Bad Deal

As I ranted about last week, AT&T is working with some big media companies to create new technologies to catch copyright violators on their networks.

At least one of those content providers, NBC Universal, thinks that the FCC should make such a system mandatory for all internet service providers (ISP).

The comments were submitted as part of the FCC’s Notice of Inquiry about broadband policy. Most of the debate in this inquiry has focused around imposing “network neutrality” rules and limiting ISPs’ ability to break the Internet as an open platform for innovation by discriminating against particular content and application providers.

Remarkably, NBC’s not just asking for an exception in any neutrality regime to let ISPs block unlawful uses. And it’s not even asking for a loophole that would, for instance, let ISPs block or degrade a disruptive innovator like YouTube that has both unlawful and lawful uses. Instead, NBC is asking for mandatory discrimination.

I guess the network is really upset with those of us who are pirating episodes of Deal or No Deal. :-)

Basically, NBC is “essentially asking for the FCC to make copyright policy” and to force ISPs into the role of inspecting and filtering materials coming across their wires.

The net result, of course, will be the further erosion of our fair use rights.

And a big boom in the development of counter technologies to get around the blockages.

net neutrality, fair use, copyright, drm

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