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Optical/IP

Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers

The United States Supreme Court gave competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) and interexchange carriers (IXCs) a shot in the arm earlier this week when it upheld the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)'s right to continue regulating the prices regional Bell operating companies (RBOCs) charge their competitors for access to facilities.

The 6-2 ruling by the high court is seen as a big win for the competitive carrier market. If the ruling had gone the other way, these carriers would have faced huge price hikes from RBOCs that would have pushed many of them out of the market altogether.

Justice David Souter wrote the majority opinion, while Justices Stephen Breyer and Antonin Scalia dissented. Justice Clarence Thomas endorsed only part of the decision. And Justice Sandra Day O’Conner recused herself from the vote because she owns stock in AT&T Corp. (NYSE: T) and WorldCom Inc. (Nasdaq: WCOM).

With larger problems looming at competitive carriers, Wall Street didn’t notably react to the ruling. Several RBOC stocks like Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) and BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS) have gained, while long-distance carriers like AT&T and WorldCom fell. BellSouth was up 1.56 (5.22%) to 31.42 today, while WorldCom, which has had its debt reduced to junk status, was trading down 0.12 (8.33%) to 1.32 (see WorldCom's Junk Status Fuels Fears).

"A few years ago this ruling would have been a big deal,” says Blair Levin, a telecom and media analyst with Legg Mason Inc.. "But today, market forces are much more important than regulatory matters.”

Reactions from the carriers were as expected. The CLECs and IXCs were pleased with the ruling. The five Baby Bells expressed disappointment. The RBOCs have complained that they have been required to lease their networks well below cost since the 1996 Telecom Act was passed, when the FCC got the right to set prices for unbundled services based on a method of pricing called "total element long-run incremental cost" or TELRIC.

In a statement issued Monday, BellSouth said that the court was maintaining “an unfortunate status quo” that would discourage investment by both the RBOCs and their competitors (see BellSouth Rips TELRIC Ruling). Randolph May, a lawyer working for The Progress & Freedom Foundation, a policy think-tank that is partially funded by the incumbent carriers, endorses BellSouth’s assessment of the situation.

May says that the 1996 Telecom Act created false competition that is unsustainable under normal economic conditions. He argues that the widescale failure and bankruptcy of many competitive carriers, like Broadband Access, McLeodUSA Inc. (Nasdaq: MCLD), and WinStar Communications Inc., in the last couple of years is evidence of this.

“We don’t have a viable CLEC industry right now. Just look at all the bankruptcies,” he says. “In the short run you can prop up an industry and manage pricing, but ultimately that is not a sound business model.”

Other pundits argue that that the CLEC demise had nothing to do with the 1996 Telecom Act and that without forced competition the RBOCs will continue to rule the local telephone network as well as the emerging broadband market.

“I don’t think you can link those bankruptcies to the unbundling rules,” says Levin, of Legg Mason. “There are lots of different reasons for companies to go bankrupt -- poor management, bad business plans.”

Levin served as chief of staff to chairman Reed Hundt at the FCC from December 1993 through October 1997, where he helped draft the current pricing model the FCC uses.

While competitive carriers may have won this battle, the war isn’t over. The high court merely cleaned up the legal issues, stating that the FCC had the right to use its current method for pricing the unbundled network services. But the FCC can at any point decide to change the pricing method or do away with it altogether. Some competitive carrier supporters worry that Commissioner Michael K. Powell favors the RBOCs too much.

“Powell is definitely for deregulation,” says Levin. “But I don’t think he is on any sort of ideological jihad to get rid of all the rules. What we have told investors is that the rulings by this commission might end up being more favorable for the Bells without any incremental benefits to the competitors.”

Currently, the FCC is reviewing a whole slew of its rules in an effort to level the playing field when it comes to broadband (see Competitive Carriers Lash Out at FCC and FCC Stirs Up Competitive Carriers). While cable, wireless, and satellite broadband networks are essentially unregulated, wireline services like DSL (digital subscriber line) fall under the same category for regulation as the old telephone network.

The general consensus is that the current commission will likely not do away with the TELRIC pricing method or even change it much. Rather, the commission is more likely to redefine which elements of the network are subject to unbundling and therefore subject to TELRIC pricing.

— Marguerite Reardon, Senior Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:20:19 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers The following page from the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) describes the MPAA's call for legislation to regulate Analog-to-Digital converters.

http://bpdg.blogs.eff.org/arch...
__________________

The EFF is failing in their arguements. They seem to be confusing "principles" with "principals". They would do better by arguing the protection of consumer fair use. The constant anti-MPAA rhetoric doesn't help in my opinion.

Does the EFF believe intellectual property should be protected? If so, what does the EFF propose as a solution? Remember, things like medical records are going digital. Would EFF argue that a hacker has the rights to place those on P2P networks allowing *anybody* the ability to pull up our medical records via an SSN? Why should Hollywood's movies be protected any less than our medical records? Argueing that "hwood movies suck therefore they don't deserve protection" doesn't hold water.

Getting back to the more difficult problem of plugging the A/D hole. The EFF excerpt:

"If ADCs are constrained from performing analog-to-digital conversion of all watermarked copyrighted works, you might end up with a cellphone that switches itself off when you get within range of the copyrighted music on your stereo; a camcorder that refuses to store your child's first steps because he is taking them within eyeshot of a television playing a copyrighted cartoon; a camera that won't snap your holiday moments if they take place against the copyrighted backdrop of a chain store such as Starbucks, which forbids on-premises photography because its fixtures are proprietary works"

This arguement is junk. It will not sway any political position.

Let us find solutions which stop the piracy. The trends of turning all intellectual property into a broadcast industry, a broadcast industry which is moving completely towards embedded adverstising, dilutes all creativity.

Unicast pay-for-content industries will only grow when groups provide real solutions to real problems. What is the EFFs position on how to help with that?
mc_jaded 12/4/2012 | 10:20:21 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers "Along those lines, keep an eye on hw decryption integrated into playback devices"

The following page from the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) describes the MPAA's call for legislation to regulate Analog-to-Digital converters.

http://bpdg.blogs.eff.org/arch...

Yes, you read that right. In the eyes of the MPAA, everybody from automobile component manufacturers to hearing aid manufacturers should have their pockets picked to subsidize and ostensibly protect works of are like "Dude, Where's My Car".

Ok, so I am being a bit facetious, but either the MPAA is ridiculously out of touch with reality, or this is just an over-the-top ruse to allow the heinous CBDTPA legislation to pass.
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:21:29 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers There is nothing disruptive about internet radio.
__________

Sure there is. First, a review of the money flow for broadcast radio may be helpful.

Advertisers pay radio owner. Radio owner pays DJs (salary) and copyright holders (via ASCAP). Copyright holders make side payments to DJs (for CD demand creation). Copyright holders take in music revenue by producing, distributing and selling CDs. Artists receive any leftovers after everybody else takes their cut.

Using a unicast store-and-forward network neither advertising nor DJ based CD demand creation works very well. (Hence the arguements made by broadcasters that consumers ffwd'ing through streams or changing the playlist orders is illegal.) No demand creation, no payments to DJs nor CD revenue for copyright holders. Radio owners will then revert to talk and physical commerce only (things seem to be moving that direction already). Artists will make even less and less real music will be produced, only commercials.

The best way to fix this is for consumers to pay direct for their consumptions and let word of mouth become the primary vehicle for demand creation. This requires hw decryption at the playback device(s), which works, and will stop the piracy. The nice part is that artists will be able to sell direct without all that legacy broadcast overhead.

PS. Ever ask the question, "Who is paying tomorrow's Mozart?" Hint, it's a pay-for-content industry and not the symphony.
skeptic 12/4/2012 | 10:21:36 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers There is no reason why this solution couldn't be applied to the current situation. Charge a buck or two a month to everyone with an internet connection, and apportion it to the record companies.
------------------
There is a reason. It amounts to extortion and
making people with no interest pay for a service
that they don't want. And such a fee is going
to be so difficult to apportion that the bulk
of it will likely end up in the hands of IP
"holders" rather than "creators".

The better choice would be to throw out the whole
notion that digital or internet distribution
should be treated differently than any other
form of distribution. There is nothing disruptive
about internet radio.

Anyone who wants pirated music can just go out
and get it. They are not prowling around internet
broadcasts waiting for songs.

fk 12/4/2012 | 10:21:41 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers There is a relatively simple solution to the issue of compensating artists and labels that has already been used the last time a disruptive technology threatened to harm an industry: compulsory licensing. Back when the radio was invented, the record companies went through the same exact doomsday scenario; they felt the future of their industry was on a precipice as a result of this new technology that allowed people to get actual music for free. (Is it sounding familiar, yet?) The solution was to charge a fee to anyone broadcasting which was used to compensate copyright holders for the harm they experienced. Once the fee was paid, the broadcasters could play whatever songs they wanted. The effect of this solution was twofold: the radio industry exploded, and the record industry prospered as well. And people were allowed to listen to all the music they wanted to.

There is no reason why this solution couldn't be applied to the current situation. Charge a buck or two a month to everyone with an internet connection, and apportion it to the record companies. This would have the dual purposes of compensating the content creators and fostering a more robust and expansive internet, with its attendant benefits to consumers. Win-win.

I note that Verizon has chimed in in favor of such a proposal. I think this is the solution we will eventually end up with, and it seems like the best solution I've heard so far. Making every appliance the equivalent of a parking meter is a non-starter, Hollings delusions to the contrary. People will just figure out a way to beat the system. Make the price reasonable and build it into plain vanilla access, and the problem is solved.
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:22:54 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers Please read the following site for copyright information. I'll ask twice because it's important to understand the rights a consumer.

http://digitalconsumer.org/bil...

PS. I don't hate Stallman nor the GPL. But it is hard to see how unilaterally imposing his GPL position to *all* intellectual property helps pay anybody. Ironically, he believes the *distributors* of the software should get paid and they in turn can *choose* to pay *some* creators a *small* amount for their contributions. This is basically what we have today with the content refineries, sw/hw bundles, and broadcast industry. The creators are not the primary beneficaries of their work.

His model does not provide for a market based economy. But he doesn't care about that. He only cares about his personal learning from others source code. With all due respect to Stallman, his personal desires won't create wage paying jobs which provide for people and in turn allows them to take care of their families.
phulshof 12/4/2012 | 10:22:57 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers I see no reason why producers of consumer electronics and software should carry the burden of a monopoly industry that refuses to adapt itself to the market situation.

All arguments I've seen in favour of CRM are focused on infringement of copyright. The content industry already has a law that takes care of that: copyright law. If they wish to stop people from illegally copying or distributing content, they can.

Since it is impossible to use DRM to stop illegal use of a copyrighted work while allowing all types of legal use of a work (fair use), and since copyright law provides all the legal protection the content industry needs, I see no reason to pick up the bill for additional rights for the content industry.

That's not what the content industry is after of course. In the eyes of the content industry, every use of a work should be compensated for. In their eyes, fair use is something that needs to be removed from this planet as quickly as possible. Since they cannot do this directly, they're using the excuse of copyright infringement to pass new laws on technology. I say it's time to tell them NO!
Confucius 12/4/2012 | 10:22:57 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers or more accurately, we stop the looting of other's private property.

Here's where your argument loses its intellectual force. I am all for the creators of intellectual property being compensated for their efforts (after all, what do I do but create intellectual property?), but the fact of the matter is that you don't retain complete control of your IP when you sell it or the rights to use it. It's your "private property" until you sell it to someone else. When you take money from someone else for your intellectual property, you are releasing it from your control to a greater or lesser extent, depending on the deal you made. It's disingenuous to call a song the artists's "private property" when I bought the CD.

Having bought the CD, and thus having duly compensated the artist, I am then free to make use of the CD more or less as I wish. If I want to copy some of the songs into a mix, that's my right. If I want to use the CD as a coaster, that's my right. If I want to give it to my kid brother, if I want to let someone borrow it to decide if they like it, etc- those are all examples of fair use. In your world, each of those actions would be cause for additional compensation to the artist (and record label and God only knows who else you feel should get the windfall.) That's nonsense. Not only is it not now reality, it's not going to be reality because people will never stand for that sort of tyranny.

It's one thing for me to take a CD and start making copies of it and selling them on the street corner or on EBay. That is (appropriately) a violation of the fair use doctrine. What you advocate is no different from making it illegal to give your newspaper to someone else when you're done with it. That's a pretty radical view of fair use, and one which properly finds very little support in this society. Any attempt to extract compensation for uses that have been historically included in the purchase price is doomed to failure.

You must really hate Richard Stallman.
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:23:08 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers So if I grow tired of my Slim Whitman CD's, I won't be able to unload them at a yard sale or a second-hand record store, because the artist won't be compensated?
____________

With a smart card, done properly, it would be the opposite. The consumer could resell the key to the purchased "rights" without artist involvement.

Think of it like a CD, but the songs themselves are located on a central server and the CD only contains the authorization key. Such a CD would remain tradeable in a used market.

I believe supporting consumer based trading, including through vehicles like Ebay and Amazon, are market requirements that must and will be provided for by DRM vendors.
Twistall 12/4/2012 | 10:23:09 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers RJM, I'm intrigued by your statement, "Smartcards with authorization keys seem particularly interesting to preserve things like secondary "used" markets."

So if I grow tired of my Slim Whitman CD's, I won't be able to unload them at a yard sale or a second-hand record store, because the artist won't be compensated? "Er, yeah, that'll be 25 cents plus yer smart card authorization key... Sony will bill you for the content later..."

It's just a little too complicated, and a lot too "DIVX."
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:23:15 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers Unfortunately, unless you are an established big name star, artists these days don't make nearly as much as people think. They are often tied into contracts that are overly "generous" to the record company.
____________

This occurs because artist don't have access to demand creation (broadcast radio) nor access to distribution.

A modern, bidirectional, democratic fiber network will give the artists a much stronger negotiating postion in any future contracts, including direct producer to consumer sales, as well as provide for word-of-mouth demand creation.

Artists must be paid paid for store-and-forward products as real time performances account for less than 5% of the market. Software vendors receive royalities for reproduction of their works. So should an artist.

Our society is at a crossroads. We can choose a market economy or a dependency economy w/respect to intellectual property. We have chosen a market economy with our physical property and showed the world how to build an economic system second to none. It's time to take lead with our intellectual property.
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:23:15 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers RJ, are you suggesting that there should be no more free public libraries? Or that public libraries ought to fork over royalties every time a book or record is borrowed?
_________________

I am suggesting that we don't turn Barnes and Noble into a public library, or more accurately, we stop the looting of other's private property.

PS. VCRs don't produce content. They allow consumers to time shift and space shift playback. This is part of fair use in my opinion. I believe fair use can and should be supported using authorization and decyryption technologies, though I think we'll need a more precise definition of "fair use" from the court system soon.

Smartcards with authorization keys seem particularly interesting to preserve things like secondary "used" markets.
sauron5 12/4/2012 | 10:23:18 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers Unfortunately, unless you are an established
big name star, artists these days don't make
nearly as much as people think. They are often
tied into contracts that are overly "generous"
to the record company. This simply adds to the
argument that the record companies have become
too greedy.

Sauron
Twistall 12/4/2012 | 10:23:20 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers RJ, are you suggesting that there should be no more free public libraries? Or that public libraries ought to fork over royalties every time a book or record is borrowed?

Let's consider Sony for a minute: On the one hand, they are the enablers of "piracy" with their VCR's and mini-disks. On the other hand, they are one of the biggest content producers out there. It would appear that they win either way.

Free access creates demand for the products they sell. Yeah, you've got the bootleg mini-disk or video tape, but you've got to buy the hardware to play them. Then you'll tell your friends about the great band or the great movie, and they'll want in on it, too.

Or maybe you're a big fan of XM radio?
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:23:24 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers Greed does not justify stealing. Payments must be made for a market economy to function.

We did not place all the NASDAQ stock certificates (human equity) into the public domain after that greed phase. Why should this be done to music and movies?

Most consumers need the friendly reminder to pay for their consumptions, so the proprietor install cash registers by the exit door. This provides payment prior to home consumption. The same needs and can be done for home intellectual property consumption. Distribute and allow for encrypted copies. Authorize consumption by the owner, without infringing on fair use.

PS. Artists and telecom workers have rights to be paid for their labor, regardless of who is popular and who is not.
Confucius 12/4/2012 | 10:23:30 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers Technology must provide the solutions because consumers don't tend to obey honor systems if they can get something for free.

If you make "obeying the honor system" sufficiently difficult and painful, yes, people will circumvent it. If you make it easy and non-punitive, people will tend to do the right thing. The problem is that the major labels are just too greedy, and in the course of lining their pockets they've overstepped their bounds and motivated people to find an alternative means to get their music fix. What we are witnessing here is the death of the golden goose. The record companies (anachronistic name, I know) refused to lower the cost of CDs to the consumer despite the fact that the costs of producing the CDs went down. Is it really a surprise that people got fed up? Profiteering is irksome to those on whose backs the profits are made. That the major labels couldn't adjust their expectations is to their detriment. Now they are trying to redefine "fair use" to be essentially meaningless. If they could have it their way, you'd be charged every time you listened to a song. Your attitude seems to be that technology "can and should" provide the means to enforce such a restrictive vision of IP distribution. This is equivalent to being charged every time you read a book that you've already bought.

The fundamental issue as regards fair use is that people should be able to make copies for their own use. They should not be allowed to go into publishing. That's the key difference, and the RCIA isn't satisfied with that, they want an absurd level of control. It's that obsession, motivated by an unrelenting greed, that has motivated people to "find another way." It will be their undoing, and they'll have no one to blame but themselves.

In the same way that telecom engineers have had to "readjust expectations" about their future wealth, the record labels and indeed the artists themselves are going to have to readjust expectations. Being a rock star just isn't going to be as profitable as it once was. So what? Who said popularity guaranteed untold riches?
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:23:32 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers What do you think?
________________

Decryption technologies do not place undue burden on system resources or on consumer electronics. DRM solutions can coexist for those that disagree on the solution. A single holy-grail solution isn't required.

Producers of high value content need protection against mass piracy if their industry is going to survive. Revenue gaurantees are not part of a free market, but it is obvious that Americans will consume entertainment delivered conveniently to their homes. Payments to the producers for these consumptions will provide for a healthy industry.

The risks taken by consumers and producers are not the same. Producers take multimillion dollar risks and a lot of time. Consumers take a risk of $8-10 and a few hours.

Technology must provide the solutions because consumers don't tend to obey honor systems if they can get something for free. Most don't understand that the definition of property gives the *owner* the rights to define the limits of exclusion, including no exclusion, assuming there is no infringement on fair use. Technology vendors can and should provide solutions which enable the enforcement of these rules.
facetious 12/4/2012 | 10:23:32 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers PS. Look to ebooks for a decent technical solution. Look to DVDs and DVD players to see how markets can grow when consumers pay for their consumptions.
__________________

...and look at DVD sales outside the US to see a market stifled by the arbitrary regional hardware locks imposed by the movie industry.
hemmingway1 12/4/2012 | 10:23:35 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers sntwk asked for Telecom '96 references:

Here are a few:
http://www.benton.org/Policy/9...
http://people.deas.harvard.edu...
http://www.fcc.gov/telecom.htm...
http://www.cmcnyls.edu/PUBLIC/... (you have to fish thru the list on this one--some other fairly interest stuff here too, even though 5 years old)

Also, BCR magazine had some excellent articles discussing many angles, post-Feb 1996 thru 1997, but you'll have to get them from a library or long-term subscriber. They are not on their website.
mc_jaded 12/4/2012 | 10:23:35 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers "But how does a system which pays rights holders kill innovation? Building SSL into the browser hasn't killed ecommerce. A similar type of solution can and should be deployed by PC vendors to protect high value content."

SSL isn't mandatory for all Internet applications. SSL doesn't preclude the existence of open-source software. SSL doesn't preclude the usage of non-SSL Internet applications. SSL doesn't require fundamental changes to hardware system architecture and require consumers to buy brand new computers just because the MPAA and RIAA can't change their business models.

"Why haven't the PC vendors done anything to stop the piracy? It starts to look suspicous after awhile."

Why haven't automakers done anything to stop drinking and driving?

sntwk 12/4/2012 | 10:23:35 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers Can any body suggest good references, online and print, about telcom regulation -96 especially the references which are critical of this act.
hemmingway1 12/4/2012 | 10:23:35 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers RJM comments: "Why haven't the PC vendors done anything to stop the piracy? It starts to look suspicous after awhile."
=========
I know several folks that would take issue with that. PC component/hardware/software vendors have devoted thousands of man hours over at least the last 4 years (probably longer but that is when people I know began involvement), in several industry groups and venues, to try to appease the content owners with various methods.

The content owners have ridiculous expectations that place an unacceptable burden on system resources, or have requirements that simply can't be met for consumer products, and they are uncompromising in their positions. They also don't agree among themselves, across different content owners, on acceptable methods.

From the perspective I have, the suspicion points the other way. They don't seem to want a solution because it can't be guaranteed they will never lose even a single penny of revenue (in typical monopoly, controlled-access fashion). Yet the other extreme of pulling all content from the public domain which eliminates the theft concern entirely isn't acceptable to them either.

Every day they delay they lose more potential revenue from the bulk of the law-abiding consumers than they will ever recover by waiting for some impossible holy-grail content protection solution. It is a simple trade off to a realistic person, it seems to me.

They need to get over it, and take the same level of risk their customers take in paying for a movie that may suck or an album that sucks except for 1 or 2 songs-- but can't get their money back for it. We the consumers that keep them afloat accept an imperfect world. They should too. They need to hire some new accountants to show them how much they are losing, net-net, by waiting.

What do you think?
fusionboy 12/4/2012 | 10:23:36 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers Why haven't the PC vendors done anything to stop the piracy? It starts to look suspicous after awhile.

The same could be said about VCR's and MiniDisc player manufacturers also!

Fusionboy
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:23:36 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers The same could be said about VCR's and MiniDisc player manufacturers also!
______________

You are confusing things. The PC vendors can support fair use while preventing infringing uses. The VCR could not distinguish between infringing and noninfringing recording.

The SSL analogy applies here. Without SSL there would be little ecommerce. Without hw decryption the independent artist will never get paid and the internet biz-models for content will revert to broadcast free loader models (or bundled w/PC models).

Free markets economies require payments as incentives to labor. PC vendors need to provide a viable solution which pays the artists before real broadband is deployed, else the central planners will kill all incentives for productivity.

PS. Look to ebooks for a decent technical solution. Look to DVDs and DVD players to see how markets can grow when consumers pay for their consumptions.
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:23:36 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers The current legislation to integrate hw encryption into all computing devices will do nothing less than to kill off the general purpose computer, and to stifle and suffocate innovation and development into personal computing devices. Palm, Intel, AMD, Dell, et al should not have to bow to the likes of the RIAA and MPAA.
__________________

Federal legislation for DRM can and should be avoided. Agreed that it gives too much (all) control to the content refineries.

But how does a system which pays rights holders kill innovation? Building SSL into the browser hasn't killed ecommerce. A similar type of solution can and should be deployed by PC vendors to protect high value content.

Why haven't the PC vendors done anything to stop the piracy? It starts to look suspicous after awhile.
mc_jaded 12/4/2012 | 10:23:37 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers I should say "proposed" legislation.
mc_jaded 12/4/2012 | 10:23:37 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers "Along those lines, keep an eye on hw decryption integrated into playback devices. This should also help with the free loader problem. Producer to consumer business models may stand a chance yet. "

The current legislation to integrate hw encryption into all computing devices will do nothing less than to kill off the general purpose computer, and to stifle and suffocate innovation and development into personal computing devices. Palm, Intel, AMD, Dell, et al should not have to bow to the likes of the RIAA and MPAA.
rjmcmahon 12/4/2012 | 10:23:49 PM
re: Supremes Rule for Competitive Carriers Our Supreme Court will continue to make very relevant decisions effecting the future of our information economy. The Supreme Court decision on copyright in October will also have significant economic effects.

If things go well, the broadcast model, mostly a result of the the free loader problem, will be weakened. Along those lines, keep an eye on hw decryption integrated into playback devices. This should also help with the free loader problem. Producer to consumer business models may stand a chance yet.

The current justices seem to have a nonpartisan goal of taking power away from the federal legislatures and strengthening the state governments. This philosophical approach could help the muni-lan operator, though the operators will need deep resources to fight off the Bell Souths and Comcasts of the world.
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