IAC/InterActive Corp chairman Barry Diller testified before the Senate Commerce Committee today about the future of online video. We can’t believe someone thought this was a legitimate question in the era of Netflix and Hulu, but the hearing was actually called ”The Emergence of Online Video: Is it the Future?” Then we remembered who was asking.
“Incumbents have the means and incentives to engage in economic and/or technical discrimination against online video distributors,” Mr. Diller told lawmakers, referring to our cable and broadband overlords. To level the playing field, he said, “I think you need to rewrite the [Telecommunications] Act of ’96. It’s overdue given the Internet. And it needs revision.” Congress, he added, should “prevent cable and telecommunications companies from leveraging their dominance in existing markets” to control emerging technologies.
The Democrats defeated the Republicans in a strict party line vote, meaning our government won’t throw away the rules put in place by the FCC to protect “net neutrality”, which are set to go into effect Nov. 20.
Advocates of internet freedom didn’t love the new rules cooked up by the FCC, but keeping them was the lesser of two evils.
“Though the FCC’s rules are not great, they do offer some protections for net neutrality on the wired Internet and overturning them would have been a huge setback for free speech on the web. During debate on the Senate floor yesterday supporters of the resolution railed against government regulation while opponents defended the rules saying they were necessary to maintain the openness and innovation that has allowed the Internet to thrive,” the ACLU wrote on its blog.
Social Network Neutrality
So what does this have to do with social networks like Facebook or Twitter?
Distributors, owners of “the pipes,” will always have an incentive to maximize profit by way of price discrimination, or, if they choose to produce their own content, to prioritize their own goods ahead of or instead Read More