Jeeze. The FCC has all the power they need. They just won't pull the pin. I don't know why.
Just reclassify broadband/ISPs as common carriers under Title II. Certainly there's a lot of work to go with that to make it happen, but it's certainly within their domain. No congressional action needed.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the reason that campaign contributions aren't viewed as bribes is because they're not a "quid pro quo"? And yet here's former Senator Dodd going on television and other public media saying that they've given their quid and now they want their quo?
I would think that the reason he's putting a very big $$ amount on the claim is specifically for the purpose of generating attention. If he were suing for a hundred bucks then I doubt that Mike Masnick (or anyone else) would have even noticed the suit, much less devoted time and column space to it. (Who's to know for sure?) And, of course we really don't know Stebbin's true motives.
Having said that, I've been waiting for years now for someone to pierce the ridiculuous legal fiction that these click-through agreements have been operating under. It doesn't seem like anyone that doesn't have a building full of lawyers could stand a chance given the current state of the US legal system. I don't think that Stebbins is going about it the best way but, nontheless, part of me would like to see him prevail in at least some small way. The theory is just preposterous.
Here's an anecdote to illustrate what I mean.
Back in 2002 or so I had just moved into a new apartment. I'm buying furniture and things and I decided to get a big screen rear projection HDTV since they were the new thing back then. The TV gets delivered and then I realize that it didn't have a digital receiver in it, so I couldn't receive HD signals, just analog. No problem; I'll just run down to Best Buy and get one. They only had a few back then so I decided to get one that was made by Samsung and had an integrated DirecTV receiver in it. Why not? I hadn't had satellite in a while, so it seemed to make sense. I paid for the receiver on my credit card. It was a straight transaction; went to the checkout stand, paid by card, item bagged, out the door, nothing else.
When I got home I set up the receiver and a cheap OTA antenna and was able to receive the HD OTA channels just fine. (NFL in HDTV simply rocks). The next weekend when I started to look into the satellite thing I realized, much to my chagrin, that the balcony of my 3rd floor apartment was on the WRONG side of the building and I couldn't see any of the DTV satellites at all. So I abandoned that plan and went with the cable provider that my apartment complex had contracted with for all of my other channels that weren't OTA.
About a year later I got a bill in the mail from DirecTV. They wanted to charge me $150 for, get this, NOT signing up with their service. $150 for nothing. And they claimed in the letter that I had agreed to some type of contractual terms with them at the time of purchase that I would subscribe to their service. What a load of crap. I agreed to no such thing. The only thing I did was sign the little LCD signature pad that Best Buy used for credit card signatures at the time. At no time was there any type of "agreement" discussed or implied by anyone at Best Buy. There was no paperwork other than standard CC reciept. But apparently Best Buy sent them my contact information from my credit card somehow, because they had my mailing address, even though I hadn't given it to them.
These are the types of things that companies are trying to assert with these ridiculous click-throughs. And they're all a bunch of crap. Someone needs to pierce this veil, and if David Stebbins helps in any way, then I'm behind him.
Actually, I don't doubt the record label in this a bit. It very well could be hurting their album sales.
Because Spotify is awesome, that's why. It's almost like having an infinitely big iPod with ever record ever recorded on it.
I've been using one of their competitors lately (Rdio) and I've been wondering myself why I would want to buy more recordings when everything I've every wanted to hear is only seconds away.
Ironically, this is one of the things that record companies have been asking for; i.e. getting recurring money from everybody. However, as in all things, the revenues from these services is limited. The pie has to be divided up and the companies that get most of the slices are the big guys because the number of their plays/downloads vastly outnumber the numbers of the little guys. So the small labels slice of the pie could be rounding down to (near/actual) zero.
There's no one good solution that will resolve everyone's problems.