communication allowed, that does not restrict content, sites, or platforms and where communication is not unreasonably degraded by other communication streams would be considered neutral by most observers


This is for the most parts what you have now however there are no laws in place that mandate that ISP's need to adhere to this principal and in the last year or so have begun to test the waters as to how far they can take it. Case in point is many ISP's are blocking P2P traffic which is commonly used for exchanging copyrighted files but it certainly has other uses too, if you wanted to exchange a very large file with someone else this is the best way to do it. What they will do is monitor the port that this type of software uses, if you are using excessive bandwidth on that port they will simply turn it off. The best analogy I've heard is its as if you were having a phone conversation with someone and the operator cur in and said "Sorry I have to hang up." They have also been accused of interfereing with other traffic such as VOIP which is used to make internet phone calls, coincidentally this usually occurs right after they introduce their own pay-for services.

There is really two distinct forks to this issue, the two examples provided above are one and too some extent I can agree with the cable companies. If everyone ran a P2P connection the network would come to halt. The simple solution to that is to offer tiered pricing on their connections. You pay for X amount of bandwidth that's what you get, you wanna watch video 24/7 you pay for it.

The other fork and more important issue is they want to provide tiered service to content poviders such as myself. As of right now the only thing limiting the speed at which you can download from this site is how fast my server is. If for example I have a server as fast as cnn.com you'll get the data at the very same rate. Everyone is on relatively nice even playing field, if I want to start a site that provides high bandwidth video 24/7 the only thing I have to do is come up with the cash to pay for the server which is and should be my problem.

That will change If they get their wishes because they will be able to throttle connections speeds "at the pole" so to speak. Small sites or sites just getting started will not have the resources to pay for this tiered service and will not be able to compete against large media outlets. At first glance that doesn't sound all that bad because this would help the consumer with lower bills and that may very well be the case. However no one likes a slow web site, the large media corporations and ISP's themselves will be able to push their own services at a much higher speed.

What is important here is we are in transitional period, the airwaves, cable TV and any other traditional forms of communication you use are going to be a thing of the past a lot faster than anyone thinks. That cable coming into your house is going to be the single link to all of these services. The cable companies and to some extent the phone companies are the only services that have the network capacity to provide the necessary bandwidth.

"Cable TV" will become content on demand . As a consumer if I want to watch high bandwidth video over the internet the only choice I have is cable, DSL does not even come close to the necessary bandwidth. In nearly every place in the U.S. cable companies hold a monopoly over the consumer as it is now. As a content provider or consumer the only choice I have is cable. As such the cable companies should not be allowed to control the bandwidth, they should be classified as public utility just like the phone company and not be able to dictate how who you "call" and whether the company on the other end is going to be able to talk back or how long the conversation may be.

If this ever comes to fruition it will limit your choices as a consumer and perpetuate the stranglehold on the content available to you that large media outlets and cable companies have had or do have now.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Net Neutrality, Freedom of speech is at stake

PostBy: Devil505 On: Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:15 pm

I obviously agree Richard. To my way of thinking, any form of censorship or limmits placed on free speech by anyone (government, business,...... anyone) represents a grave danger to a free society. (Short of the common sense things, (Yelling fire in a crowded theater or publishing troop movements that will kill our GI's) I believe that the very defintion of "freedom" must include no limmits on discussions of issues.
Devil505
 
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Re: Net Neutrality, Freedom of speech is at stake

PostBy: spc On: Thu Mar 13, 2008 1:01 pm

Devil5052 wrote:I obviously agree Richard. To my way of thinking, any form of censorship or limmits placed on free speech by anyone (government, business,...... anyone) represents a grave danger to a free society.
Anyone? say something Richard thinks is inappropriate on this forum. :? :lol:
spc
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
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Re: Net Neutrality, Freedom of speech is at stake

PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu Mar 13, 2008 1:22 pm

spc wrote:Anyone? say something Richard thinks is inappropriate on this forum. :? :lol:


I've noticed that myself, irks me to tell you the truth. I've been wrong before... point it out if you think I am.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Net Neutrality, Freedom of speech is at stake

PostBy: spc On: Thu Mar 13, 2008 1:55 pm

Richard S. wrote:
spc wrote:Anyone? say something Richard thinks is inappropriate on this forum. :? :lol:


I've noticed that myself, irks me to tell you the truth. I've been wrong before... point it out if you think I am.
Can I point out who should be censored? toothy
You do a great job. :notworthy:
spc
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Pioneer

Re: Net Neutrality, Freedom of speech is at stake

PostBy: Devil505 On: Thu Mar 13, 2008 3:19 pm

spc wrote:
Devil5052 wrote:I obviously agree Richard. To my way of thinking, any form of censorship or limmits placed on free speech by anyone (government, business,...... anyone) represents a grave danger to a free society.
Anyone? say something Richard thinks is inappropriate on this forum. :? :lol:



You miss my point entirely. This is a private forum run by Richard & as such, he has the right to say anything he wants or to censor anything he wants. Whatever his views, in a free society, there will be many other forums with exactly the opposite views allowed/encouraged. That is my point.......private forums, newspapers, cable news, movies,books etc have the right to post or censor anything they want. The danger is only when government exercises that power or when we collectively try to stifle public debate from being seen/heard anywhere!


edit: I apologise for missing your point! I mistated my point: "any form of censorship or limmits placed on free speech by anyone (government, business,...... anyone) represents a grave danger to a free society"...... was poorly stated. What I menat to convey was that: "any form of complete censorship or limmits placed on free speech by anyone (government, business,...... anyone) that does not allow opposing views to be aired anywhere, represents a grave danger to a free society."
Devil505
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Harman
Stove/Furnace Model: TLC-2000

Re: Net Neutrality, Freedom of speech is at stake

PostBy: cheapheat On: Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:32 pm

I would like to know if my signature line quote is the only one ever censored on this website? Jim
cheapheat
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Alaska Channing 3
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Re: Net Neutrality, Freedom of speech is at stake

PostBy: Richard S. On: Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:42 pm

cheapheat wrote:I would like to know if my signature line quote is the only one ever censored on this website? Jim


LOL, I have censor on so I should have noticed that. Anyhow... FIXED!. As I said when I introduced it if you come across any that should not be censored let me know. I'll have to take some time one of these days and go through the list, its loooooooong list.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Net Neutrality, Freedom of speech is at stake

PostBy: pvolcko On: Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:58 pm

Point 1. Net neutrality and classifying cable internet service as a public utility are not free speech issues. It may be an equal access/service issue, but restrictions in net traffic (even closing it down) would have negligible impact on freedom of speech, at least here in the US where there are any multitude of other ways to get your speech on. Certainly the net has lowered the bar considerably in terms of the level of exposure a person's speech gets per dollar spent and it has also lowered the bar in terms of access to mass distribution, but neither low cost publishing or massive distribution access are part and parcel of freedom of speech as a civil right.

Allowing net unneutrality only means one might have to pay a bit more for the awesome power of the internet distribution firehose. Frankly that could be a good thing. Might weed out some of the uncommitted speechmakers clogging up the web (like myself in these rambling posts). :) If it were to be throttled or even turned off we simply go back to the late 80's and early 90's, hardly an anti-speech time in the nation's history. As proof consider that making phone networks public utilities and laws preventing them from blocking fax or modem usage didn't have a substantive free speech aspect to it, only equal access. It also had to do with wiring up the last 10% of the country, which the companies were not going to do without being subsidized.

Point 2. Even if one supports having cable networks classified as public utilities, there will still be plenty of leeway for the utility companies to stratify levels of access and service. Phone utilities didn't stop at basic local voice service. Is was only the minimum requirement, and it was a very low bar. Crappy quality, crappy customer service, high equipment rental costs, lack luster rural uptime, etc. These services weren't enough for a great many customers. When modems came along there was not a national requirement to support a given baud rate (only laws to prevent blocking carrier signals), you had to pay for better lines or just suffer. Businesses and some well off citizens had ISDN or T1 lines. Utilities offered value add services (call id, call blocking, forwarding, voicemail, etc.) at cost. Multi-line trunk access, ISDN, DSL, T1, OC-3, and on up were high level access provided at cost to content providers and consumers. And so it will be with cable if public utility branding occurs. As Richard said, tiered access will still be on the plate. It already exists on the server side with various uplink speed options available on cable and other connection types. In fact most cable internet providers already offer tiered access for the residential/consumer side too, it just doesn't get advertised much.

Net neutrality may well get passed into law, and it is probably the only practical thing to do (imagine the nightmare for a content provider having to negotiate and buy access on all the different cable and fiber networks out there and the billing mess that would ensue). However, all it is going to do is force cable companies to push this tiered access model in a much more aggressive way and on a faster timetable. At first it will be out of spite, but it will quickly become a necessity as video streaming and downloading becomes more and more popular and the video quality levels and bitrates climb higher and higher.

And the Hollywood producers will be fine with this outcome because they'll be able to make a reasonable case that high speed residential services should have carrier level copyright monitoring liability attached to them. Since it will be a premium connection service, the costs will get wrapped into the monthly bill for the customer and the ISP will be able to have the customer sign off on the monitoring as part of the service contract. And what about the lower speed/basic connections? Since it would be onerous and possibly a legal pitfall to monitor all of it (since it would be a publicly guaranteed access level) they'll forgo that in favor of a small, fixed tax surcharge to compensate for piracy levels determined through polling and statistical analysis studies. And for this price we'll get crappier service with lower speeds, less reliable connections and lower uptimes. Everyone will jump to fiber connections with Verizon and others, at which point the same discussions happen all over again. Then it will be on to spread spectrum ultra wide band wireless connections. And then... Lather, rinse, repeat. :)
pvolcko
 

Re: Net Neutrality, Freedom of speech is at stake

PostBy: Richard S. On: Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:43 am

Well i firmy beleive that the costs associated with this should be on the consumer, look at it this way.... Cable companies are paying content providers for channels like ESPN, Discovery etc. Where's my piece of the pie? Without me anf the other millions of websites providing content for them to distribute freely they wouldn't have nothing and neither would the consumer except what they decide to cram down your throat. We could of course just stick with that business model and they can provide the same over-priced crap you get now. :D

IF there was completion in the market place this would not be huge concern for me but the fact is there is no competition, you know damn well they will leverage that if allowed too. To give the cable monopolies full control of this would be like handing the airwaves over to a single private comapany.

And yes it will effect freedom of speech, the large media companies have had a stranglehold over the distribution of audio, video, and the printed word forever. The internet has changed that landscape and this is one thing they fear the most. The power of distribution is now in the hands of anyone that wants it. Lets take record companies for example who are paying artists nearly nothing and raking in multi billion dollar profits all at the expense of both the consumer and the artist. With the internet anyone can try to be a rock star because they now have the power of advertisement, word of mouth and most importantly the means to distribute their music :D

Radiohead released an album a few months back at the cost of "what you want to pay for it" If memory serves me correctly the average payment was $5 and they raked in $10 million dollars in a day. Again from memory they would have gotten 1$ from the record company if they had relesed it through them. Instead they were getting nearly %times that and the consumer was 1/3 of what it would have cost had they purchased it from the store, they didn't even have to pay much in server costs because a majority of the bandwidth was P2P... Tell me that didn't make some heads in the music industry look up... :lol: There was probably a few old fat execs wishing they could turn the internet off.

If radiohead server was being throttled or the mass amounts of downloading done via p2p were throttled it would not have been the success it was. It's prime example of why the internet should remain neutral.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
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Re: Net Neutrality, Freedom of speech is at stake

PostBy: pvolcko On: Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:13 pm

Richard S. wrote:Well i firmy beleive that the costs associated with this should be on the consumer, look at it this way.... Cable companies are paying content providers for channels like ESPN, Discovery etc. Where's my piece of the pie?


I agree. They are making money because of demand for content. What if they want to provide preferred packet delivery to those "channels" they wish to subsidize? Would that be acceptable in a net neutral world?

IF there was completion in the market place this would not be huge concern for me but the fact is there is no competition, you know damn well they will leverage that if allowed too. To give the cable monopolies full control of this would be like handing the airwaves over to a single private comapany.


There are some anti-competitive practices in place which need to be regulated and quashed as necessary, but there is competition. Verizon is rolling out fiber to the home. Cellular providers are offering faster and faster net access through mobile devices (which can be a PC internet access point). Cable companies are offering phone service now via VOIP, competition with the telcos. DSL can be a good solution if you're within close enough distance of the central offices, but don't want to shell out for cable modem service. In many muni's now there are wireless networks springing up either organically or in company or state initiated rollouts. Cable companies compete for regional and municipal contracts. And there are already laws on the books (at least in some state) that force cable network owners to sell bandwidth to other ISPs at wholesale, since competing physical networks of the same type are of little economic or social benefit. To say nothing of T1 connections and on up.

There is competition. Due to the physical network restriction it probably is a good thing to put in place net neutrality laws so that network operators don't get to silently stall certain uses and content. However, this does mean we'll see tiered access plans become the norm. I'm okay with that, from the sounds of it you are too. We just need to convince all the pleebs that think more "collectively" and advocate net neutrality and fixed rate one plan for all schemes. :)

And yes it will effect freedom of speech, the large media companies have had a stranglehold over the distribution of audio, video, and the printed word forever. The internet has changed that landscape and this is one thing they fear the most. The power of distribution is now in the hands of anyone that wants it.


That's the thing though, they don't prevent anyone from speaking or publishing their mind on their own. Anyone can grab a soapbox and head to their nearest street corner. Anyone can buy a $99 printer, a ream of paper, and print and publish their thoughts and hand them out to people entering or leaving the local mall or village/school/town/city board meeting.

They really only care about two things: 1) Maintaining value in their distribution network. 2) Maintaining value by being trusted gatekeepers for what gets mass attention.

The internet did a number on the first point; mass distribution is a much less valuable commodity than it used to be. So they continue to hang their hat on #2, but that is slowly being eaten away by the ever changing business models and virtual networks the internet has enabled. Social networking sites become a new gatekeeper. The popular blogs become a new gatekeeper to the news and politics. Amazon.com's rating systems and review systems devalue traditional print best seller lists and boxoffice lists and the reviews they provide for those media. Sites like this one devalue stove dealers and industry periodicals since they no longer are the sole arbiters of coal stove information.

My point is: controlling access to a privately owned distribution network and providing a speech filtering service to consumers is not a restriction of any individuals freedom of speech, as such the internet lowering the bar on these does not enhance anyone's freedom of speech (in the US). It only, maybe, enhances one's ability to be heard which is something completely different and not anywhere approaching a protected civil right.

Lets take record companies for example who are paying artists nearly nothing and raking in multi billion dollar profits all at the expense of both the consumer and the artist. With the internet anyone can try to be a rock star because they now have the power of advertisement, word of mouth and most importantly the means to distribute their music :D


I'd argue that first of all the music companies aren't nearly as bad as they're made out to be. I see them as the venture capitalists of the music world and I have no beef with VC's. They make a lot of gambles for favorable terms, but only score if the gamble pays off (rarely they do). They provide a valuable service to music consumers by being gatekeepers, weeding out most of the bad acts, and providing a pathway for starting acts to achieve anything from a one hit wonder success and failure to a steady, decades long, comfortable money train to super stardom. I include in this all the indy labels and mid tier labels. As much as I despise most pop music, there are thousands of less successful acts that only achieve their more moderate level of success by the bets these companies make and a lot of hard work.

Now onto the internet and music. It mostly bites. I wouldn't shut it down or deny it to a musician, but for the most part it lets hacks and shitty local garage bands get far more exposure than they should get. They should be subjected upon their local high school or local club scene and no further. It is as if we all must now suffer the horror of the first 18 rounds of American Idol. that said, for some relative few it can be a means to go around the gatekeepers and make money and gain exposure for their decidedly decent craft. A way to get beyond the local scene without having to resort to touring the dive bars of the nation crammed into a van with their gassy bandmates. That's all fine and good, but mostly I'd rather they had to work for it.

I say this as a former (and still hopeful) musician, a lover of music, and the cousin of a former A&R rep for a major label.

If radiohead server was being throttled or the mass amounts of downloading done via p2p were throttled it would not have been the success it was. It's prime example of why the internet should remain neutral.


I'll agree it should remain neutral. I've never been against that. I just don't agree that net neutrallity means more freedom of speech is available to the vast majority of US citizens that would be available under an un-neutral net. People's blogs aren't going to get squelched. All it would mean is that the new gatekeepers (youtube, youporn, google video, amazon.com, and yes, Radiohead's million plus download bonanza, etc.) would have to pay a premium compared to the bloggers. I'm not for this way of doing it (tiered access is the way to go), but if it did happen it would have an infinitesimal impact of most people's freedom of speech and those it might affect are sucking up inordinate amounts of resource in transferring what is almost assuredly not an expression of their speech and probably should pay a more for that share of resource.

I keep qualifying my dissent as a US thing because the internet is a veritable panacea of freedom for their speech and access to others' for a great many truly oppressed people the world over.
pvolcko
 

Re: Net Neutrality, Freedom of speech is at stake

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sat Mar 15, 2008 11:09 pm

pvolcko wrote: What if they want to provide preferred packet delivery to those "channels" they wish to subsidize? Would that be acceptable in a net neutral world?


Absolutely not and my main point of contention, the providers hold the keys to the "airwaves" so to speak. Allowing them to control who gets what bandwidth will further the monopolies they now hold. There would be nothing to prevent them from pushing their own over priced services onto the consumer whether its delivery of audio, video or VOIP services or any other service for that matter. As I mentioned before I think its more than coincidence that interference in P2P and third party VOIP services started occurring when the providers started offering their own competing services. These cable companies are realizing they are missing the big piece of the pie whether its the content, service, advertising or whatever it may be. We don't need one company providing these services, we need as many as possible and the only way to make it fair for any content/service provider is if they can get equal access to the public without any interference by the ISP.

Let me ask you this, how would you feel if ads were injected by the ISP for a competing product unbeknowst to you or the user? Sounds crazy doesn't it? Both the consumer and the content provider are bieng taken advantage of. Its already happened... http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/06/23/re ... vertising/

If they are willing to stoop that low do you really want to give them control of the bandwidth? I can point to other examples as well of where they have leveraged there control of the network to their benefit where they shouldn't have such as serving ads where 404's should be... There's a recent article where I read that some ISP's in the UK were going to be providing user histories to ad agencies to "enhance" their experience. The ultimate cookie so to speak because you can't delete it since its the ISP providing the info.

We just need to convince all the pleebs that think more "collectively" and advocate net neutrality and fixed rate one plan for all schemes. :)


Agree and I think it's the only solution, it's the consumer that is making the demand therefore they should pay for it. Offering tiered service would be both fair to the consumer and the provider.

2) Maintaining value by being trusted gatekeepers for what gets mass attention.


Who are they to decide what gets mass attention?




I'd argue that first of all the music companies aren't nearly as bad as they're made out to be. I see them as the venture capitalists of the music world and I have no beef with VC's. They make a lot of gambles for favorable terms, but only score if the gamble pays off (rarely they do). They provide a valuable service to music consumers by being gatekeepers, weeding out most of the bad acts, and providing a pathway for starting acts to achieve anything from a one hit wonder success and failure to a steady, decades long, comfortable money train to super stardom. I include in this all the indy labels and mid tier labels. As much as I despise most pop music, there are thousands of less successful acts that only achieve their more moderate level of success by the bets these companies make and a lot of hard work.


Being a musician you should know that's not the whole story, lets say for example a band... we'll call them 40 Lb. Head :D They work 3 to 5 nights a week for a couple years getting very good local following. They start to play at some larger venues out of the area, finally after many years of work they get a break and get to play at show where some fat record exec will be. The record exec decides they might have some promise so offers them a deal.

This "deal" if you want to call it requires them to sign their life away, even if they do make it big they aren't going to be much better off than they were before. Most of the money they will be making will still be from touring because the money from CD sales goes to the retailer or the record company. Please don't make the argument about production and distribution cost either because the artists make even LESS on downloaded music through services like Itunes which is costing the record company next to nothing. Who knows you might not get payed at all. Just to add insult to injury the consumer is getting a low quality DRM'd file that in most cases can't be used on a lot of devices, but that's for another topic.

So now you have a decision to make if your the artist, sign on the dotted line or don't. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

There are other avenues, you could have a pretty face and know how to dance... talent means nothing. e.g Britney Spears and that lot of garbage foisted onto the consumer. All Glitz, no substance and the consumer eats up because for the most part it's the only thing available in the mainstream.

Now onto the internet and music. It mostly bites. I wouldn't shut it down or deny it to a musician, but for the most part it lets hacks and *censored* local garage bands get far more exposure than they should get. They should be subjected upon their local high school or local club scene and no further. It is as if we all must now suffer the horror of the first 18 rounds of American Idol. that said, for some relative few it can be a means to go around the gatekeepers and make money and gain exposure for their decidedly decent craft. A way to get beyond the local scene without having to resort to touring the dive bars of the nation crammed into a van with their gassy bandmates. That's all fine and good, but mostly I'd rather they had to work for it.


Isn't it nice to be able to say it bites? You heard it and don't like it... fine but you had the chance to make that decision for yourself instead of someone else. I don't want a "gatekeeper" to what I see hear or read, I'd prefer to amke that decision myself. BTW, got a good laugh from the gassy bandmates comment as I've spent more than a few hours in that van myself, I'm not a musician but I traveled with the band to few gigs when they were going down the shore or something.

FYI, if you're wondering what 40 Lb. Head told the fat exec they declined the offer. Hopefully more musicians will follow that example and we can kiss the likes of the RIAA and companies like Sony/BGM goodbye. Nothing but a bunch of uneeded parasites.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Net Neutrality, Freedom of speech is at stake

PostBy: pvolcko On: Tue Mar 18, 2008 5:23 pm

Richard S. wrote:Let me ask you this, how would you feel if ads were injected by the ISP for a competing product unbeknowst to you or the user? Sounds crazy doesn't it? Both the consumer and the content provider are bieng taken advantage of. Its already happened... http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/06/23/re ... vertising/


I'll read the techcrunch article later. I have heard of this practice and seen in in practice and for me it depends entirely on how it is being injected. Generally, unless it is a term of service that one has agreed to, I'm against it and would not use such a home ISP, but I wouldn't ban it from all use. For instance hotels, public wifi hot spots, etc. do this and it is entirely acceptable in those circumstances as far as I'm concerned. For home ISPs then my only request is that there be an alternative plan from the provider at slightly higher cost to avoid the ads. If the choice isn't offered and there are no available alternative ISPs in the area then I would be upset.

ISPs providing request logs to third parties should be illegal unless the customer specifically opts in. The opt in should not be a condition for service, certainly not without an alternative (higher cost) plan available. This gets into the whole area of consumer privacy which is another topic in itself. I think we are overdue for some standards, regulations, and laws in this area. Not to ban it outright, but to force a more or less uniform set of rules and disclosures so consumers are fully informed and not taken advantage of.

2) Maintaining value by being trusted gatekeepers for what gets mass attention.

Who are they to decide what gets mass attention?


They only get to do it to the extent that their customer base and advertisers supports them ability to do it. News paper's live on readership, so long as they satisfy their readers they stay afloat. Same goes for TV, book publishing, music publishing, etc. Certain such outlets are granted a very loft position of respect through previous years and decades of building a high reputation. The New York Times, for instance, has this lofty position. It has been taking major hits, though, due to poor editorial decisions and no longer satisfying their readership as they once did. What's taking their place? Certain high profile blog sites, the rise of cable news (particularly Fox News Channel), and some high profile radio show hosts.

And, believe it or not, you and this forum site are part of the new gatekeepers. You may no control what information gets out there directly or on purpose, but it happened by being a high profile web site for coal heating and by virtue of the passions and preferences of the forum membership, the biases of the most vocal members of the forum, and the segment of manufacturers and other producers that participate here. There are such sites for other fuels and topics too. You yourself may not be deciding the flow of information, but none the less you and your creation are acting as an information gatekeeper, filtering what gets "mass" attention and what doesn't within the realm of coal burning.

This "deal" if you want to call it requires them to sign their life away, even if they do make it big they aren't going to be much better off than they were before.
...
So now you have a decision to make if your the artist, sign on the dotted line or don't. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.


The deal may be bad for them in their judgement. That is their decision to make. They can try to negotiate a more favorable deal. They can take the fact of the deal having been made and try to shop around with lower tier and indy labels where they will likely get a "more fair" deal (mostly because the resources available are fewer and exposure will be more limited than with a big label). You can't fault the record exec wanting to strike the best deal he can get, at least so long as the contractee understands what they are signing up for. I am not for labels or anyone taking advantage of youth or inexperience to "hustle" a lop sided deal. Sounds like 40 Lb Head isn't naive about such things, though, so no worries. :)

And yes, often the decision is a trade off between bad and worse. This is the nature of risk/reward vs investment money. 50 Lb Head needs the resources of a label to promote them and get their visage and sound out there to the masses, the label has those resources and they value them at a certain level. The price is either too high for the band or it is not, but the record exec is doing exactly what he should be doing for his interests.

There are other avenues, you could have a pretty face and know how to dance... talent means nothing. e.g Britney Spears and that lot of garbage foisted onto the consumer. All Glitz, no substance and the consumer eats up because for the most part it's the only thing available in the mainstream.


As I said, I'm no fan of pop music. While the label bares some responsibility for peddling in garbage, at the same time someone is buying the garbage despite thousands and thousands of other choices being available. Those "someones" tend to be idiotic pre and early teens and their oft times idiotic parents. :) Spears and her ilk may be manufactured pop stars of little to no musical value in a historic sense, but so long as people are buying there will be someone to sell it. Consumers make this profitable, that is that.

MmmBop.

:)

Isn't it nice to be able to say it bites? You heard it and don't like it... fine but you had the chance to make that decision for yourself instead of someone else.


No one was really deprived of hearing bad music before the internet, which is as good a reason as any to support bands using the internet as best they can (no net increase in harm). :)

I was being a bit flippant. I'll be serious though: I value the service that labels, ratings services, and music industry magazines and web sites provide by filtering the crap so I don't need to listen to piles and piles of bad music for the few golden nuggets. I'd rather someone else did that in a way I find trustworthy so I can depend on their opinion of what is worth listening to.

I don't want a "gatekeeper" to what I see hear or read


I may have used a bad term when I used gatekeeper. I'm not saying they absolutely control the flow of info to the masses. I'm talking more about the filtering service such "gatekeepers" provide. There are untrustworthy gatekeepers to be sure, but there are plenty of them out there that I do trust to do my information filtering and hounding for me. This is valuable and I couldn't imagine living without such entities, be it for music or news or special interest topics like programming, or technology, or coal burning. Life's too short to wade through the flotsam myself.

That said, there are racks filled with thousands upon thousands of bands and artists at your local Best Buy or Tower Records. The internet is just a supersized version of this experience. Everyone has access to the unfiltered feed, drink from it as you dare. :)

I'd prefer to amke that decision myself.


You're welcome to, in so far as the internet empowers you to have maximum exposure to the media of your choice I'm all for it. I just don't want my data aggregators and filtering gatekeepers to go away because then I think we're all in big trouble. Imagine the world without media outlets (news papers, wire services, cable news, drudge report, or other high profile aggregators) or nothing but a sea of bands and artists one *must always* personally sift through to find something new worth listening to (short of word of mouth recommendation). I know I wouldn't enjoy it, and I suspect the vast majority wouldn't either once they really thought about it.
pvolcko
 

Re: Net Neutrality, Freedom of speech is at stake

PostBy: Richard S. On: Tue Mar 18, 2008 6:57 pm

pvolcko wrote: For instance hotels, public wifi hot spots, etc. do this and it is entirely acceptable in those circumstances as far as I'm concerned.


Agreed to some extent but it does bring up other issues such as contractual obligations sites may have but that is really for another topic. Another instance I can think of is the free internet services, the consumer is well aware that the ads are being served by the ISP. My only real thoughts on that is any ads being served by a ISP should be clearly marked as such, either in a frame or even separate browser window.

If you get around to reading that article though you're going to see this was anything but that. This is a paid ISP, the ad code is a piece of javascript injected into the source code of the page. Anyone viewing it has no idea the ad is coming from the ISP, even if someone that knew what they were doing wouldn't know where it was coming from. It's been while since i read that article but I believe the gist of how it was found out was someone was viewing their own pages and found the ad and JS, being they knew it didn't belong there they went hunting...
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Net Neutrality, Freedom of speech is at stake

PostBy: Richard S. On: Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:54 am

Here's an example of similar concerns that I have:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 00025.html

But the most surprising voice was Michele Combs of the conservative Christian Coalition of America, who came out most strongly in favor of neutrality. She said Comcast had blocked sharing of the digital text of the Bible and could also block online programming from her organization in favor of its own Christian-oriented channel.




Here's some more: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2008/0 ... ts-an-ear/

Lessig's message was oddly echoed by the Christian Coalition of America's Michele Combs, who correctly pointed out that Comcast's ongoing interruption of BitTorrent programs uses one of the same techniques the Chinese government uses to censor the internet in China - fake reset packets.

"We have seen network operators block political speech and block the most popular application on the internet -- Comcast blocked people downloading the King James bible," Combs said, referering presumably in the first case to Verizon blocking pro-choice SMS messages and in the second case to an AP story that tested out whether Comcast was interfering with BitTorrent by attempting to download a public domain translation of the Bible.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite