Innovation And Our Better Future Depend On Preserving Net Neutrality
from the giving-innovators-a-chance dept
Troma Entertainment would never have reached its 40th year as arguably the world’s longest running independent movie studio if Net Neutrality or the Open Internet did not exist. I know, I know, some might say, “That would be a good thing.” Haha! But without Net Neutrality, we probably would not have visionary innovations like Crowdfunding, Macklemore, Huffington Post, Youtube, Justin Bieber and maybe even Anonymous. Net Neutrality is essential to free speech and allows for a free and diverse Internet of equal opportunity. The Internet, our last democratic medium, is severely threatened as I write this. The American courts and the US government have effectively decided to nullify net neutrality and the major media/broadband conglomerates are down in Washington, D.C. 24/7 spending kabillions of dollars to lobby against our beloved Open Internet.
The mega cartel that controls world media has their ass in a tub of butter. They control or own the cinemas, newspapers, T.V. stations, radio and even Broadway “legitimate” theaters. The only competition they face is on the Internet.
On the Internet, the playing field is level. Troma can compete with Disney if Troma has art or “content” that is interesting or compelling. The mediocre “suits” who control media do not want to get up in the morning and have to think. It’s much easier to have an oligopoly club where they control the marketplace 100%. It’s a club of smugness that promotes cheap-to-make walking feces like the Kardashians or brainless blockbuster movies with non-stop explosions. The “news” we get in The New York Times or on TV is pre-digested baby food. Because of this mainstream disgrace, so many of us go right to the internet for our news, art and commerce.
Net Neutrality is defined as the principle that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites, but it’s more than that – it’s our freedom of speech! Free speech–not just giving it, but also free speech in the form of our right to receive diverse news, art, commerce or simply some fat, sweaty teenager blogging about Robin’s nipples in “Batman & Robin.”
The giant devil worshiping international media conglomerates want to create a super highway with expensive prohibitive tolls with faster and better internet for themselves. This will make it impossible for independent artists or innovators because they simply can’t compete. The result will be similar to US television, where the biggest companies own the networks and cable systems etc. and air constant iterations and reruns of their own content. It will become harder to get anything independent into the consciousness of the public. The Internet will become an NBC-ABC-CBS kind of world unless we the people take action.
In 2010, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) created the Open Internet Order which set anti-blocking and anti-discrimination Network Neutrality rules. While the FCC claimed the rules would protect Open Internet, many of us Net Neutrality advocates felt the proposed rules had many loopholes and were made with the purpose of winning support from the telco lobbyists. Of course, we were right. The FCC stated that the rules would make it illegal for ISPs such as Verizon to block services or charge content providers like Netflix for faster Internet highways to their customers. Now, just a few weeks ago-the rules were invalidated by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia because the FCC chose years ago to classify broadband providers in a manner that exempts them from treatment as common carriers and therefore has no right to regulate them.
If the court ruling stands, then ISPs can hike prices and charge content providers to deliver Internet traffic faster while also eliminating content providers that cannot pay the fees. As consumers, we need to be aware of our standing and that ISPs will now have more control over regulating the content sites we may want to see. If certain sites are faster while others are slow because they can’t pay the tolls, we will get pushed into using only the sites that are quick to load. Those of us who can’t pay the tolls on the super highway will be relegated to the bumpy, slow buffering dirt road. Troma and 1000’s of potential innovators will disappear. I predict Netflix and the like will make sweet-heart deals with the ISP/conglomerate club in order to close the door on competitive future innovators.
We will see the same thing happen with the Internet as we have with the car, telephone, food industry, and with television. People will be kept in the dark and given an illusion of variety, the sharing of information will be controlled by a few big conglomerates and change-the-world innovation like Kickstarter, Anonymous, Bitcoin, Troma and yes, 2 girls 1 cup will all be practically inaccessible. The biggest problem is how these 1st Amendment issues are intentionally being kept from the public. Beware of elected officials and TV talking heads who decry Net Neutrality as “purveyor of piracy and pornography.” This same bogus argument has been used by The Big (White) Boys and the MPAA since the time of VHS. The elite always throw a monkey wrench into new technology to delay it so they can and then take it over. They did it with VHS and they are now trying to do it with the World Wide Web.
We defeated SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) which had nothing to do with stopping piracy. It had to do with stopping competition on the Internet. Congress was surprised at the magnitude of the number of voters who protested against SOPA and who want to preserve an open internet. Many in Congress changed their position on SOPA as a result. We must all make our voices heard and let our elected representatives know that if Net Neutrality and Open Internet go away, they too will go away.