Caution: Men at Work

Rupert Murdoch has begun charging for online newspaper content; albeit on a very small newspaper (30,000 print copies a day). It will be interesting to see how this plays out.  People who subscribe might well cut and paste to send a story around.  Or scan it and put it online. Knowing Rupert Murdoch’s savvy business sense, we’d expect he’s prepared for this battle.  And it’s a good thing.

Laws governing the internet need to be overhauled to protect the IP rights of everyone. Content and information are valuable commodities.  They should be treated as such. Tech companies have known this for a long time, and profited from it. It’s only just dawning on governments and individuals.  This is why the FCC is working on revising the current net policies.  The report is due out in March.

We’ve come to a point where the WWW is a national and international highway of commerce. Like other highways, this vital e-infrastructure everyone needs and everyone benefits from should be maintained and governed by regional and national bodies everyone voted for.   A sort of e-public works.

The filing of opinions an briefs deadline with the FCC was midnight Jan 14.  Many companies waited to file until then.  The FCC was flooded with opinions, all of which are being made public now.  As did a many many other tech companies, lobbyists, and consumer advocates interested in the FCC’s net policies. Cnet has a good round up article.

But take a look at Songwriters Guild of America’s position. They understand that tech companies are trying to enshrine piracy in to the law, in direct violation of copyright law.  If you question this have a look at the joint filing of Google and Verizon. They feel copyrights are well protected, which we all know from the lawsuits going on worldwide, are not.

The net is not neutral, it’s not free.  It is a medium of commerce, that is not well regulated, and by far creative people, authors, songwriters, and others are paying for it to the point that they are being beggared. Tech companies state they are “user” oriented.  That’s fine.  But that creates an imbalance.  So FCC web-policies need to be firmly content- or data-generator oriented to balance the picture and create true neutrality.

Published in: on January 19, 2010 at 7:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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