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Land of the Free

It seems like there is a never ending litany of things that the government and corporations are working on. You would hope they would do this for the betterment of their constituents/customers, but unfortunately it seems to come down to the almighty buck.

Lets take a look back at some of the wonderful things these entities have come up with for us and also things that have come up that they are dead set against:

  • DRM – used to be you could buy music, and not only did you apparently own it, you could make copies of it and play it wherever you liked. I guess this freedom was just too much for the RIAA
  • No net neutrality – the telco’s are trying to twist the argument around to reinforce their viewpoint, but the bottom line is still that what made the internet what it is today is the ability for everyone to have an equal footing in getting their page viewed. Forget the telco arguments about cost, everyone pays for their connections to the telco and if the telco’s don’t want to own the backbone, let them sell it.
  • Government mandating all internet providers keeping two years of history – this one is still under discussion, but the government wants all providers to keep 2 years of history on internet access. They claim it is to combat child pornography investigations, because who could be against that, but we all know they will use the information in any number of ways. I am no conspiracy theorist, but having seen how they operate, I have no faith in their “discretion”.
  • HDCP and/or broadcast flag – see above about DRM. Same situation, they want to deliver content, but only if it cannot be used in any way the MPAA does not like. Fear of losing revenue has clouded their ability to innovate and move forward with a new business model.
  • Hosted DVR – I know the content companies are not fond of DVR, but as long as you keep it in one place, no one seems to have a problem (except maybe advertisers). Now some companies want to offer a DVR solution, but rather than have the hardware at the customer premise, they want to let the cable company host it. This is a bit more like programs on demand, but in the end, what is the problem with people watching your show?
  • Indecency Fines – so one group of people hammers the FCC with obscenity complaints, and everyone in the world has to put up with the uncertainty left because of vague statutes. “Community Standards”? C’mon, you have to do better than that.

There are so many more that I could add, but you get the idea. For a free country, we sure have to live by a lot of rules by those who are supposed to protect our interests. If only that were their motivation, we would be so much better off. If Google’s billions could not get net neutrality passed, either they are too stingy with their money, or the deep pockets of the telco’s was just too compelling for the lawmakers to pass up.

Posted by Jeff

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