Damian Kulash of Chicago band OK Go appeared at the recent house hearing on network neutrality where he argued forcefully for protection of open access to content. Much of the band’s popularity derives from exposure on YouTube, where one homemade video has been accessed over 30 million times. Damian succinctly sums up his thoughts in an Op-Ed piece in today’s New York Times entitled ‘Beware the New New Thing‘.
Damiain notes that in the days of dial-up common
carriage rules applied but, with the advent of fibre
and cable, providers have successfully established that,
as data services, they are no longer subject to any such
restrictions. Already there have been egregious examples
of interference with content and applications.
However, Damian suggests that such transgressions are
minor compared to what is on the cards if the companies
are allowed to continue unchecked.
From the article:
They won’t be blocking anything per se â€”
we’ll never know what we’re not getting â€” they’ll just be
leapfrogging today’s technology with a new, higher-
bandwidth network where they get to be the gatekeepers
and toll collectors. The superlative new video on offer
will be available from (surprise, surprise) them, or
companies who’ve paid them for the privilege of access to
their customers. If this model sounds familiar, that’s
because it is. It’s how cable TV operates.
We can’t allow a system of gatekeepers to get built into
the network. The Internet shouldn’t be harnessed for the
profit of a few, rather than the good of the many; value
should come from the quality of information, not the
control of access to it.