If this plan comes into being, it really does seem to be a huge step in the direction of having checkpoints throughout our cities, manned by armed guards, and with a 'trip downtown' for anyone whose documentation isn't in order.
We need to get serious about shaking off this siege mentality our society has bought into, before our freedom disappears entirely.
Service providers love the comparison to utilities - in fact they use it themselves to justify Usage Based Billing. The following is from a letter which I wrote to the CRTC when they came out in favour of UBB - both of these points apply in Canada, and at least one of them applies in the US as well:
"In his comments at the Industry Committee hearing, Chairman von Finckenstein likens Internet access to utilities such as gas and electricity. This argument fails on at least two counts. Firstly, gas and electricity are consumables - once they're used, they no longer exist. Internet capacity, on the other hand, is not consumed; the same capacity is used over and over and over again. Secondly, gas and electricity prices are heavily regulated, in order to ensure that operators don't gouge consumers; there is no such regulation for Internet service providers, whose above-the-cap per-gigabyte pricing works out to about a hundred times the actual cost."
Although water isn't 'consumed' in the same sense as gas and electricity, the chemicals and energy used to treat and obtain it ARE consumed. But the energy consumption of the Internet doesn't change much between idle and full-capacity use, so metered billing doesn't make any sense beyond its tenuous justification as a massive cash grab.
Here in Canada, good ol' Rogers is running TV ads touting their "Speed Boost" technology, in which currently-unused bandwidth is temporarily allocated to provide users with a burst of download speed in order to improve the user experience.
I wonder where this 'extra bandwidth' is coming from, given Rogers' apparent need to activate throttling for some users? Robbing Peter to pay Paul, perhaps?
If they were alive today, would they have a "right to be forgotten"?
The EU isn't promoting privacy, they're merely attempting to erase history. They won't succeed because of the nature of the 'Net, but they may establish some dangerous precedents and justifications in the process of trying.
It would be tempting to dismiss this as mere stupidity, if it wasn't also dangerous.
Re: Re: Re: As a Canadian, I despise One Dollar and Two Dollar coins
I use change as often as practical, and debit cards help to keep the amount of change down. But it's still easy to end up with too many one- and two-dollar coins. Two trips to a drive-through, (too difficult to fish around for change while belted into a car seat), and one or two store purchases, (where the line-up behind me is long enough that I don't take the time to dig change out from among keys, USB sticks, etc.), and I'm overloaded with Loonies and Twonies.
I'd like to see plastic folding money, (not as long-lasting as coins but much more durable than paper), with the cost difference being made up by eliminating the annoying and useless penny.
As a Canadian, I despise One Dollar and Two Dollar coins
And it has absolutely nothing to do with the 'sentimental value' that Mike mentioned. The fact is, it's very easy to accumulate 5, 7, or more ones and/or twos in a day. Now if these are sheets of paper in a wallet, no problem - but if they're big coins in your pocket, the weight and bulk quickly add up. Then the tendency is to chuck'em in a drawer at night to lighten the load, resulting in an informal, inadvertent, and perhaps undesirable piggy bank effect.
In my view, the Aussies got it right. Their bills are plastic, so they're nearly impossible to tear, are immune to inadvertent laundering, (of the soapy kind), and still fit into a wallet.
I advise Americans to fight to the death to keep their dollar bills. If I could substitute folding money for Loonies and Twonies, I would do so in a heartbeat.
A very penetrating analysis. As soon as you mentioned the shell companies I thought 'Yup! Bound to happen!'
And you're right, the traditional record companies, (or, in a different context, publishers), can still make lots of profit from being middlemen. They just have to get their heads around the idea of being a different KIND of middleman, offering expertise and organization instead of plastic discs. (It's really ironic - they're sitting on a vast wealth of expertise, contacts, assets and experience that are truly scarce and valuable, and they're wasting time and money on a losing battle to create artficial scarcity).
Unfortunately, it's all about control for the dinosaurs at the helms of these industries. They will spend, waste, and lose scads of money just to maintain the illusion that they're still in the drivers' seat.
Even if the distributed files aren't DRM-encumbered...
...the plan likely won't fly because it still relies on creating artficial scarcity.
This scheme may in fact result in an outcome totally opposite to that of the classic pyramid scheme - original purchasers may barely make their money back, while thousands of people at the 'bottom' of the pyramid get free copies.
It's good to see people trying to come up with alternate business models, but I don't think this one will be saving any livelihoods.
There's a long standing precedent for this in TV land
This practice really sucks; unfortunately, it's been around in the television world for a long time now, seemingly without any effective opposition.
I'm talking about TV networks and local stations putting their logos, and/or advertisements for other programs, right over top of a currently-airing program. Not only is this annoying and distracting, it often obscures vital parts of the main show's content.
If TV networks can get away with it, why not ISP's? Conversely, if the ISP's are forced to abandon this practice, then the TV networks and stations should be treated to the same rules.
I agree completely, and would like to elaborate further. The following is an excerpt from a letter I wrote to the CRTC here in Canada, regarding their decision to let Bell Canada force Usage Based Billing on third-party ISP's:
"Libraries, telephone service, roads, hospitals, schools, etcetera, comprise societal infrastructure; that is, they are necessary for the country as a whole to conduct business, pursue creative endeavours, participate in culture, acquire education, and generally be full members of Canadian society. As a society, we agree that all of these things are for the common good. The benefits flowing therefrom accrue to all citizens, regardless of whether a specific citizen makes direct use of a given resource. For example, someone who doesn't drive nevertheless benefits from roads, because without them there would be no food on the local supermarket's shelves.
Internet service also falls into the category of societal infrastructure. Whether for work or for recreation, in today's world it is nearly impossible to be a full, participating citizen without access to the Web."
I find it interesting that Mr. Keller still maintains the pretense that Assange isn't a journalist: ("...tends to punish Assange for doing essentially what journalists do.") How, specifically, is Assange NOT a journalist? If he does "what journalists do", doesn't that make him a journalist?
We are fast approaching, (if we don't already live in), an age in which paper qualifications and convoluted notions of 'expertise' are being abandoned in favor of a demonstrated ability to do the job. It's time for 'qualified experts' in all fields to recognize this and either get with the program or be left behind.
Gee - it's amazing how hard some people will fight against free promotion for their songs. Likelihood of the YouTube posting causing even one lost sale? Pretty close to ZERO. Likelihood of the YouTube posting generating sales that would otherwise never have occurred? Very high.
I don't understand how people can think that a lack of exposure is somehow better than a very small handful, (if that), of sales lost due to 'pirating' some YouTube posting.
You say that this "can hardly facilitate the development of thinking individuals". Your first mistake is in assuming that the purveyors of this crap WANT to develop "thinking individuals". The whole setup is pure propaganda, and its purpose is to indoctrinate children into uncritical acceptance of, and mindless acquiescence to, authority in general and the U.S. government in particular.
The desired result is "The Land of the Free, (as long as you accept OUR definition of 'Free'), and the Home of the Brave, (as long as 'Brave' means risking your life for the money-making interests of our corporate overlords)".
Constitution? We don't need no stinkin' Constitution!