Are Supporters Of Net Neutrality Really Just Supporters Of Music Piracy?

from the those-evil-net-neutrality-supporters dept

One of the big problems with the net neutrality debate is that both sides are prone to misleading and hyperbolic arguments. This applies to both the astroturfing groups, which are shills for the telcos, and the Save The Internet crowd, which also has a penchant for propaganda. The latest absurd argument comes from Sonia Arrison, who works for a telco-funded think tank, who claims that supporters of net neutrality are really just supporters of piracy because of their opposition to blocking P2P networks. This ignores the fact that blocking or slowing down these networks doesn’t stop piracy. It also buys into the myth that there’s a serious bandwidth crunch that can only be solved by things like traffic shaping, which net neutrality supporters tend to be opposed to. Still, Arrison saves up her ultimate canard for the end of the column when she says that supporters of “net neutrality theory” should be opposed to Apple’s plan to sell DRM-free MP3s from EMI because Apple’s use of price differentiation (unprotected tracks will sell at $1.29 as opposed to the normal $.99) is non-neutral. Of course, nothing at all about net neutrality would imply that different prices for different products should be illegal. All this example proves is that Arrison either doesn’t understand net neutrality or is willfully trying to distort the concept.

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Comments on “Are Supporters Of Net Neutrality Really Just Supporters Of Music Piracy?”

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Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re:

as usual, techdirt is all about support piracy and demonizing anyone trying to prevent it.

This isn’t even remotely true. We do not support piracy at all. We’ve been quite clear about this.

What we do support are companies recognizing how they can expand their market.

And we don’t “demonize” anyone trying to prevent it. We focus on arguments that we believe are wrong and explain why they’re wrong.

If you disagree with us, rather than making blanket incorrect statements why don’t you refute the points with actual arguments? We’re always here willing to discuss…

Mitch says:

Easily explained

The comment by Sonia Arrison about how the price difference is a violation of net neutrality is probably a very well done bit of, well honestly BS. I’m sure some non-tech oriented news group(s) is going to pickup that quote and use it, those who aren’t tech savvy or read websites like this are going to hear that, believe it and it’s going to get them to lean more towards the side that wants to violate net neutrality. Or it’s going to be fed to our Senators and Reps, with the exact same effect. It’s intended to show those who support net neutrality as charlatans.
That or she could just be a twit, I like conspiracy theories though so I’ll stick with my original answer.

Tintin says:

Sleeping giants

I’m just wondering about what these big mean firms will do when countries like India wake up to high speed networks and P2P? With absolutely no clear laws that prevent piracy, and even more haphazard policing, media and software companies will have absolutely no clue.
This, considering that India is already considered a hub for piracy, even without any high speed networks and too much PC penetration.

The fastest download speeds a home user can now get is about 2 Mbps, which is not consistent, has a download limit cap and users have to pay through the nose for it.
I’ve been using the torrent network for just about a year now, and it’s really catching on among urbanites here.

ACustomer says:

Techdirt loves spoons more than people

1. Telcos want to bill third parties for access to their network.
2. To do this they want to do traffic shaping.
3. Traffic shaping can also be used to reduce some p2p usage.
4. But you can’t bill p2p users unless you can sue them to get their identity.
5. Net neutrality laws don’t prevent traffic shaping (or even porn filtering etc.) they prevent telcos *charging* a ransom to get access to their customers.
6. So she’s not making a valid argument against Net Neutrality LAWS just confusing traffic shaping with net neutrality.

1. You drink soup with spoons
2. Spoons are cutlery
3. Knives are cutlery
4. Knives can kill
5. If you don’t agree with my ban on spoons you are supporting killers.

Dosquatch says:

Re: Re:

Who’s protecting the children from these “spoons”? What about the children?

Nobody. Ain’t it great? Imagine, instead of trying to nerf-coat Little Johnny, we instead teach him some basic skills on how to look out for himself from time to time.

Off with their helmets! Lawn Darts for everybody!

Sure, somebody’s gonna get a black eye playing dodge ball. Somebody’s going to break an arm or a leg jumping off of the playground equipment. And, by jove, Mom was right – “it” is all fun until someone loses an eye.

But these are educational experiences. You learn to duck. Maybe wait until the swing is a little lower before you launch yourself. And you’re certainly not going to do “that” and end up like one-eye-Jones, are you?

The one best thing we can do “for the children” is to teach them to think for themselves, because (unless you missed this day in biology) they are going to grow up and inherit all of this crap we’ve been “protecting” them from, and if we haven’t given them the knowledge and tools to handle it effectively, what sort of fucked up failures does that make us?

Yours Truly,

old One Eye Jones

RandomThoughts (user link) says:

Actually, I think it is unfair to say Techdirt hates filesharing and net neutrality. I am not sure which side of the net neutrality debate Techdirt is on, but the many posts that I have read them make on the subject talk more about the falicy of other positions. They argue against both sides.

Of course, it didn’t help Imus that he was an equal opportunity offender.

Personally, I think net neutrality is a very simple debate. If I am Verizon, why would I spend $20 billion dollars to run fiber if I knew that a competitor could launch the same products I sell to my customers while using the fiber that I paid $20 billion dollars to run?

I know about all the claims of past compensation, but Wall Street doesn’t live in the past, they look to the future. Wall Street has already talked about Verizon spending too much money on FiOS, what do you think they would say if laws were passed that would limit their return?

Anonymous Coward says:

“The fastest download speeds a home user can now get is about 2 Mbps, which is not consistent, has a download limit cap and users have to pay through the nose for it.”

Wow, you sound like you actually believe that. I dunno where you live, but it must be in a cave somewhere. The ISP I work for has DSL service at up to 6Mbit. I myself am on a very stable, consistent 3Mbit connection. And I’ve heard that some cable ISPs have speeds up to 10Mbit now. Also, most broadband connections have no metered download limit, and several are very reasonably priced. I must assume that either your area is under the control of a monopolistic ISP and you are ignorant of other services, or that your comment just warped in here from about 4-5 years ago or so when it was more common for internet connections to be limited like that.

Tintin says:

Re: Huff Puff

You heard me right. The fastest speeds a home user gets us 2Mbps (if lucky). Though last mile infrastructure can handle greater speeds, the number of international gateways are quite few. We have undersea cables to Hong Kong and Singapore in the east and some countries in west asia. It typically takes about 4-8 hours to download a CD worth of stuff using Bittorrent.

Well Spoon Me says:

A spoon is a eye gouging tool.

“Wall Street has already talked about Verizon spending too much money on FiOS, what do you think they would say if laws were passed that would limit their return?”

So their beef is the fibre capacity resale charges are too cheap then? That doesn’t give them the right to double-sell their service.

Imagine if I paid UPS to send using next day delivery and UPS called the recipient and demanded an extra $20 otherwise they’d delay it a week because they were busy. Who would tolerate that? It would be double selling the same service.

BTW I would totally fork Sonia Arrison.

Joe (profile) says:

Non-DRM song prices

I really can’t wait to see how well songs without DRM sell on the net. So far I’ve purchased 2 songs off of Itunes, I regret both purchases as the songs can barely be used at all (I can’t use them anywhere except my ipod or my itunes)

Since I regretted buying those songs i haven’t bought any more. I think it might take a few months, but people might actually start buying music, and once that happens companies will know we don’t like DRM.

If we can purchase a song legally that has no restrictions we will.

chris (profile) says:

it's bad when one thing becomes two

net neutrality… or rather the need for it… is a product of the lack of competition among broadband providers.

we need net neutrality because we in the united states no longer have the assurance that the FCC will continue to do what it has always done, and keep things fair and competitive when it comes to the internet.

if there was more competition in the broadband market, no one would scream for neutrality because if a provider did something we didn’t like we could find another provider.

since there is little competition in the broadband space, and we can no longer trust the FCC (part of the executive branch) to act in our best interest, we need to appeal to the legislative branch to make the protections we need into law.

if you don’t want net neutrality legislation, then do something to open the telco and cable industries up for competition in the broadband space.

the only parallell that can be drawn between file sharing and net neutrality is this:

file sharing is about getting media on your terms. if you want immediate access to new media with no DRM, your only option right now is to download it illegally.

net neutrality is about getting access to the internet on your terms. right now you can get relatively unrestricted internet access, but that might not always be the case thanks to the lack of competition in the broadband market.

people share files because they have already invested in a computer and internet access and they are more interested in making that investment work for them than investing in physical media.

people want unrestricted internet access because they have already invested in a computer and internet access and they are more intereted in making that investment provide their entertainment, communications, and information needs rather than investing in more traditional services from the cablecos and telcos.

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