The Emperor's New Clothes

The Emperor's New Clothes

Summary: 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.

TOPICS: Microsoft

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?

Topic: Microsoft

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  • Not So Fast

    I am not normally moved to gesture on your posts Steve - because, normally, you're with the beat.

    But this time you're way, way, off.

    True: At some point last mile competition will, eventually... [checks watch, checks calendar, checks last 10 diaries (yawn)] kick in.

    True: New, small, last mile providers could not care less about doing all those big, complex, Hollywood content deals.

    True: The new 'content' has never been 'owned' - and even with Net Prejudice new stars will emerge, and increasingly resist 'Hollywood's' siren song.

    True: DRM and copyright are big problems for their owners - no-one else gives a damn 'cos they're toothless, brainless, and smell really bad.

    True: Past IT choke points such as Microsoft monopolies were not the end of the civilized World.

    True: The politicians can be fully expected to screw it up in the worst possible way - even if they get a clue in the meantime.

    True: The IT industry does not give a monkey's cuss for Net Neutrality - where's the fun in an open market?

    True: Discussing media 'ownership' is a debate for the mentally retarded.

    [b]False[/b]: Net Neutrality is [b]not[/b] a game fit only for the paranoid.

    It is perfectly possible to plug the network 'intelligence' (hey, it's [i]their[/i] name for it, leave me out) that still exists in POTS back into the Net. Trust me, (please?) you don't want these zombie devices in your Net access.

    I waited through HDLC/SDLC, Statmuxing, X.25, Frame Relay, ATM - holy crap I even served on SMDS committees - and that's just the transport layer!

    All of these were open, 'industry supported', standards - and all were balkanized to death. Life before TCP/IP was pure hell for anyone who actually wanted to get anything done in their own back yard - and you could just forget the wider World.

    It took at least a quarter of a century ('69 to '94) just to get open packet switching technology adopted as one standard so that we can start to build on top (i.e. the Web). Net Prejudice will turn back this clock - count on it (pretty please?).

    The Internet is important - and exploded into view - because anyone can connect and be sure that everyone else is connected to them. True, this ideal has been eroded over time (NAT, Firewalls, Encryption, DRM (aka CRAP), etc. etc.) but that does not mean that the ideal is no longer valid - that the ideal is not worth defending. On the contrary, at some point we have to make a stand or we lose the freedom to BE CONNECTED.
    Stephen Wheeler