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August 5 at 1:03pm

Dear MPAA: Don’t Alienate The Consumer!

I am worried that the film industry is poised to follow the music biz right down the tubes.  

The MPAA has asked the FCC for permission to engage in “selective output control”.  You can read about at Public Knowledge here.  It’s a new issue to me, but it sounds very short sighted.  I understand the desire to end piracy — although I am a believer in bootlegging as a means of audience access — but we should never do it in such a way that forces the consumer to throw out their entire home entertainment set up!
Mark Cuban has just jumped into the fray, urging the MPAA to spend the money where it will do good: promoting films, and not in ways that will alienate the consumer.  Check out what he has to say on Blogmaverick.


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August 4 at 1:54pm

Tiered Pricing Of The Internet

Tiered Pricing Of The Internet is going to be a bigger and bigger issue in the months to come. Bandwith is the next fuel shortage.  The Cable Companies have a virtual monopoly on both what comes in and goes out of your home.  And they can monitor it and would like to charge you based on consumption (The NY Times covered this six weeks ago, but…).

On one hand, paying for how much you eat makes sense.  On the other, we’ve been there before, seen its effects, and now have come through to an entirely different place.  We have been on the verge of something happening for fifteen years, but we still don’t know what it is.  The Internet has been both a promise and a threat for so long now, it seems like all but the gatekeepers have forgetten which side they are sitting on.
The Internet is the first real step forward for democracy everywhere that I have been able to experience in my lifetime.  Our current ability to reach out and talk to whomever we want about whatever we want is exhilarating.  And everyone really understands it.  But if this is taken away from us, not only is it safe to assume there will be a profound reaction, but also that the few will have benefited yet again at the expense of the many.
As much as I love the old way (i.e. watching films in a movie theater), the future is what you want, when you want it — right here, right now.  The only reason I don’t feel we are fully in that era of the immediate yet, is that you can still feel people’s hesitancy to turn to the Internet for their needs — even the ones that it can actually provide.  Let’s face it, there is no need for TV anymore — other than controlling what people watch.  But I don’t see the sets flying out the windows yet.
If we halt the progress now, and make people ration their explorations, we will be missing an incredible opportunity.  People are freeing themselves to speak openly as never before, expose themselves to ideas and images as never before, and they will also be willing to spend like never before — but if we start to charge them more for that opportunity before they have embraced the habit, we will be forfeiting the fortune of tomorrow for the few bucks of today.  
The scary thing is that because those measly coins will land in the greedy paws of the few at the current gates of power, instead of being a huge pile of plenty on the table of the many for us all to feast on, you can smell that it might just go that way instead of the path of common sense.


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August 3 at 1:41pm

Net Neutrality: The Key Issue

I imagine Net Neutrality will be a regular focus here at IW2BF.  I am by no means an expert on it, but I do recognize that my opportunity as a Content Creater (aka Film Producer) to access audiences hinges on it.  As a general audience member too, I relish my ability to watch what I want, when I want it, and resist anyone telling me what to watch (without me first selecting that curator that is) or restricting my or anyone’s ability to access it.  It is precisely this open access that I love about the Internet.  And it is this that the TeleCo’s and others wish to end.

Fortunately, there are a lot of people working to preserve Net Neutrality.  The first thing you need to do is go to www.savetheinternet.com  and sign their petition, write to your rep in congress, and get their regular email blast.  It’s a great site.
There are also a lot of good articles that you can find on the subject:


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August 2 at 1:36pm

Introduction

I have been blasting a handful of you about the things I encounter at the intersection of Intellectual Property Rights, Content Creation, The Law, Liberty, and General Net Surfing.  After getting a couple of requests to open up the circle, I migrating the blast to this blog.  I definitely could use some help stocking this blog, so let me know if you have some ideas.  

It is my sincere hope to be able to retire this blog within the year.  There are many sites covering similar ground AND doing it much better.  I will do my best to advise you of them as I come by them.  I see this as sort of a mutual education action: if we all become sufficiently knowledgeable about the issues in a reasonable time,  we will take action, results will occur, and we can all direct our attention elsewhere.  Until then, thanks for coming by.


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