Tales of the Sausage Factory

More Good News From Canada, This Time On Copyright

Via Techdirt. When comedy shows start mocking your insistence that you need more copyright controls, you are losing the propaganda war big time.

Happily for the MPAA, such things will never appear on American shows like Saturday Night Live (owned by NBC Universal) or Colbert (owned by Viacom).

Stay tuned . . . .

Posted in Fighting the IP Mafia, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , | Comments closed

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Look! My Solution Found A Problem! Comcast Degrades BitTorrent Traffic Without Telling Users.

O.K., free speech issues are always sexier. Nothing gets the public (or me) wound up like blocking NARAL or censoring Pearl Jam. But, as Ecclesiastes tells us: “Money answers all.” (10:19) At the very least, it tends to rivet people’s attention without the distraction of whether or not you like the speaker or the message.

So I was quite pleased to see the Associated Press run this story on how Comcast degrades BitTorrent traffic in the name of quality of service (QoS), especially after Comcast had denied such rumors as vicious lies last August. (Where is Mona “the Hammer” Shaw when we need her?) While my friend Greg Rose on Econoclastic gives his (to my mind quite plausible) theory as to why Comcast would engage in such blocking on a large enough scale to be worth getting caught, I would like to play out the public policy implications of Comcast’s actions.

As I discuss below, this recent episode underscores several of the critical points I have made in the past about the economics of access, but without all the sexy free speech stuff clouding things up. In particular, I hope all those idjit content producers like Viacom that oppose Net Neutrality they think it will help police content for infringement and give them an advantage over rivals who can’t afford to pay the “fast lane fees.” Because, as Comcast’s little tepid step toward “How to Monetize Monopsony Power and Make the World Your Bee-Yatch” shows, making a deal with the broadband access devil to police your content guarantees that broadband access providers will end up owning you the way Microsoft ended up owning IBM and everyone else who thought that they could leverage another parties control of a bottleneck facility to its own advantage.

Given the amazing track record the IP mafia has for making bad decision in this regard, I’m not exactly holding my breath they will see reason. But I can at least secure myself the bitter pleasure of saying “toldja so” after it’s too late.

More below….

Read More »

Posted in Series of Tubes, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , | 10 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

NAB Turkey of A Report

As reported at Consumers Union Hearusnow.org blog The National Association of Broadcasters has done its best to show that owning broadcast stations loses money. Unsurprisingly, they recommend relaxing local ownership rules to allow owners to chase the happy, mythical synergy rainbow that has proven such a winner for Clear Channel, Tribune, Viacom and growing list of companies that absorbed profitable businesses and turned them into failing operations ladden with debt.

We shall leave aside the absurdity of the NAB’s arguments for the moment to get to something even sillier, the absurdity of the NAB’s math. Not since fictional Fundamentalists supposedly redefined Pi as 3 has ideology so distorted the basic precepts of mathematics. Worse, these are not accidents or “fudging.” I count no fewer than two major errors in methodology or presentation per page as well as many major methodological errors that impact the paper overall.

How bad is this paper? It is so bad that you would expect it to appear in the “April Fools” edition of Econometrica. It is so bad that I would expect its author, Theresa J Ottina, to be banned for life from meetings of the American Economic Association. It is so bad that every professor of economics and statistical analysis should download it and give it to their class as a final exam question to see if the class can spot all the errors as a kind of economics “Where’s Waldo” of mistakes, gaffes, and deceits. It is such a botched attempt at a lie by statistical analysis that I have half a mind to file a complaint with the FCC requesting they sanction NAB and Ms. Ottina for violating the FCC’s requirement that submissions reflect an honest effort to provide true information (a certification NAB made in its filing).

What makes it so bad? And why does the NAB submit such a piece of obvious crap?

See below . . . .

Read More »

Posted in Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Tales of the Sausage Factory: CBS & NBC Out Conservative Fox

Viacom, the network that has vowed to fight the FCC’s indecency fine for the Jackson/Timberlake “Wardrobe Malfunction” all the way to the Supreme Court in the name of free speech, has rejected this advertisement by the United Church of Christ as “too controversial,” as has NBC. Fox, the “conservative network,” had no problems, nor did the ABC Family Channel. What gives? Disturbing implications discussed below.

Read More »

Posted in Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , | Comments closed

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Unlicensed Spectrum in TV

The FCC has released its eagerly anticipated (or dreaded) Notice of Proposed Rule Making which would authorize the use of unlicensed spectrum access in the television bands. (Word, PDF, and Text). This is one of the real important proceedings before the FCC on unlicensed. You can be sure that major companies on both the pro-unlicensed and the anti-unlicensed side will file? But will you? Are you content to let Microsoft or Intel cut a deal with Viacom, News Corp and the rest of the media conglomerates for you? Or would you rather participate yourself and help define your own rights?

Read More »

Posted in General, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Tales of the Sausage Factory: Korn Rebellion — But Will The Revolution Be Televised?

Korn has put out a new, very indecent (for language only)video protesting the current state of the music business. Oddly, it is no longer downloadable from the Korn Website. Hmmmmm……

Read More »

Posted in General, Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , , | 3 Comments (Comments closed)

Tales of the Sausage Factory

Tales From the Sausage Factory — The Media Compromise

Hello all.

As this is my first post, a brief introduction. I am Associate Director of a non-profit public interest law firm, the Media Access Project (www.mediaaccess.org). I love communications policy, which as you might imagine is all the rage at cocktail parties. I cannot tell you how many women I have seduced by whispering to them “let me tell you about TELRIC pricing!”

12/24, I’ve moved the bulk of this essay below the fold.

Read More »

Posted in Tales of the Sausage Factory | Also tagged , | 2 Comments (Comments closed)
  • Connect With Us

    Follow Wetmachine on Twitter!

Username
Password

If you do not have an account: Register