Friday, August 10, 2007

Sorry Your Broadcast was Censored

One of the least pleasant aspects of life in America these days is the militarization of city life. The infrastructure is there, there are controllable cameras everywhere, the helicopters are constantly overhead.
William Gibson, science fiction author. Interview in i-D (London) Oct. 1993

The below post was borrowed/stolen from theBhc at Anything They Say, hook, lines and link.

If you want to really understand what Net Neutrality means and how it will disappear in the hands of telecom companies, look no further:

In a prominent nod to one of the festival's lead sponsors, the logo for this year's Lollapalooza concerts in Chicago includes the tag line, "delivered by AT&T." But Sunday's headliner Pearl Jam complained that AT&T delivered less than the band's full performance during its Lollapalooza webcast. The powerhouse telco turned off the audio during the song "Daughter" while singer Eddie Vedder was railing against President George Bush. That bit of censorship -- which AT&T says was a mistake -- gave a bit of fuel to the forces arguing for "Net neutrality" regulations....

AT&T spokeswoman Tiffany Nels said the company goofed. Its Blue Room website is open to Internet users of all ages, so it tries to block "excessive profanity" from the broadcasts. It hires contractors to monitor the performances, and the broadcasts are delayed slightly to enable monitors to bleep off-color material. But those monitors aren't supposed to edit songs, just the stage patter between them, Nels said. "It's not our policy" to censor performances, Nels said, "and we regret the error." She added, "There was no profanity. It was a mistake."

What, exactly, did this "mistake" cause to be cut out of the broadcast?

"George Bush, leave this world alone"
"George Bush find yourself another home"

What I expect Tiffany actually meant was that it was not their policy to publicly admit AT&T would censor songs.

These are the corporate toads that want to control the internet but also want you to believe they won't do anything like they just did. Nothing about these people is to be trusted. Nothing.


Chris Arndt said...

Corporate entities generate, maintain and carry most of the content, which you consume and love and caress until it is surely unhealthy to do so and then you whine and complain when the same telecommunications super-giants decide what to carry and maintain and in what manner.

Net neutrality as you ever believed in was a myth.

Chris Arndt said...

Let me remind you again that those that own the giant servers that carry and hold most of the data, effectively own that data. Ownership means possession; possession means control.

Would the net that you ever thought was neutral exist if not for corporate commercial organizations doing whatever they pleased for perceived commercial good?

The answer is no.

The Misanthrope said...

Well, Chris, it sounds to me as though government should come in and regulate it so that it can work toward being neutral. If they do nothing we'll end up with a monopoly, which seems to be okay with free market nut jobs.

Chris Arndt said...

And it seems to me that if government is regulating anything that just means that the government is picking and choosing who is on top and who is on the bottom.

Although I wonder who you think will give up their market position so someone else will have a monopoly.

Mind you, you can't make someone neutral against their will, without redefining neutrality anyway.

The Misanthrope said...

Chris, it's not who is willing to give up, but what government is willing to take to ensure there is a level playing field. I suppose the break of ATT might be an example, but unfortunately it has cobbled itself by together. The purpose of neutrality is to stop any kind of censorship and monopoly. Already the cable and phone companies want to charge a premium for faster service; we should have it because it's already there. Otherwise you are allowing the companies to continue to divide their services into pieces to charge more and more for quality service.

Chris Arndt said...

Neutrality as you describe it is more mythical than factual and anybody in my financial and geographic position is quite aware of that in a most personal way.

That said, monopoly isn't necessarily an immoral thing, given that a monopoly is prevented most cleanly through healthy competition, and some markets really aren't worth competing for.

Meaning your ideals are less concrete and less useful for us country folk.

But is the best use of government to force folks to do what they don't want to do with their own stuff or their own resources?