from the here's-your-chance dept
There are only two weeks left to submit your comments. Act soon to ensure your voice is heard!
The European Commission needs our help. As the EC considers the future of innovation policy, they need — and want — to hear from you. To make sure the Commission doesn’t create any unintended harmful consequences, they have asked for our opinion, and the opinion of anyone that could and would be impacted by changes to internet regulation in the European Union. The Copia Institute has set up a great site for gathering this information: Don't Wreck The Net. Take a moment and share your thoughts. In the meantime, here are some of ours.
The Application Developers Alliance is a membership organization representing nearly 200 companies and over 60,000 developers — many of them small companies and entrepreneurs. It is these companies that drive innovation and grow the economy. But like you, they have neither the time nor the money to lobby the government, and we want to make sure you are aware of how this consultation could end up impacting these businesses, innovation generally, and you specifically.
Many policymakers (and reporters) seem to focus on the big players and how different types of internet regulation would impact them, but we are much more concerned about the impact on everyone else. Let's face it, the largest companies have the resources and legal experts to deal with whatever regulatory burden is put on their shoulders, but the early stage companies and small app developers do not. Here are four key reasons why we think it is important to tell European regulators Don't Wreck The Net:
- More competition: The EU Commission wants to see more competition in the market, but creating more regulations and red tape will not achieve that. As noted above, these regulations are only likely to entrench the large players who have the resources to deal with those burdens. Small upstarts could end up going out of business or not get started in the first place. In order to gain more competition, we need to tell the Commission not to add an extra regulatory burden.
- More innovation: The history of technological progress — especially on the internet — is driven by "permissionless innovation." So much innovation happens because a small group of people (or even an individual!) has a great idea and can just run with it, without having to "get approval." Increasing regulation, whether on purpose or not, often results in having to make sure your innovation "gets permission" in the form of compliance — which might also limit certain kinds of useful innovations.
- Forced user monitoring isn't helpful for anyone: Like you, we are concerned about user privacy and we take this issue very seriously. We want to ensure that users are protected and we do not want proposed legislation to require much more monitoring of user behaviour. Not only would this require massive resources for small developers, it would put user privacy at risk.
- Freedom of speech: Many of the regulatory suggestions on the table could inadvertently hold back free expression, and move the internet to more of a "broadcast" model, with only approved content going through. We believe in freedom of speech and how that helps power the internet and the apps that our members develop. The internet and mobile networks are, at their heart, communications platforms. They have grown and developed because they are tools for free expression and limiting this fundamental right would not only hold back innovation, but everyone's ability to communicate as well.
For those reasons and more, we support the Copia Institute's campaign to tell the EU Commission Don't Wreck The Net, and we recommend you check out Copia's Survey Survival Guide to help take you through the consultation. The form can seem complicated, but we believe it is worth letting the EU know how you feel about this and its impact on future innovations.