The OnHollywood lunch panel kicked into low gear when Jonathan Taplin raised the spectre of network neutrality. Hollywood wants carrier lock so bad it can taste it. Why are we supposed to fear the carriers? Taplin continues with the notion that 5 companies controlling the world is insane. Why did Microsoft gain monopoly status? Because the world is insane. Guess so; I remember wiith fondness when Office destroyed WordPerfect and AmiPro, and when Java tipped us back from the VB ledge. And when Google... insane? I think it's human nature at work, voting with their feet and clicks.
Even Taplin, who is obviously clueful in the extreme historically, still thinks the DRM permission slip will seed the winners in this RSS revolution. Wrong. The carriers will win only as long as there is no WiFi choice. Once WiFi zones become robust enough, people will use them like gas stations to load up on DRMLite bits, moving back into the EVDO controlled space for navigating between zones.
Photo: Dan Farber
What level of ownership should the user have with the content, the moderator asks. Hooray for Hollywood--here's the tunnelvision I expected and only caught glimpses 'til now. Let's ask the Gorilla what he wants for lunch. Do you require full ownership of this mid-level marketing weasel or are you just gonna go for the ribs and wash him down with Yoo Hoo?
So why demonize the carriers? If Microsoft was allegedly so interested in net neutrality, then why the pathetic lobbying effort in Washington? They had no problem buying the Bush administration after Clinton's meddling. Taplin says if Washington doesn't stop the four carriers, the game is over. What game? What does Hollywood sell? Bits? No. Access. What is their ownership of access to emerging stars. Limited. Who are the emerging stars. Who owns Mike Arrington? Who owns the Gesture cloud. The users. The studios will have to come to Mohammed on this one.
Net neutrality is a shell game. It acknowledges the incumbents' power at the moment when it is exposed as the empty threat it has become. Taplin: If we let open source infrastructure exist? Do we allow what South Korea allows? Ask the Gorilla what's for lunch, Jonathan. Allow who?