As I’ve observed before, the IP Mafia have absolutely the worst judgment imaginable when it comes to their agenda. Now, the people who tried to kill the VCR, have just about killed internet radio, and who have sued dead people and sick children, have hit on another winning plan — using ISPs as enforcers.
Once upon a time and long ago, ISPs understood why it was important to be a common carrier and have no liability for this. That was why Congress included Section 230 and the “Good Samaritan” provision in the 1996 Telecom Act. It boils down to “when you act like a dumb pipe and just pass stuff from one place to another, we will not hold you liable for what happens.” For the same reason (as Bob Cannon explains over here on Cybertelecom), Congress generally immunized ISPs and created the whole “notice and take down” scheme in the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.
But all that was before our ISP industry boiled down to a handful of companies that were also either big content producers or video distributors dependent on the good will of big content producers. Suddenly, from the perspective of the IP Mafia, a whole new world of possible backroom dealings opened up. A world in which a few companies could make policies that would cover nearly the entire high-speed access market, and where they either shared common interest with the IP Mafia or could be “persuaded” to do so by threatening to withhold needed video content.
And so, the MPAA and RIAA walked right into my cunning trap, the fools! Alas, turns out Comcast and AT&T were too clever for me.
More below . . . .
A little over a year ago we blogged here on wetmachine about the mean nasty RIAA evildoers and how and why they were planning to kill Internet radio because the RIAA is an organization dedicated to promoting corporate control of everything you can hear, and thus hates Net radio because it makes them burn, burn, BURN when you hear new music and artists are fairly compensated and everybody is happy.
Last year I thought we had put them in the box, but oh noes! they’re back like Freddy Kruger, as I found out by this letter from Tim from Pandora, asking for support in getting Senators to support an important bit of legislation under discussion RIGHT NOW. Go to SaveNetRadio.org for info on how to help save Net radio by giving the right message to your senators.
Information on how to contact Massachusetts Senators is here. I just called them. Kennedy’s office says they’re looking into it, reading the legislation. Kennedy had not announced a position yet. The guy on the phone told me they’re getting a lot of calls. Good. Let’s give them some more. Kerry is a co-sponsor, so he’s cool.
Please call your senators. If they’re not hip, help them to get hip. If they’re cool, say “thank you.” Please do it right away. It took me about 1 minute, total, for both calls.
You can listen to Free PRess’ Craig Aaron and yr hmbl obdnt on this weekly wrap up at Uprisingradio.org. We talk about the 700 MHz auction (what else), postal rates, the save internet radio campaign, and the media mergers on the horizon.
Stay tuned . . .
My friends at Free Press have put together a campaign to fight the threat to internet radio. you can find out how to take action at their website here.
Meanwhile, going from newest technology to oldest, Free Press co-founder and media scholar/activist Bob McChesney has sounded the alarm on an increase in postal rates that will hit small magazines much harder than big ones. The deadline for comments in this proceeding is April 23.
The Internet is wonderful, but does not eliminate our need for independent magazines and other “old tech” news and diversity of views. So while I hope that folks will sign the internet radio petition, I really want to urge everyone to sign on to the postal rates campaign as well.
Stay tuned . . .