Long time readers of this blog will know that Net Neutrality has been a long time subject, starting all the way back in 2007 when I felt like I still had a voice to determine the shape of the policies that govern access to and use of the Internet, at least in the US. My cynical side gets the better of me from time to time, and the US seems more like the U$. As money hungry corporations want more control over what I do, and what with whom I do it, and who I pay for it, all in the name of competition (which sounds very Putin-esque, logic wise), we have yet to firmly drive a stake in the ground affirming the right to get online without having to pay toll fees over and over again. This issue of the major carriers and providers colluding to lock you and your credit card in place is not about competition and choice and better service. It is about making more money. That’s all it’s about and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
So it is with a heavy dose of cynicism that I’m sad to report the effort to establish a neutral Internet is again facing major setbacks. Visit the link below to educate yourself, and do something about it.
Free Press – http://www.savetheinternet.com/sti-home
Okay, I know, I’m being an alarmist, but this is bad, bad for all of us, bad for the future of the Internet, bad for our children, even bad for business. Net Neutrality is a critical life-blood component of the Internet. You can’t have the Internet we have without it. Toll roads, fees, walled gardens by carriers, is antithetical to the very definition of the Internet. This is just wrong, wrong, wrong.
BBC News – Court decision puts the future of net neutrality regulation in doubt
I ask teachers and most agree that there isn’t, or shouldn’t be, anything wrong with using copyrighted items (videos, copied books, etc.) in the classroom. As much as I try, I am unable to convince them that they should work within copyright laws and use materials that are legal to use without violating those laws. After all, most of the say, what can go wrong if I do? Well, for Edublogs users, that meant everyone was offline for a while due to one Edublogs site publishing copyrighted material. The problem was remedied, but we all felt the tremor in the force because of the actions of one blogger. There is enough free stuff out there, so there isn’t much excuse to publish copyrighted material without permission. Check out Creative Commons as one example.
BBC News – Millions of blogs knocked offline by legal row
This post is written in black with a black highlighting to show solidarity for the effort to stop SOPA and PIPA. Highlighting the text may make it more legible. More information here: http://wordpress.org/news/2012/01/help-stop-sopa-pipa/
SOPA, Stop Online Piracy Act, reads more like a land-grab than a benefit, makes the mistake of assuming that the content is the Internet. It is more accurate to understand the Internet as the collected activity of all the users of the Internet. We are the Internet. We don’t need legislation that is unenforceable and does nothing to actually protect the Internet and our access to it. I disagree with Vinton Cerf, I believe the Internet (access to each other) is a right. SOPA seeks to limit that access. SOPA is a bad idea, and we should do what we can to defeat it.
One reason the Internet is so difficult is that an environment where everything is potentially linked to everything else, lines between content become very blurry. Is the linked content part of the originating site, or part of the site that does the linking? Does it change the information if some of it is on one site or on another? If information is posted and freely accessible does that make it free for all of us to use? What if I want to change it? Do I have that right? Just because I can, should I? Too many questions make the issue of ownership very complicated. For a fascinating look at some of the issues, especially copyright and fair use, please read the linked article below about how one company is earning revenue by filing suit against those who post copyrighted material on their sites.
MediaShift . Will Righthaven Copyright Lawsuits Change Excerpting Online? | PBS