Mark Cuban is the Measured Response to Net Neutrality

Mark Cuban is the Measured Response to Net Neutrality

Mark Cuban 310x

While clueless politicians compare an open Internet to healthcare, Mark Cuban takes the road less traveled.

Now that President Obama and the likes of Netflix and Mozilla have firmly come out in support of net neutrality, it's high time for the opposition to come out with their side of the argument.

Up until now, that argument has come from ISP's like Comcast and AT&T (providers who enjoy a monopoly of sorts, and want the least amount of government involvement possible), and politicians like Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

So now it's time for the tech elite to come out on one side or the other, and Mark Cuban is one of the first tech-heavy public figures to come out against Title II reclassification. (And he mananges to do this without making a ham-handed comparison to Obamacare, which is impressive, I suppose.)

Cuban is best known for selling internet radio company Broadcast.com to Yahoo! for over $5 billion in 1999. He also owns the Dallas Mavericks, and serves as a judge on Shark Tank. He's been tweeting about the issue since Obama's statement, but his thoughts coagulated bit over the weekend. Venture capitalist Fred Wilson penned a post about net neutrality on Sunday, and Cuban took to the comments to air out his response. Cuban penned several responses in a calm and collected exchange with Wilson, but this is the most telling of them all.

If you want the most open internet possible , with the greatest opportunity for startups, then the threat of title2 or 706 classification will be a far greater deterent than any rule making by the FCC

Once rules are written, the lawsuits will start the battle over how to interpret them Which will probably take years

once there is uncertainty regarding exactly how those rules apply to new technologies and the companies that create them , the incumbents will sue because they believed the rules to mean one thing based on precedent and they want the upstarts playing by the same rules

Look at copyright laws for an example. Ask aereo what they went through. Look at the remote dvr. All common sense enhancements uses of new technology that benefitted only lawyers

Look at patent law

Is there any reason to believe it would be any different with FCC rules ? The FCC isn't certain about their position today. Do you think there will be some Devine clarity that precludes years of lawsuits ?

The FCC can't and won't protect the companies you want to protect unless they get very lucky, but they certainly can make their lives miserable and put a serious hurt on innovation.

And it's here where Cuban raises an excellent point, one that even an ardent pro-net neutrality supporter such as myself will agree with to a certain extent. Government involvement in the net neutrality debate is important, but it's equally important to remember that involving the feds is rarely a clean, simple affair.

The impacts on patent law, copyright law, and how these laws will be applied to future Internet/communications tech is a very important aspect to consider, no matter which side of the debate you find yourself on.

In other words? Make fun of Senator Cruz's tweet all you want, but know there is a measured, rational debate to be found within the net neutrality movement.

Source: BostInno

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I read that, and I can only think of two things: Wasn't he on Dancing with the Stars? and 2) 'Devine' clarity? Isn't that the way the star of the John Waters movies spelled her name?

This is in fact very, very clean and simple.

ISPs are regularly regarded as some of the most incompetent companies in the US. Not only that, but they actively seek to eliminate competition and innovation. Remember Comcast and TWC ganging up to lobby Kansas to ban Google Fiber? That is the antithesis of innovation and competition.

Anyone with two working brain cells should be able to understand that giving these guys the freedom to do whatever they like with your internet connection is a terrible, terrible idea. They have demonstrated time and again that they have little interest in providing a decent product and are more concerned with eliminating competition and monopolizing internet service.

The government might not be the most efficient machine in the world, but that doesn't mean that we should just give Comcast carte blanche to do whatever they like. You know, the company that strong-armed Netflix out of billions of dollars by throttling their connection to make up for the fact that Netflix competes with cable?

Here's the flaw in his argument: The only reason Patent and Copyright laws have become so incredibly dense and insane is due to interference by powerful corporations. In many cases the regulating government agencies are essentially being run by the very industries/groups/companies/people/whatever they're supposed to be regulating. In order to make regulation actually work for the people, we need to get corporate money/influence out of politics.

Speaking from Europe and this seems like taking a utility and making it into a luxury. "Oh, you can't have unlimited clean water and electricity, but you can if you pay far more for it..." Gross.

I see disagreement with the current plan, but no proposed solution as to how to handle this issue that doesn't end with selling out to corporate overlords anyway. Is the going bet on hoping that they'll be merciful when they strangle the freedom out of us (and charging us for it) while the libertarians pat themselves on the back for avoiding the government?

all I've heard on this board so far is "well, I guess the police can handle it???" while not committing anything like funding, training, the track record for local law enforcement's 'stellar' performance regarding parties without sociopolitical power, or actual understanding of how legal jurisdiction works

I haven't read any of the links, but it seems like Cuban is against Title II classification not net neutrality, per se. I know the ISP are loading their big guns for if it happens and will probably dump more money into the lawyers than they would ever give to improving (read: actually creating) their customer service departments. Either way it's going to be a fight the average taxpayer and customer will be footing the bill for, but I'd rather see that the ISPs do not get to butter over their good friends in every regulating body without a hard, painful fight.

Honestly, there needs to be completely new legislation for ISPs and similar companies, since the FCC's basic rules are so dated (as typical of government stuff) that these companies have been able to walk all over it and mold it to their liking. Too bad it's a shot in the dark whether or not the "lobbied until their pants are too full of money to walk" politicians or the decent (at least in this case) politicians prevail, if that were to happen.

I'm sorry, but every time I hear this argument all I hear is "Don't change things! Because that will change things!"

Yes, there will be a lot of legal bickering as we try and interpret new rulings and classifications, but that's democracy. All the big ISPs and tech companies are going to spend the next ten years and billions of dollars on lawyers and lobbyists and blah blah blah trying to get the upper hand in the market, something that they're already doing anyhow.

There is zero competition in the ISP market at the moment, and worse, letting these companies decide how to handle your data effectively makes them czars of the internet; they can bully money out of companies that rely on internet traffic for their business (like Comcast did to Netflix not too long ago).

The system we have in place now isn't working. The Internet is required for any and all businesses, large and small, to remain competitive, and is our number one source of innovation in the market today. It is more important to the American economy, culture, and well-being than roads, schools, public land, the postal service, defense, and even paper currency.

That we let corporations run and maintain it isn't a problem. That we give them free reign over the most valuable resource in the country is ludicrous.

What a sticky debate. People do have a tendency to see this as simple when it's not very simple. Ted Cruz was so insanely stupid to compare this to Obamacare, it defies reason. There is literally no overlap between the two. But that is a prime example of what an actual "crazy Republican" would say.

People are afraid of competition being squashed, but I'll be honest, there is no actual competition in other public utility areas. We have alternatives to our electric service, for example. But after line fees and taxes I would see a difference of less than one cent per kilowatt hour. Sure, it can accumulate, but it would be such a small difference that it's hard to justify the time spent on it. Classification as a public utility wouldn't change much, it would just take some of the say out of Comcast/ATT's hands.

But we all know that leaving it in there hands isn't gonna help a lot of people either.

It really sounds like the argument he's making is: "Ensuring Net Neutrality sounds hard. And complicated! We probably shouldn't bother."

the7ofswords:
Here's the flaw in his argument: The only reason Patent and Copyright laws have become so incredibly dense and insane is due to interference by powerful corporations. In many cases the regulating government agencies are essentially being run by the very industries/groups/companies/people/whatever they're supposed to be regulating. In order to make regulation actually work for the people, we need to get corporate money/influence out of politics.

Here's the flaw in yours. Politics and money go hand in hand. They will literally never be separated.

Scribblesense:

The system we have in place now isn't working. The Internet is required for any and all businesses, large and small, to remain competitive, and is our number one source of innovation in the market today. It is more important to the American economy, culture, and well-being than roads, schools, public land, the postal service, defense, and even paper currency.

Except that the system you have now is working and is more then sufficient for the vast majority of all business are people. The major isp providers have already said that if the internet is classified as a utility they will stop upgrading their infrastructure which will hurt everybody far more then if they get their way. As long as they control the infrastructure you can not win against them. Unless of course you want the government to start paying for that then you will never have net neutrality.

The problem with people like Cuban is they are so caught up in the capitalist game that they lose sight of the big picture.

What he is talking about here is political incompetence, and while that is justified, there is the implicit assumption that the alternative isn't corporate incompetence. The problem is that political incompetence means failing to make a better civilization whereas corporate incompetence means failure to make more money. We can cast doubt on the federal government all we want, but that doesn't mean that private interest as a replacement makes any sense. They have different goals and different fail states. Furthermore, the people don't have any voice in the corporate world, whereas in the political one, they have some (albeit little these days) voice through the democratic process. So, if the FCC were to fail at its task, it would be held accountable by the citizens (in theory). By giving it to private interests, the only one who can hold the businesses accountable are the investors (like Cuban), and they are only going to complain if they see a loss in profits.

So, while his criticism of the FCC's ability to maintain net neutrality is valid, his call to submit to corporate rule (him and people like him) rings hollow.

It's important not to give this guy any leeway. This isn't a two-sided issue. Remember why you were annoyed. The congressmen who have been stalling have been waiting for someone like this. Now they'll have an excuse to sell their votes under the guise of a "difficult decision." Don't let this be a reasonable debate. Make it clear that the right decision is obvious.

How is this in any way rational? Its just the perffect solution fallacy, claiming that because one way will have problems, all ways are equal.

Its like saying "Some orphans might get hurt when we evacuate the building to demolish it - we should just burn the whole thing down with petrol instead."

vonSanneck:
Speaking from Europe and this seems like taking a utility and making it into a luxury. "Oh, you can't have unlimited clean water and electricity, but you can if you pay far more for it..." Gross.

This is exactly it. Right now in the U.S. internet service is not viewed as a utility, so it in fact is a luxury, a luxury that's purposely kept at decreased levels compared to the rest of the world and through various contracts with state governments, is kept that way in order to kill competition from upstart companies that might offer something better. All that Obama wants to do is to reclassify internet as a service, which would give it all kinds of protections that it does not currently have, and require companies to expand into poor neighborhoods and rural areas that they otherwise would not, and have not done due to them not being viable markets in the companies' opinion.

so strawmen, cherry picking and perfect solution fallacies are "measured response" nowadays?

Its quite simple to disprove his examples though: The only reason copyright and patent laws are awful was because of same corporations its meant to stop from abusing it. Compare copyright law of, i dont know, say 1956 versus copyright law that none other than Disney themselves lobbied in 2012. the first one is clear cut, semi-reasonable and worked fine. but Disney decided that 50 years is not enough to profit of the then deceased Walt Disney, so they had to extended it to 95 years and while they are at it, muddy the waters so much that theri lawyer army can do whatever they want.

the DMCA was also lobbied by corporations into making it harder to control copyright abuse.

On the other hand, we see that Patent law is actually working, as evident from numeriuos court cases where small patent owners won agianst large corporations like google or apple.

Little Gray:

Scribblesense:

The system we have in place now isn't working. The Internet is required for any and all businesses, large and small, to remain competitive, and is our number one source of innovation in the market today. It is more important to the American economy, culture, and well-being than roads, schools, public land, the postal service, defense, and even paper currency.

Except that the system you have now is working and is more then sufficient for the vast majority of all business are people. The major isp providers have already said that if the internet is classified as a utility they will stop upgrading their infrastructure which will hurt everybody far more then if they get their way. As long as they control the infrastructure you can not win against them. Unless of course you want the government to start paying for that then you will never have net neutrality.

But they don't upgrade their infrastructure, dont you get it?

Upgrading costs money and gives them literally no benefit. Why? Because there's fuck all competition in their marketplace. Upgrading infrastructure just costs them money that they can't recoup by gettin more customers because they're basically at the max of customers as is.

If you only have 1 option for internet service in an area, why on earth would that 1 option bother makin itself better? You're not goin to drop the plan because you have nowhere else to go.

Its gotten to the point that local governments (like, cities and whatnot, not states) are optin to create their own fiber networks. However Comcast and their ilk lobbied to put a stop to it. The amazing irony of it is they lobbied those states rights loving nutjobs and those same nutjobs agreed with them to try and put a stop to it. The people who say that local governments should tackle local issues has a problem with local governments tacklin local issues.

The system as it is now is broken. We have some of the worst internet for the highest prices. We have 0 competition between large isps with the sole exception of areas where Google Fiber is or where local governments said fuck this shit and made their own services.

You know the best irony of it all though? People are willing to pay for good service. In the few local cities where the governments there decided to make their own networks, the people themselves voted to raise their own taxes to make it happen. People are willing to pay for good service. Comcast and the like don't offer that. They offer more money for still shit service. They have no incentive to not offer shit service because there is no competition on top of not bein regulated properly. One of those 2 things need to change. Either they need to have competition (impossible at this rate unless government bodies either local or national step in and do it themselves) or they need to be regulated and forced to upgrade.

So... he is saying that not only the current way of handling Net Neutrality, but the whole system of copyright and patent law is absolutely broken? And we should not change one thing, because the other flaws will make it totally collapse?
Maybe bigger changes are needed.

Dogstile:

the7ofswords:
Here's the flaw in his argument: The only reason Patent and Copyright laws have become so incredibly dense and insane is due to interference by powerful corporations. In many cases the regulating government agencies are essentially being run by the very industries/groups/companies/people/whatever they're supposed to be regulating. In order to make regulation actually work for the people, we need to get corporate money/influence out of politics.

Here's the flaw in yours. Politics and money go hand in hand. They will literally never be separated.

That's a pretty dismal outlook. I don't know about you, but I am by no means ready to throw up my hands and surrender to Corporatism. It may be difficult to separate money and politics, but that doesn't mean it can't be done. And even if it couldn't, that just means we have to maintain constant vigilance and beat back the spread of corruption whenever and wherever we can-otherwise the situation just gets worse and worse until we're living in a Corporatist Totalitarian dystopia. That's the direction we're headed now.

I'd like to think we can do better. Looking at the broad sweep of the history of humanity, I believe we will, eventually.

 

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