You ignore that, during most of its history, the U.S. had some of the strongest protectionist policies in the world (as did Britain before it became a world power). Tariffs, strict immigration laws, public funding, and labor laws are all designed to benefit the local economy, yet under your logic this is "negative government interference" and new local industries should be left to fend for themselves in the international market. I'm sure it'll work out.
You ignore that our entire current economic system is based on principles of risk that drive innovation and could not exist without government protection. The potential cost of starting a business without bankruptcy and limited liability, two mainstays of modern entrepreneurship, would not exist without government protection. If an individual trying to create a new business literally risked their entire livelihood in the process (and had no protection from banks) how many people would try something new? Our economy works because we have safeguards against being destroyed by failure, and in a competitive market, people are going to fail. Making them live in poverty does not help the economy.
Every country in the world has economic regulations for a reason, and it's not just to make businesses stronger. It's to protect new and local industries from established foreign competition, allow people to take risks on new ideas, avoid excessive and harmful short-term thinking, and protect consumers and small businesses from massive market forces beyond their influence.
Am I saying all regulation is a good thing? Absolutely not. There is plenty of harmful regulation out there, and much of it can probably be traced to corporations looking out for themselves at the cost of the public.
And that's why a purely "free market" is a flawed concept. Of course corporations are going to try and tip the game in their favor. They do it right now, when we have a governing body and the possibility to appeal to people that don't have a personal interest in your abuse. Without that defense, when your only recourse to abuse is to "go somewhere else" (assuming somewhere else exists, is an option, and hasn't been bought or driven out of business by the ones you're having issues with), what do you do then?
The government has flaws, but it's a group of people, just like corporations. I'd be very cautious about advocating to throw away your defenses against abuse because you think that the people in corporations are mystically going to harm you less than those in government.
Could you please show me where I stated that net neutrality is a Straw Man fallacy?
The concept of net neutrality exists ONLY because Tim Wu postulated a workaround to the then (and still current) monopoly on broadband Internet access by a handful of providers. ... Stop going after the Straw Man fallacy & fight for more access through more choice through more competition.
You start by discussing the concept of net neutrality, propose a series of questions indicating an alternative to net neutrality, and then you say "stop going after the Straw Man fallacy." If you weren't talking about net neutrality, what the heck were you talking about? You don't mention anything else it could be (unless you don't know what a fallacy is).
Maybe I should just go back to your original assumption and challenge that:
The concept of net neutrality exists ONLY because Tim Wu postulated a workaround to the then (and still current) monopoly on broadband Internet access by a handful of providers.
Basic economic theory suggests that operators have a long-term interest coincident with the public: both should want a neutral platform that supports the emergence of the very best applications. However the evidence suggests the operators may have paid less attention to their long-term interests than might be ideal. A 2002 survey of operator practices conducted for this paper suggests a tendency to favor short-term results.
His entire argument is in favor of regulation as a way to promote competition. His conclusion is that natural market forces will not remove these issues (and, as the next five years would demonstrate, he was completely right).
I find it interesting that you would argue that the problem is lack of competition, not net neutrality, when the entire purpose of net neutrality is to protect competition. Hence the reason why Title II forbears nearly all rules except those that would interfere with competition, as stated in the FCC's press release. To say that the issue of competition is not a net neutrality issue is to fundamentally misunderstand the core purpose of net neutrality.
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Net Neutrality vs Competition
Also a truly free market abhors monopolies and they are not sustainable and tend to break apart without regulations creating barriers of entry.
This is completely false. Even a cursory look at the banking situation in the last 20 years demonstrates the opposite. The U.S. deregulated the banks to "help the economy" and they became "too big to fail."
Either way, nobody wants a truly free market. A truly free market has no regulation, and no regulation means no tariffs, no public research funding, no immigration restrictions, and no protection from abuse. The U.S. economy would be owned by China, Mexico, and the U.K. in a few years and we'd become a third world country.
I love it when the people who advocate for a "true free market" conveniently leave out the part where all the top economies in the world have never had one.
"It's on Amazon, but I'd only consider paying for it if I knew I could save permanent copies of the episodes."
If only the content companies could read this and understand what it means. This is one of the biggest reasons why their crusade against piracy is meaningless. Pay attention: Piracy offers a product that is not available at all through legal channels.
You cannot call DRM-laden and/or streaming video the same product as an HD .avi file. The video file can be converted for offline play on virtually any device and can be safely stored without worrying that the product you bought is going to vanish into thin air because a company went out of business or otherwise decided to pull your content. The value of the two things is not equivalent.
If content was available at a reasonable price and in the same form (DRM free, local, and without release windows) as pirated content I would likely be much more sympathetic to publishers worrying about piracy. Also, I'd probably be broke, because I'd buy that in a heartbeat (especially if they offered a download subscription model, which would ironically lower their overall bandwidth requirements).
Of course, if they did this, piracy would virtually disappear anyway. Too bad.
The premise of the article is in the title: "Why Cable TV Beats the Internet, For Now"
To make that claim you can't simply ignore huge portions of data. He makes the claim that "You'll miss some popular TV" by using the internet rather than cable, and scores it in cable's favor. That's like saying "my store is better than the store on the other side of the street because there's no crosswalk so you can't get to the other store." And most people are thinking "that's nice, I'll just walk across the street without a crosswalk." Sure, that option is illegal but how many people aren't going to walk across the street just because someone didn't put up a crosswalk?
If the article had just been about legal options for getting TV on the internet that would have been one thing. But instead he made the argument that cable was somehow better than the internet, while ignoring the massive amount of utility gained from the internet that cable doesn't have.
The entire premise is flawed, anyway. Cable has a single purpose; watching TV. The internet is capable of watching some (or most, if you're willing to pirate) TV, plus about a million other things, like work, communication, education...the list goes on and on.
It's sort of like complaining that your smartphone doesn't have as good of a GPS as your Garmin, so therefore the Garmin "beats" your phone. One is a specialized, narrow tool for a specific purpose, and the other does so much more. Not only that, it would be hard to argue that the Garmin is in fact superior for everyday navigation, although it is better in the specific situation it was designed for (mostly outdoor exploration).
The funniest part to me is that most of cable's "advantages" in the article only exist because the cable companies have created an artificial licensing barrier. They could easily release all their content online and cable would be virtually obsolete overnight; there's no technical reason they couldn't (and even the business reasons are suspect). When a technology's main advantage is "we've locked our stuff down so you need to be a criminal in order to access it any other way" it doesn't get a whole lot of sympathy from me.
Reading comprehension 101: "but it also may include using BitTorrent and a Plex media server to pirate all of their favorite HBO and Showtime shows.
Note the key word, "and." The part before the "and," "BitTorrent" is the source of the content. The part after the "and," "Plex media server" is the method used to view the content. At no point did the author indicate that media servers were used to pirate the content itself, and even the most basic understanding of the terms used would make this obvious.
It's sort of like saying he used a hose and a bucket to wash his car, and then you yelling "Hey! You can't get water from a bucket! It's up to a human to put water in it first!"
Re: Re: It's not just what they left out, but what they stuck in...
Really? I've never actually found a rate where the internet alone options was literally cheaper than internet + cable, at least not beyond a short promotional period. Either way nobody is forcing you to hook up the TV portion.
Maybe that's because I don't get the minimum internet access (my house uses a ton of bandwidth between my wife and me). We ended up getting a cable/internet package because it was only slightly more expensive than just internet, and we were switching from Time Warner to Hawaii Telecom, and even with the cable our internet was cheaper than our previous bill (yay competition). Most people aren't lucky to have two real options, let alone one that's actually better than the other.
It's interesting to see they're giving out cable at a loss.
And if China accused you of breaking one of their laws in a U.S. company you owned, I'm certain you would gladly walk directly into the PRC's court, right? I'm sure a country who's legal history includes the logic of "if you weren't guilty, you wouldn't have been accused of being guilty" will give you a fair trial.
Either way your entire idea is stupid. He is on legal bail in New Zealand, one of our closest allies. If the USG had legal grounds to require extradition, he would be here. He's about as likely to get a fair trial as Edward Snowden would. If you think the U.S. courts aren't influenced by political pressure you are horribly naïve.
Well, those are all questions, not arguments. Were they intended to be rhetorical? That only works if the underlying assumptions of the question is assumed to be true (which in this case is very debatable).
Why is COMPETITION to provide broadband Internet being quashed?
Several reasons. First, internet access is a natural monopoly. Without getting into too much detail (before Austrian school psychos get up in arms) this essentially means anything with extremely high fixed costs and low marginal costs. This creates an severe disadvantage for any new company to enter the market as they first have to deal with the fixed costs. Google Fiber is an obvious counter-argument, but with Google's massive capital the fixed costs become significantly less of an issue and the horrendous, overpriced service offered by competitors is easy to defeat through marginal costs.
Second, the existing broadband options have used legislation and agreements with one another to essentially remove competition. The economic argument against this is that a "rational and self-interested" free market will naturally gravitate towards favoring the small, consumer-friendly business as they can offer the best product and consumers will chose them over the competition. In practice, however, it's much easier for the big company to just buy out, make deals with, or use legislation to eliminate this advantage. It's basically a non-aggression pact; competition hurts both of us, so we'll agree to stay out of each other's way, and if everyone is giving crappy but necessary service, consumers will buy it anyway.
Who is doing the quashing?
The ISPs, with the assistance of well paid and/or extremely gullible government "friends." Make no mistake, the ISPs are not in competition, and have no natural incentive to be. They've divided up their territory and are finding more profit in abusing consumers than attempting to compete against each other (after all, they'd have to deal with the pesky fixed costs just like anyone else would to compete).
How do we, as consumers, fight the identified forces that are limiting COMPETITION in the broadband Internet space?
We can't. Unless you're in an extremely niche business or lifestyle the internet is a requirement for modern life. You need it for work, you use it for play, you use it to socialize. Around 80% of Americans use the internet and that number gets bigger every year (and virtually all have options for access).
This is important because the two main economic weapons consumers have, choosing where to buy and if to buy, are removed by the current ISP situation. If you only have one real option for internet (or even a couple equally bad options) you can't choose to take your business elsewhere. "Elsewhere" doesn't exist where you live. Likewise, unless you're in the 20% that doesn't want internet access, choosing not to buy isn't an option. And that 20% isn't even a consideration for ISPs because someone uninterested in internet access is unlikely to buy in because the service or price improved.
You say we need to "fight" for more choice and competition, but you don't say how. You can't improve competition by going to the competition; if you could, there wouldn't be a problem! And for the vast majority going without access isn't an option either (and clearly it isn't an option for you, considering you are posting this on a website).
So what can consumers do? Start our own ISP? Good luck with that. If you can miraculously find the money and set up the infrastructure, and afford to offer a better, cheaper alternative to the local incumbent, and defeat an entrenched ISP with essentially unlimited money to destroy your business via litigation, legislation, and "temporary special deals" for existing customers, by all means, go for it. I'd be shocked if you got past the "I need a loan for this" stage.
So really, what's your option? Consumers can't compete with the ISPs. Consumer's can't buy something else or nothing. We can talk bad about them, I guess, but the worst company in America and friends don't really give a rat's ass.
Oh, right. There's an obvious one; we can petition the government to help. We can have a governing body that regulates ISPs to prevent anti-competitive behavior and remove some of those weapons ISPs have to abuse their consumers. The internet is a communications tool, so maybe the FCC should be the one to do it. After all, they already regulate phones, right? Makes sense. They'd need some sort of authority to regulate ISPs though, like, I don't know, Title II, the same one that authorizes regulation of cell phones companies.
Someone should really suggest that. It may not be a perfect solution, but it's a step in the right direction.
Sorry, I got distracted. Why is net neutrality a straw man fallacy that doesn't address competition again? I must have missed that somewhere.
Many newer systems capable of accessing online services (such as the Xbox One, Playstation 4 and iPhone) have internal hardware-based unique identifiers, allowing individual systems to be tracked over a network and banned from accessing certain online services. Banned systems usually continue to operate for purposes unrelated to the online service, but they are often considered "bricked" by users of the online service.
And if a device loses expected functionality, for instance due to being banned or having its IMEI removed from the network, it is considered "bricked." In fact, the entire controversy over remotely "bricking" phones was to prevent them from accessing the network, not prevent them from booting.
While using "bricking" may not be the common understanding of the word it is accurate to say a device that has expected functionality removed due to a firmware change or error is "bricked."
"Bricking" refers to a software issue that removes all functionality from a device, making it essentially a "brick." Normally this applies to complete functionality removal, in other words, the device no longer works at all for any purpose.
That being said, the "jailbroken" Kindle is being bricked by this update. After the update, the Kindle can no longer be rooted, which means that the core functionality gained by rooting is lost. If, for example, I had a smart phone that I expected to be able to surf the internet, but an update removed that functionality and only let me make calls, I would consider that a bricked phone; the partial functionality removes key uses for which I purchased the device.
So if I bought a Kindle Fire expecting an inexpensive Android tablet with good reading capability and suddenly the "tablet" part of the equation was removed I'd be pretty upset, especially since the Fire is not really any cheaper than other equivalent Android tablets. They advertise it as a tablet, and while they mention their proprietary OS, it is "built on Android with enhancements." What if I want some of those enhancements, but not everything? What if I want stuff other than their 100,000 apps in their appstore? Their is nothing in their hardware that prevents me from doing so; it's purely a software lock.
Therefore, if I bought the device knowing I had these options, and then the company removes those options, that device has lost its core functionality due to a software issue, not a hardware one. Which is the definition of "bricking."
I didn't think "progress" needed to be defined, but since I'm apparently the one to take the time, the object of the Copyright Act of 1790 was the "encouragement of learning."
It also only lasted 14 years and you had to register your creation with the Copyright Office, and could be renewed for an additional 14 years, but hey, that's the same as over a hundred years automatically, right? Beyond the lifetime of everyone for which the creation is relevant makes complete sense.
This needs to be repeated more often. Complete focus on short-term profits has destroyed the world economy. We really need to get out of this "slash-and-burn" mindset where we milk every company for maximum profit until they collapse, then move on to the next. While doing so makes a few people rich, most people are just losing out and the economy as a whole suffers.
I don't really see this happening with Google any time soon but I suppose anything is possible.
The article isn't about a contradiction in the facts of the case. As Mike points out in the original article:
The case involves what appears to be a fairly straightforward question: can a patent holder demand royalties after a patent has expired. The obvious answer to this question is "hell no." And, in fact, that's exactly what the Supreme Court itself said in 1964 in Brulotte v. Thys Co.
Nobody is arguing that this is wrong or even a contradiction (the opposite, in fact, which is why the case has gone nowhere). There is some case law that makes it slightly unclear (hence the only reason it's in court at all) but Mike pointed that out as well.
The issue is the irony of Disney's statement that "modern developments underscore the need to protect the public domain [from patent royalties] that would accumulate forever." This is from a company that has heavily lobbied for extensions of copyright terms from the more reasonable 28 or 42 years to 75 years or life of the author plus 50 years then to 95/120 years or life of the author plus 70 years. This was specifically designed to prevent its own intellectual property from entering the public domain.
So, for a company that his historically fought tooth-and-nail to prevent their own products from entering the public domain to point out how important it is to ensure other people's products enter the public domain in a reasonable amount of time is hilarious.
It's like North Korea calling out the United States for human rights violations. Technically they're correct, however, their own policies make the accusation ironic considering the stance of the source.
That's all that happened here; Mike called out Disney for encouraging a stance that, historically, they've done everything they can to avoid. It's ironic, nothing more. Disney is going to win their court case (and should). They still have a stranglehold on Mickey Mouse for perfectly legal (but ridiculous) reasons.