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Make open source compatible with content

The attitude of American regulators toward the Internet today is charitably described as proprietary.

Capitol Hill

The attitude of American regulators toward the Internet today is charitably described as proprietary.

It's already illegal to use open source for playing broadband content. DRM software, by its nature, is proprietary. Reverse-engineering it to play content on open source is illegal, and the courts have upheld the law.

But the proprietary attitude goes further than that. This week Congress starts debating new laws that will regulate broadband Internet services like TV. The bill would even force broadband ISPs to gain licenses, limiting their number and placing more competitive hurdles in the face of independent content developers.

The question isn't whether this is right or wrong. The question is whether this is good for the U.S.

It's not.

The U.S. regulatory regime is not being followed in the rest of the world. Asian developers have lots of bandwidth, as do their audiences. Their stuff is going to get better, while we worry about milking the last dimes from the past.

Already, U.S. content producers are losing their overseas markets, one by one, to local competitors. Why accelerate the trend? Why hamstring our creative people (in the name of potential future profit) when it's only going to help our economic competitors?

I'm just asking.