A Modest Proposal: ISPs Should Stop Any Activity That Hurts A Business Model

from the it's-their-responsibility-after-all dept

With the entertainment industry’s new push to force ISPs to somehow filter or block the transfer of any kind of copyrighted material, Charles Arthur is wondering why other industries facing massive business model challenges can’t do the same thing? Newspapers, as has been well documented, are facing challenges from the likes of Craigslist and Google — so why not have ISPs block those sites? And plenty of people are discussing news articles, even to the point of copying-and-pasting articles. Clearly, ISPs should be protecting the newspaper industry. But that’s not all. Arthur points to some other industries that ISPs should help protect, such as auto mechanics and needlepoint pattern makers — both of whom have faced market changes thanks to the internet. If only ISPs would block the sharing of information on how to fix your own car or how to create needlepoints — both of those important industries could be protected. Or, as Arthur concludes, perhaps all of these industries could adapt to the changing market. But what are the chances of that happening?

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Comments on “A Modest Proposal: ISPs Should Stop Any Activity That Hurts A Business Model”

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Griff (profile) says:

I can see how this will work

All the businesses in the world pay the ISP’s in proportion to what they have to lose if the net ruined their (broken) business model. So the RIAA can probably pay most of it.

In return, the ISPs can then afford to offer everyone free net access (albeit with nothing of any use on it).

then you can choose which net to use
– the free sanitised one whose content is controlled by the lobbying of the guys who pay for it
– the other kind (like we’re supposed to have now) where you pay for a pipe and everyone gets the hell out of your way while you use it.

We could name the second one “usernet” and the first one “uselessnet”.

And the market will decide which one we all want.

Overcast says:

Actually. I agree

But what of Broadway, Symphony Performances, and the Theater?

I believe Hollywood and the Recording industry have hurt them significantly in the past. Shall we make this retroactive?

We mustn’t forget the Horse and Buggy industry either…

So ISP’s must block anything related to the Movie Industry and the Recording Industry as well. Then in addition, the internet itself has most likely hampered business models like – US Mail, Mail Order Catalogs, and the like – so after that, the ISP’s should block themselves, keeping everyone off the evil web.

Jason Still (profile) says:

not modest enough...

I don’t think this modest proposal is “modest” enough, so in the interest of more closely matching the historic version, I’d like to make a “more modest” proposal:

Google, Craigslist, and and any other companies who have so gravely harmed any businesses will have all of their assets seized. All of their founders, employees, and their families will also have their assets seized. All of the persons falling into those categories will be killed and their organs, blood, etc will be sold. Anyone who has ever used those services will have all of their assets seized (but we’ll let them keep their organs). All of the physical items we’ve rounded up in the seizures will be sold, and the huge lump of cash we have left will be divided up amongst those business who were hurt by the ones we shut down in proportion to how badly they’ve suffered. This seems like the only reasonable, fair, and equitable solution.

Ron says:

A couple things missing...

Mr. Arthur’s point is well taken, but those other industries who are affected are missing a couple of important elements to stop the ravaging of their industries. The first element is a lobby group to represent the various industry members to fight on their behalf, and the second is deep pockets of cash derived from decades of raping consumers to fund the fight.

Joe says:


I don’t know about any of you. But when I listen to the radio I never hear… “The following song is subject to copywrite, you cannot tape, reproduce, and / or listen to this music without the consent of the copywrite holder”

Though obviously you need to.

I don’t know how you can throw these un-encrypted sound waves at me, then if I record them, it becomes illegal. Every store that has cameras copy what i look like on tape and thats not illegal?

rkme says:

so at$t.....

are you suggesting AT$T block themselves for killing the phone business? That actually might not be a bad idea.

The trouble with hollywood (and god forbid the clinton’s should rule again) is they are a “self governing industry” with as #2 said lobbyists and deep pockets. I say we all return the movies and songs we bought in the past the we didn’t like. I do that at walmart with other things that suck but amazingly you can’t return bad music or movies.

I watched one movie with my business, which my husband built, as the opening for a really sucky movie and we got no money or credit for them my personal property (they didnt even ask to use it). I couldn’t get my money back even if my sportfishing boat w/ my husband on it was the only descent scene in the movie. It wasn’t even good free advertising. It was a surprise though and I’m certain it was infringed on my rights.
Hollywood needs to concentrate on making some descent movies. But that might solve some of their problems.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Don’t you hate it when the law gets in the way?”

Yes, actually. I mean, why are some of these things against the law and others aren’t? What’s the moral basis that says I can’t share music files but I can share, for example, a needlepoint pattern? After all, someone made that pattern, right? Don’t they deserve compensation as much as any songwriter? I think we’d both agree ‘yes,’ but we’d mean two different things by it.

There’s a difference between Legal and Right, and between Illegal and Wrong. There are such things as unjust and unnecessary laws.

Anonymous Coward says:

I make chainmail of various kinds (jewellery and armour). Used to be that you had to go get a fairly esoteric book or find an instructor to teach you how to do all the various weaves you need. Nowadays you can find instructions for free on the internet, and materials for remarkably cheap.

It doesn’t seem to have done jewellery makers any harm, however…

lavi d (profile) says:

Possible Future

Let’s just say that they somehow manage to seriously curtail file-swapping over the internet.

What’s to stop everyone who’s pissed about it from just buying cheap thumbdrives, putting tons of content on them and then just leaving them lying around?

(Thank you, Trent Reznor)

What happens when 1GB thumbdrives cost less than a dollar? This would be so much fun!

Nick (profile) says:

So, with the cheap USB drive argument, you are saying that in the future music will be so ubiquitous that making it available in this manner will not be a big deal.

Today, it is still possible to get data from a floppy disc. True, the software that is on it might be so outdated that it has no value. I would argue that music does not go out of fashion. And if this format (USB drives laying around with gigs of music on them) is not enticing in the future, then you are predicting that we will win the war.

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