Yes, these ISPs are operating uncompetitive markets in that their customers don't have a choice of Internet providers; that's why they can get away with it. But I'd posit that the "toll" is actually on the competitive market of content.
These ISPs are also content companies who are (rightly) terrified that consumers are more able to get their entertainment from other sources. They are leveraging their infrastructure control to make those competitors' services less appealing and more expensive.
It's worse than just a rate hike on uncompetitive cable TV, they're preventing the transition to new distribution methods because those methods allow competition.
Might also want to be careful about when they file. I'm not super sure the current Supreme Court would actually fix the CAFC debacle; what with their existing refusal to examine this appeal that sooooo many people are sure is wrong, and recent Grokster and Aero rulings.
In their defense, it is a pretty fat fringe exploitation on their customers' bills, and almost no one complains. I remember being very surprised that you could bring your own cable modem ten years ago. But the motion on not renting TV hardware has been nonexistent as of yet.
Remember when you had to rent your telephone from the Bell Telephone Company to connect to the Bell Local System or long-distance? Now that was a good scheme. Why did they ever give that up? Oh right...
Okay, I went and read the document to find out what the complaint actually was. It is 4 parts, but essentially I think it's:
Google publicly states that it removes sites for certain shady things. It removed our site, so people will assume we have done those shady things even though there's no proof. That's uncompetitive, since we make money by breaking Google's algorithm without breaking their rules.
That's alleged to be Defamation (by inference), violate the Lanham Act (false statements in commerce), Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (deceptive statements), and to be Tortious Interference (I think because customers can't manually type a url?).
So in this instance Google's first amendment right to remove sites isn't being denied (though that defense was rejected), it's whether removing a site makes an implied statement about that site because of their help documentation. They need to revise those documents (I suggest something like "screw you all") and then they can continue to delist spammers that aren't quite using known methods to game the system.
I find those "exceeding authorization" laws problematic in many cases. But isn't this different from your example of breaking someone else's policy since it's breaking your own policy? Am I legally bound not to feed the trolls if I substantially claim that I don't?
"plaintiff is alleging that as a result of its pages being removed from Google’s search results, Google falsely stated that e-ventures’ websites failed to comply with Google’s policies.... Google is in fact defending on the basis that e-ventures’ websites were removed due to e-ventures’ failure to comply with Google’s policies.... The Court finds that this speech is capable of being proven true or false"
So the court is essentially weighing the matter of "you're a liar" vs "nuh-uh"? Even if they didn't abide by their own policy, how is that a legal issue? Surely it can't be illegal to make a statement that turns out to be false. It might be a poor PR move to behave contrary to stated policy but unless I don't understand it at all, that policy is not a binding contract between Google and everyone it does and does not index.
There are so many anachronistic terms in industry analysis that they really do need to redefine a lot of them; they've just failed to do so usefully. Calling all moving picture entertainment in the home "television" doesn't fix their problem - people paying them less and competitors more. It makes investors less nervous if they don't see through the BS, but is not a solution.
Old term = New Term Broadcast TV = OTA Broadcast Cable TV = Proprietary Broadcast IP TV (FIOS) = Proprietary Broadcast On Demand Video (from Broadcast company) = Walled Garden Streaming Video = User Chosen Content Content Cord Cutting = Broadcast Cutting
Most people aren't cutting cords in the sense the no longer watch anything, they're opting for choice over broadcast. The concept that you have to tune in at a certain time or remember what channel a show is on, that's what's going to go away. That's what "Television" used to mean -"broadcast entertainment" as a mass transmitted one-way media consumption platform. Now television means whatever you choose to put on the big screen in your house, and broadcast companies are still bleeding subscribers and lashing out.
So what is their solution? Offering the same broadcast content delivered by a different protocol on your computer or phone? Increase the number of broadcast channels, hoping one may match a user's interests? Offering crappy "VOD" titles packaged with the same broadcast subscription people don't want? Making their broadcast subscription integral to the Infrastructure they hold a monopoly on, or charging more to deliver competitor's content? Sure. Those will all work for a while. But they're not sustainable, it's like fighting the tide. If they're serious about competing on content, they need to compete on content and accept that they will be a part (a small part) of a customer's entertainment choices. The age of Studio/Broadcaster/Cable control is ending. The time of consumer choice has come.
Bullying seems to be quite a lot like pornography these days. Certain people think it's better restricted by the government than parents, is somehow worse when online, and they have a hell of a time describing what does or doesn't constitute it. But they still "know it when they see it" and are more than willing to try fixing a problem they don't understand.
Yeah, they've already established that they don't have to show the court or defense how they broke into a system. "Just trust us, we got in. *wink*" Wave a folder in the air, shake your fist menacingly, and no one will ever know it's empty.
"surely it can build a technology that can determine what is and what is not fair use."
Sure, I mean given enough time and resources, I'm positive that crack squads of elite nerds will create a super intelligent AI who will become self aware, enslave us all, and declare that there is no fair use because copyright is fucking stupid and hereby abolished. All in due time.
1) Have you heard of books? I've seen a lot of cord cutters claim to either reduce or eliminate their amount of screen time consumed. 2) Cord cutters can still find the transition worth while because they can choose the terms of their entertainment (what, where, when) even if it isn't less expensive.
The issue isn't just that it's getting more expensive, it's more expensive for something they don't want. That's a problem with broadcast entertainment. Paying for 500 channels is crazy. I only need one channel if it's always showing exactly what I want.
I use the Tragedy of the Commons frequently to explain lots of different situations (maybe too many). The commonality is in entities overindulging in a shared limited resource because they assume others would do so if they didn't. The old "I got mine" mentality.
The only way I can conform that to this situation is if we, the paying cable customers, are the limited resource. He's upset because competitors are overgrazing their sheep and killing the grass... aka jacking up the rates too fast and driving customers away from broadcast tv.
This interpretation pisses me off. First it lays blame on exploitative grazing and not on the fact that the grass realized it had better shit to do than wait around and get chomped. He thinks if only they weren't quite so abusive their captive market would be safe and we'd be consuming like we did in the 70's; they had a system to bleed us slow dammit, what was wrong with that?
And second it casts consumers as a passive resource with no choice but to be overgrazed upon. In reality a competitive market would see consumers being overcharged and respond with competition not equal price hikes across the board. But the content companies thought they had the market locked down, that the grass had nowhere to go, so they grazed and charged and shot themselves in the foot.
So I'll agree they've got a tragedy on their hands, but I don't think it's of the commons. If anything this seems more like a King Lear or Oedipus Rex style tragedy in the "went crazy and ruined your empire/ killed your family and blinded yourself" sense.
Wasn't there a more concrete report of the government remotely activating smartphones to listen in on whatever they'd like? Did the newfangled smartphone industry overcome that hurdle, or did we just forget?
I think the larger issue than "insert new technology here" can be hacked is that there are malicious hackers exempt from laws meant to protect us from intrusion; and they are the government.
I am sick and tired of the continual slander of the hard working population in our nation's capitol. We may perpetually host the asshole Olympics, but every single contestant is, by definition, from somewhere else. Don't blame your assholes on us!