Behind the scenes, in negotiations that almost never become public, the world's biggest Internet providers and video services argue over how much one network should pay to connect to another. When these negotiations fail, users suffer. In other words, bad video performance is often caused not just by technology problems but also by business decisions made by the companies that control the Internet.
BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music. has been trying to enlist Cox Cable as an accomplice in a copyright trolling scheme, demanding that the company pass on copyright infringement notices that accuse users of downloading music and order them to pay large sums of music or face punishing lawsuits.
The European Parliament has voted to allow the telcos who supply European Internet access to hold their customers to ransom. When Europeans request data from Web sites and services that didn’t pay the ransom, EU rules will let telcos slow down the reply, while traffic between bribe-paying customers and Europeans will flow at normal speeds.
Barbara van Schewick from the Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society sums up the problems with Europe’s impending Net Neutrality rules, which are anything but neutral, and have loopholes in them you could squeeze a continent through — and then, she suggests some simple, sensible amendments that would fix them.
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