Tech at Night

What's the ideal situation for the cable television marketplace? A free market. Cable providers should be able to negotiate, or not, with broadcasters and copyright holders to purchase streams to resell to their customers. Jim DeMint is trying to bring us closer to that by ending special leverage in the marketplace given to broadcasters.

You see, the rules in place now are not designed to create a free market. Just as the Net Neutrality regulations are designed to restrict customer choice, out of fear that those customers would favor paying for superior service, so too did regulators fear that cable companies would win in the marketplace. So regulations were put into place to favor local broadcasters.

There's a lot of inside baseball here in the retransmission consent debate. It's tricky to unwind a complex regulatory system. But DeMint's plan is a step forward.

So is CISPA. Some say the bill is risky and may get too much information out into the open, with too little oversight. That might be right. The bill might stand tweaking. But the concept is good. I find it interesting that Google isn't taking a position on it, possibly out of fear of a left-wing backlash.

You see, there's more to CISPA opposition than just CISPA. There's also the Lieberman-Collins cybersecurity bill at stake.

I maintain that the sudden and growing left-libertarian opposition to the bill is meant as a feint to distract us from the bill that actually does create new, arguably-unconstitutional government powers: Lieberman-Collins. That bill is under threat by John McCain and his coalition in the Senate, so it needs propping up from being swamped as SOPA was.

CISPA opposition is designed to keep Lieberman-Collins from pinging the radar and getting defeated.

PATENT WARS: Apple sued over yet another vague touchscreen patent, years after the alleged infringement began. Hmm. Meanwhile, Facebook arranging to buy some AOL patents from Microsoft. Facebook is spending money!