Competition scholar and cyberlawyer Tim "Net Neutrality" Wu's (previously) latest book is The Curse of Bigness: a tight, beautifully argued case for restoring pre-Reagan antitrust approaches. Read the rest
San Francisco passed a law requiring owners of multi-unit buildings to choose which ISP they use, ending the practice of landlords selling access to tenants to ISPs, locking in the tenants to ISPs who don't have to keep them happy to keep their business.
Read the rest
San Francisco passed a law requiring owners of multi-unit buildings to choose which ISP they use, ending the practice of landlords selling access to tenants to ISPs, locking in the tenants to ISPs who don't have to keep them happy to keep their business. Read the rest
A year ago, Trump FCC Chairman (and former Verizon exec) Ajit Pai killed Net Neutrality, leveraging illegal, fraudulent industry dirty tricks to ram his rule through the process; all along, he claimed that Net Neutrality was a drag on investment, competition and service improvements, and that Americans would see immediate benefits once he was done killing Net Neutrality. Read the rest
Today is the one year anniversary of the FCC repeal of net neutrality going into effect!
Senators who support an open Internet are going to the floor to attempt to force a vote on the Save the Internet Act, the bill to overrule Ajit Pai and restore open Internet protections. Fight for the Future is hosting an epic all-day livestream featuring celebrities, policy experts, small business owners, musicians, US veterans, and guest hosts reading from thousands of comments submitted by Internet users like you.
I'm 100% down for the trend toward trustbusting, and I'm very glad to see it applied to Big Tech, because, like Tom Eastman, I'm old enough to remember when the Internet wasn't a group of five websites, each consisting of screenshots of text from the other four. I'd like to have that Internet again. Read the rest
[Editor's note: Whenever governments review their copyright, one of two things happens: either they only listen to industry reps and then come to the "conclusion" that more copyright is always better; or they listen to stakeholders and experts and conclude that a little goes a long way. Normally, when the latter happens, the government that commissioned the report buries it out of terror of powerful Big Content lobbyists. This time, miraculously, an eminently sensible Canadian report has seen the light of day. I was delighted to invite the legendary Canadian copyright scholar Michael Geist to present a short analysis of some of the important conclusions. -Cory]
The Canadian government launched an extensive review of its copyright law last year that led to months of study and attracted hundreds of witnesses and briefs. While some groups hoped the review would lead to new website blocking measures and restrictions on fair dealing (Canada's version of fair use), the Industry committee report released this week actually recommends expanding fair dealing, rejects site blocking without a court order, and rejects proposals to exclude education from fair dealing where a licence is otherwise available. The study covers a wide range of copyright issues, but its conclusions on fair dealing, digital locks, site blocking, and term extension are particularly noteworthy. Read the rest
A group of Quaker investors called Friends Fiduciary have introduced a shareholder motion that was backed by the owners of more than a million Comcast shares, calling on the company to voluntarily disclose its state-level lobbying activities; the company strenuously objects to making such disclosures, calling the measure an "unnecessary burden." Read the rest
Competition scholar Tim Wu (previously) is one of the most cogent, accessible voices in the antitrust debate; his recent book on the subject is a must-read; this week, he debated George Mason University scholar Tyler Cowen, proprietor of Marginal Revolution and one of the leading voices for the expansion of unfettered, unregulated capitalism -- he's the face of the notorious Mercatus Center, where rich donors choose the faculty and out pop arguments against universal health care and Net Neutrality. Read the rest
[Austria's Epicentre Works is an incredibly effective European digital rights group, most famous for getting the EU's Data Retention Directive struck down; now, they're raising the alarm about a move to relax the EU's Net Neutrality rules to allow ISPs to conduct fine-grained surveillance and discrimination against services that aren't in bed with ISPs. I'm happy to provide Epicenter Works's Thomas Lohninger a space to highlight the group's efforts -Cory]
Today 45 NGOs, Academics and Companies from 15 countries released an open letter outlining the dangers of the wide-spread use of privacy invasive Deep Packet Inspection technology in the European Union. The letter is referencing the ongoing negotiations about Europes new net neutrality rules in which some telecom regulators are pushing for the legalization of DPI technology. Read the rest
One thing that immediately struck me in Lauren Gambino's excellent analysis of the Democratic nomination campaigns in The Guardian: a quote from GOP never-Trump political consultant Rick Wilson, who counseled Democrats not to select Bernie Sanders and make the election about actual policies, "Democrats have two choices: make this a referendum on Donald Trump or lose. That’s it. There are no other options." Read the rest
More than half of the US states have passed laws that ban or severely restrict local governments from investing in broadband: many of these laws were copypasted from "model legislation" circulated by corporate telcoms lobbyists (this is a disturbing, widespread practice in America's state houses); and many of the states that have passed these bills have large areas where every ISP is a Net Neutrality violator, and all across America, ISPs are underinvesting in network buildout (especially for rural subscribers) while raising prices and refusing to sell high-speed service to customers who don't also buy cable TV. Read the rest
In a 232-190 vote, Congress has passed H.R. 1644, the Save the Internet Act, which directs the FCC to restore the Net Neutrality protections that Trump's FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stripped away through a fraudulent, corrupt process in 2017. Read the rest
ISPs want it both ways: they want to be receive billions in indirect public subsidies (access to rights of ways that would cost unimaginable sums to clear) and direct public subsidies (grant money) but still be able to run their businesses without regard to what the public actually wants (a neutral internet, supported by 87% of Americans, in which your ISP sends you the bits you request, as quickly and efficiently as it can). Read the rest
Unfortunately, telecom lobbyists have been working around the clock to try to derail the bill. Their main strategy right now is to punch it full of holes with bad amendments. So be sure to tell your rep to vote for a clean bill and oppose amendments that weaken it.
The vote is imminent and we can’t afford to lose this one! If we pass the bill through the committee it will likely get a vote on the House floor next week. But if the bill is gutted through hostile amendments, then we’re back to square one. Read the rest
A new complaint against Charter Communications filed on Friday by Sony, Universal and Warner asks for legal redress for Charter's alleged failure to disconnect people repeated accused of copyright infringement; the complaint specifically lists the provision of a higher-speed tier of internet service as evidence that Charter was profiting from infringement. Read the rest
Tuesday morning at 10am ET the House Communications and Technology subcommittee will meet and vote on the Save the Internet Act – the best bill we have to restore net neutrality. As soon as the hearing begins you’ll be able to watch the livestream here:
Unfortunately telecom lobbyists are working overtime to convince committee lawmakers to add dangerous amendments that could completely gut the bill and leave gaping loopholes for Internet providers to block, throttle, and charge users new fees for access.
To pass a clean bill with no bad amendments we need everyone to call their members of Congress and make sure they know the whole Internet is watching.
If we get the bill out of committee without any bad amendments, then we have a solid shot of winning the next big vote on the House floor in the week of April 8. But if the bill gets gutted, we’re back to square one.