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Intellectual Property

Google's Schmidt is new Chairman of New America Foundation -- a force behind information commons

The ascension of Google's CEO Eric Schmidt to Chairman of the the Board of the New America Foundation puts a helpful spotlight on Google's activist agenda in Washington and the cozy relationship between Google and the New America Foundation.

It's important to note that the New America Foundation is one of the two organizational parents of the "information commons" movement -- in that it coauthor-ed the "Saving the Information Commons" manifesto in 2002 with Public Knowlege, which laid the policy groundwork for a more communal Internet, where Internet infrastructure and digital content are supposed to be "open" "commons" or communally-owned by everyone.  

Google is one of the biggest proponents of this "open Internet" ideology where "open" is a codeword for "communal." The Information commons movement has conveniently defined the Internet commons as the property of others that they don't think that they should have to pay for ... e.g. communications companies' networks and content companies' content. (They conveniently have excluded Google from the commons obligation, apparently as long as Google preaches "openness" for everyone else...)

Google humor: "human review trumps technology" in filtering for copyright

I had to stop myself from bursting out laughing when listening to Google-YouTube's product counsel, Mia Garlick, speak on the Internet Caucus panel on "Internet Copyright Filters: Finding the Balance."

  • Google-YouTube's representative said with a straight face: "human review trumps technology" in copyright filtering.  

Let that little quote sink in for a moment.

Google...

  • the self-described technology company,
  • the algorithm leader,
  • the company that automates virtually everything internally,
  • the company that is not interested in pursuing businesses or tasks that cannot be automated or condensed to an algorithm,
  • the company that has taken innovation and technology to a new level on the Internet,
  • the company that uses technology for customer service not humans...
    •  is saying that "human review trumps technology"?

If human review of content trumps technology, why doesn't Google rank/filter all the world's content in its search process with human review rather than technology -- if human review is better?

Speaking at the Congressional Internet Caucus Wireless panel Wednesday

I am on the Congressional Internet Caucus wireless panel Wednesday with Blair Levin of Stifel Nicolaus, Michael Calabrese of the New America Foundation, and Jason Devitt of Skydeck.

The panel is on: "Opening up 700 MHz & White Spaces" What hath the FCC wrought?"

  • Should be interesting given that I am the only panelist not under the influence of "openness"...

 

 

 

 

 

Economic downturn is worst time for net neutrality proponents to be discouraging universal broadband

We'll soon see if net neutrality proponents are reasonable and responsible. Do they grasp that calling for preemptive, anti-investment, regulation of broadband that would discourage deployment of broadband to all Americans -- is the last thing our Nation needs during this economic downturn?

  • The reality is that forward-thinking broadband deregulation has spurred massive investment in broadband and Internet infrastructure in the U.S. and this investment is spurring adoption of broadband faster than any communication service in American history.
  • Moreover, an unfettered broadband economy and infrastructure is key to capturing the economic and productivity gains of more universally-adopted broadband.

Broadband deployment, adoption, competition and investment is one of the great success stories of our economy.

  • The last thing our teetering economy needs right now is preemptive, anti-investment, net neutrality regulation of our cutting-edge communications sector that would only hurt the overall American economy.
  • This is no time for solutions in search of a problem.
  • We face real economic problems which require responsible broadband policies.  

Time Warner's high-usage bandwidth pricing trial is common-sense balanced approach

Time Warner Cable's announcement of a new high-usage, bandwidth-pricing trial in Beaumont Texas is a common-sense balanced approach to dealing with the problem of a few bandwidth hogs degrading the efficiency and responsiveness of Internet access for the rest of TWC's customers. 

  • This is a common-sense, market-based solution to restoring the efficiency of the network for all users because about 5% of users are hogging as much as 50% of the network's total available bandwidth.
  • This is a balanced approach because it is a limited trial/experiment of more tiered-pricing for super-heavy users, that will garner feedback from real customers and market test pricing discipline assumptions. 

Market solutions involving real world consumer feedback are always the best solution to addressing problems like this.

  

Has Tim Wu lost his credibility? in his tunnel-vision piece: "Has AT&T lost its mind?"

Tim Wu is losing credibility fast. 

  • His new piece in Slate: "Has AT&T lost its mind? A baffling proposal to filter the Internet" is myopic, uniformed, and borderline hysterical.

Mr. Wu please calm down. Put away any sharp objects and please listen to some reason. 

The Common Sense Case Why Network Management Trumps Net Neutrality

Common sense dictates that the FCC will rule in favor of the critical necessity of broadband network management and against the FreePress and Vuze petitions which claim that prioritizing p2p traffic is an unlawful violation of the FCC's network neutrality principles. 

  • No one should mistake the FCC doing its job in investigating significant allegations (by issuing public notices for comments), for an FCC predilection against reasonable network management in favor of net neutrality supremacy.

The common sense case why network management trumps net neutrality:

First, the petitions violate common sense because the petitions are based on a false predicate and presumption. The petitions assume that the FCC's policy of network neutrality principles have the legal and binding effect of formal FCC rules or law and that they trump all existing law and rules. This is preposterous. Just because the petitioners make an impassioned and PR-manipulative plea for that view -- does not mean their petition holds any water.

Frustrated net neutrality zealots are lashing out at a universal broadband success story

An obviously frustrated Art Brodsky of Public Knowlege, trashes the Nation's leading and successful pilot effort to promote universal broadband in the country -- Connect Kentucky -- in a voluminous post that's best described as a glass-half-empty, life-is-so-terrible-because-the-world-is-not-perfect, whine-fest.  

These two are so tunnel-visioned against anything private sector and so zealous for government nationalization of broadband infrastructure -- that they fail to see that there is a strong bipartisan and practical consensus around promoting universal broadband deployment to all Americans quickly and that Connect Kentucky has proven to be quite successful in achieving that bipartisan goal.   

FCC Commissioner McDowell Skeptical of FreePress Comcast petition on p2p network management

Washington Internet Daily reported that FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell told reporters yesterday:

  • that "...he wants ISPs and P2P networks to come to terms on dealing with bandwidth-hogging downloads. Comcast’s approach drew a complaint to the FCC, but McDowell hopes companies can work things out without government intervention..."
  • “We’ll just mess it up,” he said. “I strongly encourage private sector resolution.”
  • It’s not necessarily anticompetitive for network operators to act to keep P2P traffic from slowing networks, he said. “That's good for consumers, because you don't want your network to shut down.”"

Well said.

More guilty-until-proven-innocent regulation from Google's Poodles; new petition on texting regulation

The Washington Post reports that a consortium of Google's closest net neutrality allies: FreePress/Moveon.org, Public Knowledge, New America Foundation, Media Access Project, are poised to petition the FCC again, this time to mandate that wireless carriers deliver all text messages to their customers, even including text messages by wireless competitors trying to sell their competing wireless services.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths