According to Freepress.net, Martin joins a “Bipartisan FCC Majority” to punish Comcast for its peer-to-peer blocking funny business, already discussed here lots of times.
Like everybody else, I’ll await the in depth analysis sure to come from Harold Feld.
But assuming that this is what it appears to be, I hereby congratulate Chairman Martin. As I reported here, I had a chance to talk to him at the reception following the FCC hearing in Boston. And I found him sympathetic to the point of view that net neutrality was about more than consumer rights, it was about preserving the Internet as an engine of democracy. I wouldn’t be surprised if that argument figured in the deliberations on this ruling. In any event, I’m cautiously optimistic.
I can’t believe I actually need to explain this.
Suppose Comcast made the following offer: If you vote “yes” on a ballot initiative we like (and agree to take a pocket recording device into the voting booth with you so we can have proof), we will pay you $50.
Most of us would not only say that this is wrong, we would have no problem understanding why that’s a crime. We would not be persuaded by Comcast defending itself by saying “well, Free Press and other organizations have campaigned in support of the bill and are calling people to ask them to go out and vote — they even provide free rides to people likely to vote for the initiative. That’s just like paying people directly to vote the way we want.” In general, we recognize a difference between organizing ad trying to persuade people to vote the way you want and actually paying people for their vote (and wanting a receipt).
Which brings us to Comcast’s exercise in seat packing at Monday’s FCC Hearing in Boston.
More below . . . .
I spoke with Douglas Hofstadter for about an hour yesterday. That was kinda cool. I’m still hoping that he’ll participate in the mashup of my Cheap Complex Devices, but I ain’t going to count on it.
Your wetmachine host (that would be moi, John Sundman) and prolific wetmachiner and legal good-guy Harold Feld will be panelists at the Science/Speculative Fiction convention (“con” )
Arisia , to be held in Boston this weekend.
(It was at last year’s Arisia that Harold & I met, and I was so impressed with his general smartosity that I invited him to blog here. Lord only knows why he accepted the offer.)
If you’ve never been to an SF con (as I had not been before 2000), let me warn you that, in full conformity to stereoptype, cons are populated by weirdos. However, con-goers, who sometimes call themselves Fen, are some damn smart and well-read and thoughtful and articulate weirdos. And actually, come to think of it, now that I’ve been to about a dozen cons and have been on more than a dozen panels myself, I guess I’m one of the Fen too. Damn, how did that happen?