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The FCC has opened a second comments period regarding the Free Press-Google Net Neutrality plan (the White House having publicly tucked tail on the matter), so here’s another reminder of why we need to oppose the whole ball of wax: It serves to benefit freeloaders at the expense or producers in a manner so pure it might fit in an Ayn Rand novel.
In short, groups like the EFF are saying the current draft doesn’t go far enough to protect copyright infringers and their downloaders from ‘abuses’ by copyright holders, their agents, and ISPs. Seriously. Says Spencer Dalziel at theinquirer.net:
Channeling well known Scottish actor, Mel Gibson’s bravado call to action in Braveheart, EFF’s Richard Esguerra said, “Carving a copyright loophole in net neutrality would leave your lawful activities at the mercy of overbroad copyright filtering schemes, and we already have plenty of experience with copyright enforcers targeting legitimate users by mistake, carelessness, or design.”
Freeloading, cheapskate downloaders who refuse to spend $10 on a movie or an iTunes album expect you (yes you, dear reader), me, and everyone else to subsidize their use of the network to make those downloads. Seriously. They want to make it illegal for ISPs to clamp down on such activities, and at least thwart efforts to make the users of BitTorrent-based download services pay for their pipe-busting activities.
No, BitTorrent the protocol is not exclusively used for copyright infringing downloads, but the peer-to-peer download setup, combined with the tracker’s ability to go without hosting the source material and instead just host hashes, is great for giving centralized hosts deniability as well as pushing last mile bandwidth use far beyond any normal use pattern. The latter is even a deliberate design feature of the protocol. But the freeloaders want to get to pay the same amount for that use, that you or I may pay for ordinary email and webpage use.
Ayn Rand’s famous novel had America’s best and brightest withdraw from society entirely. Net Neutrality as wished by the far left may not send anyone that far, but subsidzed copyright infringement will sure make some of America’s creative people go Galt instead of just putting their works out to be stolen online. I’m no Atlas, but I shrug at the EFF’s selfish, immature moaning at the plight of the looters, parasites, and moochers of our new economy.
Update: I’m told that today is Ayn Rand’s birthday. What a day for her to have been proven right about government.