Yesterday the Washington DC Court of Appeals imposed limits on the FCC’s ability to regulate the internet.
What’s up is the media corporations who bring us internet connections desire to earn even more money by being able to slow or squeeze connections based on how much they are charging. They don’t want competition, they want to charge more money to advertisers by controlling where our “eyeballs” can go.
Some will argue that the owner’s of the net infrastructure should be able to charge whatever the market will accept and that those owners should have the right to regulate what they display to their users. They will say this is the “free market” at work. I ask you to consider how much government support is required for that market to exist, and to consider the meaning of the word “free” in that contest.
Others believe the ‘net is part of the commons, that which we as a people hold together, like air, air waves, water, national and state parks, and the like. (You can read more at OnTheCommons.org)
This issue is important for freelance writers and other freelancers for many reasons, including:
- The net is the way we find work;
- We work in the net cloud.
- Much of our research is done on the net.
- Much of our writing now appears on the net.
The notion that a corporation might restrict my words or yours with a net slowdown or discriminatory prices is an anathema to me.
It’s the beginning of an important fight and I urge you to follow it and take action to protect everyone’s rights to a neutral internet, not filtered by price.
Here are three resources I trust on the subject of Net Neutrality:
- SaveTheInternet.com – sign up for a newsletter, tell your story and more.
- Electronic Freedom Foundation – a bit geeky, but stalwart in it’s efforts to keep electronic rights.
- Daniel Indiviglio who writes for The Atlantic Monthly – including How Will Striking Down Net Neutrality Affect Consumers?
There will be more.
There also will be specific action to take. I’ll try to keep you updated.
And yes, I want your comments… pro, con and in between.
Image from http://www.sxc.hu