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View Full Version : The Golden Age of the Internet is ending


GeeYouEye
Aug 6, 2003, 02:52 AM
and Apple is helping it end, along with Microsoft, Disney, Yahoo, Amazon and others.
Link (http://www.tompaine.com/feature2.cfm/ID/8528)

Excerpt:
The crackdown by the music industry on illegal downloading tells just part of the story. Even with the dot-com bust, the digital boom is here, as high-speed connections, faster processors and new wireless devices increasingly become part of life. But the thousands of lawsuits are not just about ensuring record companies and artists get the royalties they deserve. They're part of a larger plan to fundamentally change the way the Internet works.

From Congress to Silicon Valley, the nation's largest communication and entertainment conglomerates -- and software firms that want their business -- are seeking to restructure the Internet, to charge people for high-speed uses that are now free and to monitor content in an unprecedented manner. This is not just to see if users are swapping copyrighted CDs or DVDs, but to create digital dossiers for their own marketing purposes.

All told, this is the business plan of America's handful of telecom giants -- the phone, cable, satellite, wireless and entertainment companies that now bring high-speed Internet access to most Americans. Their ability to meter Internet use, monitor Internet content and charge according to those metrics is how they are positioning themselves for the evolving Internet revolution.

The Internet's early promise as a medium where text, audio, video and data can be freely exchanged and the public interest can be served is increasingly being relegated to history's dustbin. Today, the part of the Net that is public and accessible is shrinking, while the part of the Net tied to round-the-clock billing is poised to grow exponentially.

One front in the corporate high-tech takeover of the Internet can be seen in Congress. On July 21, the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet held a hearing on the "Regulatory Status of Broadband." There, a coalition that included Amazon.com, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple, Disney and others, told Congress that Internet service providers (ISPs) should be able to impose volume-based fee structures, based on bits transmitted per month. This is part of a behind-the-scenes struggle by the Net's content providers and retailers to cut deals with the ISPs so that each sector will have unimpaired access to consumers and can maximize profits.

Wonderful, isn't it. :(

mac15
Aug 6, 2003, 03:44 AM
Volume based, hehe welcome to Australia

DeKa
Aug 6, 2003, 04:06 AM
Hit the nail on the head there mac15.... and look at how all these new Australian "unlimited" DSL providers are struggling to even provide dialup speeds over 512kbps ADSL connections (on the Comindico network)

Derek.

Ambrose Chapel
Aug 6, 2003, 06:19 AM
This reminds me of some Simpsons episode, where Disney bought out some charity or something and said, "Sorry, but there's profit to be had..."

I think that sums it up.

Mr. Anderson
Aug 6, 2003, 06:29 AM
A little big brother, a little Monte Burns.....;) Make money and watch trends on how to make even more.

I don't see everything end up having a price tag, especially if you're paying for a broadband to begin with.

There will end up being a backlash that the providers will heavily compete to see who can offer the most for your money. This will provide more jobs and in the end, the consumer will get more. Especially if we get a new internet with higher speeds. But that will take some time....:D

D

Sabenth
Aug 6, 2003, 07:36 AM
This comes as no supprise to me if anything its supprised me at how long its taken. Broadband changes the way we treat the net it makes doing things easier. if you look at how the bigpond ads are show casing it (ibigpond = isp in Australia for all you out there not in australia) a whale i mean what the????

But making things easer brings great responsablity hence that horrid pay for downloads. Music caused the change and music is going to cause the death of freedom unless we all stand as one and show these corps whos using and can controll which direction they should be going shame everythings based on cash these days.. IAM STILL ON 56K DIAL UP FOR CHRIST SAKES....

benixau
Aug 6, 2003, 07:53 AM
I was the last - and i mean the very last - optus customer to take up the Lightning Fast Plan:

I had a 1Mbps Connection (cable)
I got an Ethernet/USB Dual Function Modem (std)
I had unlimited downloads with one proviso - i could not download more than 10x the average user download over a 14 day period. This meant if every person dloaded 2GB i could not do more than 20GB. Just recently when everyone else (inc. friends) were on the new plans (dload limited) optus defined that average as just over 1GB - so i had a 10GB plan at 1Mbps for about AU$70 a mnth.

Optus, well no-one, can support this sort of usage across a bigger network. The plan ended on the first of this mnth (aug). I now pay $10 less and get 7GB less.

Fair - yes.
Like it - no.

If you want a good, reliable and fast service here are a few things:

You will have to pay for it
Do not choose telstra broadband
It will have a high set-up cost
Do not choose telstra broadband
It wont be unlimited
Do not choose telstra broadband
Do not choose telstra broadband
Do not choose telstra broadband
and most importantly;
Do not choose telstra broadband

really - the above 9 things are realistic.

Good fast and reliable - costs money
Cheap slow and losts of downtime is cheap and sounds like telstra broadband.

I know this though - I still got 1Mbps dstream - just if i go over 3GB download i get clipped to 28.8K for the rest of the month.

bobindashadows
Aug 6, 2003, 10:23 AM
Do you guys have upload rates? Because I used to upload 10 GB of data on eDonkey a week, now it's about 1, and then there's my KDX server, which is different entirely (but that isn't always running) I will say this though - that's a great way to cut down on piracy of movies and software.

MacsRgr8
Aug 6, 2003, 02:43 PM
We gotta face it: High speed no-limit-download internet access is a cert for illegal software distribution. We don't care if a download is 1 GB taking a week to download, 'cause it doesn't matter.
Ofcourse, WE use our DSL, Cable, Satellite, for good use only, ha ha. BTW upgrading a clean 10.2 install all the way up to 10.2.6, QT 6.3, iApps, security fixes and so on is pretty steep... we need broadband for that :) (not to forget iSight)

But, why don't our providers stop the use of apps like KaZaA, mlMac, eDonkey, Hotline, KDX, Gnutella, by blocking their ports? It's harsh (and I would hate it!), but by blocking ALL ports except the "usual" or serious ports could be a start. And if you really want a port opened, you could ask for it, thus making you "watched' over that specific port.

Powerbook G5
Aug 6, 2003, 03:00 PM
I agree, it'd be a lot better to just block the use of Kazaa and all. That's what our college did because we were seriously taking bandwidth and got into two legal issues when it was found that people were downloading bootleg movies off of Kazaa. The college basically blocked all those ports overnight and issued an email the next day explaining that due to these reasons, we are no longer allowed to use P2P. Were we upset? Heck yeah. But, after that, the ethernet connections suddenly got a whole lot faster and more reliable without all that bandwidth being burnt on P2P. I'd hate for regulation because as stated before, it's a lot easier to update your software and do stuff like iChat AV when you have broadband connections than sitting there for 3 days to stay up to date.

Ambrose Chapel
Aug 6, 2003, 03:14 PM
what about this idea of getting broadband over electrical lines? i've seen articles about it, not sure how close it is to reality, but i know it's more than a pipe dream. this might be one way of avoiding the telecom giants and all their advertising schemes and such

CrackedButter
Aug 6, 2003, 03:25 PM
If the net is redesigned and funneled through a system where corporations can track our information the internet loses the purpose for what it was designed for. At the moment its decentralised and now its to be centralised?

Big mistake.

I was reading an article last year on how the US government was proposing a similar idea with this due to terriosisim.

Spackers...

I'm sick of money money money, its all people care about, there seems to be no other goal other than to acquire huge amounts of wealth of which 1% will ever be spent.

The day it happens the day i log off...

Then again once wireless networks start to take hold at home who is to stop me forming my own network with various friends?

EDIT: O Yeah, this seems all US based once again...lets hope their mentality of thinking that the US is the world stays that way, the rest of us can watch the **** hit the fan.

beefcake
Aug 6, 2003, 03:39 PM
Whatever measures they impose, they can't undo the fact that for years an entire generation was exposed to a virtually unregulated highway of information. It will be interesting to see what happens in the future.

mnkeybsness
Aug 6, 2003, 03:41 PM
i see this coming down to an issue of freedom of speech and having to pay for it. i would hate the idea of having to pay extra just to see what i wanna see, read what i wanna read, and do what i wanna do. it's these large corporations like microsoft, aol time warner, etc that really own the world. there seems to be no way of stopping these giant monopolies.

the only way we (US citizens) can make a difference is by voicing your opinion. let someone know how you feel about all this. tell someone in high places. get people talking. keep the internet a free exchange of ideas.

fight for your rights.

MacsRgr8
Aug 6, 2003, 04:10 PM
Originally posted by mnkeybsness


the only way we (US citizens) can make a difference is by voicing your opinion...
fight for your rights.

Hey! Don't forget us! (the rest of the world...)
Thank U.

Powerbook G5
Aug 6, 2003, 04:44 PM
I'm sure he mentioned US specifically in regards to the subject of how this is all seemingly coming from the US mindset of money being the only thing worth going after, which not everyone believes in the US (as unlikely as that may sound, but there are many of us who actually care more about other things than money here).

big
Aug 6, 2003, 04:47 PM
You've got to fight For Your right to PAAAAAARTY!!!

freundt
Aug 6, 2003, 05:41 PM
The main problem I have with pay per bit methods is that there are tons of bits going to my machine that I don't want or care about, i.e. banner ads, bloated flash intros, etc.

So, will I get compensated for all those bits? I mean, all of the sudden, browsing with lynx looks appealing...

QCassidy352
Aug 6, 2003, 06:02 PM
Originally posted by MacsRgr8

But, why don't our providers stop the use of apps like KaZaA, mlMac, eDonkey, Hotline, KDX, Gnutella, by blocking their ports? It's harsh (and I would hate it!), but by blocking ALL ports except the "usual" or serious ports could be a start. And if you really want a port opened, you could ask for it, thus making you "watched' over that specific port.

let's say I want to use p2p apps a lot, and I'm looking for a provider. Am I going to go with someone who blocks my ability to use p2p? Of course I'm not, and as long as there is demand for p2p, someone is going to provide service that allows it. And that is the service that many many people are goign to choose.

In a nutshell, a free market will not allow providers to block p2p networks.

There are ways around this:
1) for the government to outlaw p2p networks. But they can't do that because p2p has a legitimate use (the Supreme Court says you can't ban something with a legitimate use just because it also has an illegitimate use).
2) monopolistic conspiricy on the part of ISPs, also illegal.

Colleges can get away with it because they are not likely to lose their customers (i.e. students) over this issue alone.

Long live the free market system! :D Screw you Microsoft, Disney, Yahoo, Amazon, and yes, even Apple!

Daveman Deluxe
Aug 6, 2003, 06:05 PM
Originally posted by Ambrose Chapel
what about this idea of getting broadband over electrical lines? i've seen articles about it, not sure how close it is to reality, but i know it's more than a pipe dream. this might be one way of avoiding the telecom giants and all their advertising schemes and such

If you ask me, it's a non-issue because it's illegal and requires a trained technician to install anyway. Sounds like a brilliant idea for a home-networking plan, except that it doesn't.

It's funny that when Apple was done with AirPort, they contacted to the IEEE to ask what they could go after next in terms of networking technology. A guy at the IEEE told them, "Well, everybody's getting on this power line networking thing, but it's illegal and requires technicians to install equipment at home... I don't think that's going anywhere. But there IS an interesting technology called 802.11g..." So while everybody else was working on power-line networking, which seems doomed to fail, Apple was working on a promising technology. History vindicates Apple once again.

crenz
Aug 6, 2003, 06:23 PM
Originally posted by MacsRgr8
But, why don't our providers stop the use of apps like KaZaA, mlMac, eDonkey, Hotline, KDX, Gnutella, by blocking their ports?

Because it won't work. If they did, everybody would use a different port the next day. Taken to the extreme, you can come up with ways to do file sharing via e.g. the HTTP protocol. And it is hard to block that, except by content filtering (ie., censoring).

One thing I hate about the whole way p2p/filesharing is dealt with is that the content-producing industry is always extending their rights, but not their duties. For example, I think if someone holds a copyright on something, he also has the duty to make it available to society for an acceptable price. The way it happens now is that some publishing company holds the right for a book that was not so popular, and because they don't want to republish it, people can't buy the book legally for another 80 years or so.

With the music and video industry, it is just the same: They are only looking for ways to prosecute filesharers instead of trying to win new customers.

For example, I would love to be able to download the Enterprise series legally. We have it here in Germany, but in the German version, and I don't have a TV anyway. Even if they put it out on DVD in the US, I probably wouldn't be able to play it in a European player. So it would be wonderful to be able to just download it at the QTVS (Quicktime Video Store), or any online store, and watch it at my leisure. But it is just not possible.

MrMacMan
Aug 6, 2003, 06:33 PM
Originally posted by big
You've got to fight For Your right to PAAAAAARTY!!!

Hell yeah!

Look All of the companies have intrests... not that apple is a partial slave to the recording industry apple is forced to places like that.
Amazon, yahoo -- Retailers, imagine if record labels stoped selling to them!
Microsoft -- just normally evil all around, but also because they want their product never used for illegal purposes, or things they don't like normally.



Look blocking ports for P2P completly would be a death sentence because much of the *purpose* of people getting Cable or Broadband IS P2P and file sharing.

Yeah almost would kill them off completly.

Daveman Deluxe
Aug 6, 2003, 06:42 PM
Way back in the nether-reaches of United States history, copyrights were seven years and renewable once for another seven years. Now they last ninety-five years and are renewable for at least one more ninety-five-year period.

Frankly, I think that the seven years is about right. The idea way back then was that the creator was creating for the good of the public to entertain and enjoy. To compensate him for that, he got a certain amount of time with which to make what profit he could, then it was released to the public domain.

It's all about being vindictive these days. "I don't want you to read this if it means I get no money." As a result, copyrights have been extended and extended until now it's impossible for somebody to get a hold of, as mentioned before, out-of-print books. Copyrights should never be longer than the profitable market life of the content copyrighted. Whatever happened to that idea?

Ambrose Chapel
Aug 6, 2003, 06:50 PM
Originally posted by Daveman Deluxe
If you ask me, it's a non-issue because it's illegal and requires a trained technician to install anyway. Sounds like a brilliant idea for a home-networking plan, except that it doesn't.

No what I read about would not be illegal - this was something that hasn't happened yet.

Daveman Deluxe
Aug 6, 2003, 08:00 PM
My understanding is that the FCC has already made power-line networking illegal. It's just too dangerous.

legion
Aug 6, 2003, 10:43 PM
Nope, power line networking is not illegal. In New Jersey, there is a government funded test city for power-line networking and they are working to expand it to other cities. Recently, the FCC head was going on and on about how great it works in some journal. Also, it isn't very expensive to implement from the consumer side. The biggest problem with the tech today is "filtering"--- which is very similar to the issue that DSL providers face with the distance from digital switches.

illumin8
Aug 6, 2003, 11:32 PM
Originally posted by MacsRgr8
But, why don't our providers stop the use of apps like KaZaA, mlMac, eDonkey, Hotline, KDX, Gnutella, by blocking their ports? It's harsh (and I would hate it!), but by blocking ALL ports except the "usual" or serious ports could be a start. And if you really want a port opened, you could ask for it, thus making you "watched' over that specific port.
Screw that. When I buy internet access, I am paying a provider to deliver my packets from point A to point B regardless of content. If ISPs start filtering certain types of traffic, they lose their common carrier status and are then responsible for all of the traffic that is passed through their network. ISPs will never do that, or if they do, they ought to be shot.

illumin8
Aug 6, 2003, 11:35 PM
Originally posted by Daveman Deluxe
If you ask me, it's a non-issue because it's illegal and requires a trained technician to install anyway. Sounds like a brilliant idea for a home-networking plan, except that it doesn't.

It's funny that when Apple was done with AirPort, they contacted to the IEEE to ask what they could go after next in terms of networking technology. A guy at the IEEE told them, "Well, everybody's getting on this power line networking thing, but it's illegal and requires technicians to install equipment at home... I don't think that's going anywhere. But there IS an interesting technology called 802.11g..." So while everybody else was working on power-line networking, which seems doomed to fail, Apple was working on a promising technology. History vindicates Apple once again.
Powerline networking has nothing whatsoever to do with Airport. They are two totally different things. And since when was Apple ever in the broadband internet business?

MacsRgr8
Aug 7, 2003, 02:07 AM
Originally posted by illumin8
Screw that. When I buy internet access, I am paying a provider to deliver my packets from point A to point B regardless of content. If ISPs start filtering certain types of traffic, they lose their common carrier status and are then responsible for all of the traffic that is passed through their network. ISPs will never do that, or if they do, they ought to be shot.

I know how you feel, and I do agree with you. My comment was only meant if things got out of hand. Like stated in the first post.

Bear
Aug 7, 2003, 08:00 AM
Originally posted by freundt
The main problem I have with pay per bit methods is that there are tons of bits going to my machine that I don't want or care about, i.e. banner ads, bloated flash intros, etc.

So, will I get compensated for all those bits? I mean, all of the sudden, browsing with lynx looks appealing...
This is a good point.

XnavxeMiyyep
Aug 7, 2003, 11:13 AM
If they were to impliment pay-per-bit internet, would it be an option for all internet providers, or would they be required by law to do it? Could one company, say Earthlink, choose to still give unlimited access?

Anyway, if this does end up happening with all providers, they're gonna get a lot of money from me, and it is rather depressing to support such a thing.

sparks9
Aug 7, 2003, 04:05 PM
those bastards

junior
Aug 7, 2003, 05:01 PM
You guys in Austrailia seem to have some seriously crap deals going in on. What's the deal with this maximum download cr*p? And the 70 bucks you pay for it?
Over here in Japan, I have a 100mb/s optic fibre connection (getting very common here now), and I pay around 45 - 50 US dollars a month for it.
Depending on companies, ADSL (12mb/s) costs between 20 - 25 US dollars a month. Is this cheaper than in the US? Would be interesting to know.
I don't know of any ISPs over here that have any download restrictions either.

bobindashadows
Aug 7, 2003, 10:49 PM
Originally posted by junior
You guys in Austrailia seem to have some seriously crap deals going in on. What's the deal with this maximum download cr*p? And the 70 bucks you pay for it?
Over here in Japan, I have a 100mb/s optic fibre connection (getting very common here now), and I pay around 45 - 50 US dollars a month for it.
Depending on companies, ADSL (12mb/s) costs between 20 - 25 US dollars a month. Is this cheaper than in the US? Would be interesting to know.
I don't know of any ISPs over here that have any download restrictions either.
That is a buttload cheaper than the U.S., at least in New York. Then again the premise of NY is to take all your money and put it in the general fund (and not to those who need it)

Sorry for the branch there. Here, for a home license (not commercial, aren't "supposed to" run a web server, or any kind of server for that matter. But they don't enforce it - I ran a low-traffic web server for 2 years and they did nothing.) for a 512Kbps connection, costs about 30-35 bucks a month. Commercial costs 45-50. But, I should probably check the latest rates. Unfortunately h**p://www.rr.com is terribly, terribly designed.

Sabenth
Aug 7, 2003, 11:27 PM
Thank god iam not the only one who notices these issues with Australian ISP'S

Nermal
Aug 7, 2003, 11:54 PM
It's not just Australia that's got it bad. Here in NZ I'm paying US$35 a month for a 128k connection with a transfer limit of 10 gigs per month (with a "good" ISP). Next step up is 4 Mb/s at 12c per meg. If I download a 100 meg file, there goes $12.

Most DSL in NZ goes through one company (who is partly owned by MS and tries to push everyone onto MSN), and they've set those ridiculously high prices. There are a couple of other providers, but they're only available in the big cities. However their prices are significantly better.

I've been using DSL for about 2 years and the pricing hasn't changed at all over that time. Surely it should have by now?

benixau
Aug 8, 2003, 05:42 AM
we dont got it bad - bad would be good compared to what we get.

we also get flawless broadband and with a population that it something like 1/10th the US' and significantly smaller than Japan's we have to be charged more. If all markets had 10% on broadband then AUS would be only 2million people. US would be 20million people and Japan about 20million people.

It is numbers lads - less users = higher prices: look at Apple computers ......

lord_flash
Aug 8, 2003, 08:14 AM
Originally posted by Daveman Deluxe
Way back in the nether-reaches of United States history, copyrights were seven years and renewable once for another seven years. Now they last ninety-five years and are renewable for at least one more ninety-five-year period.

Frankly, I think that the seven years is about right. Copyrights should never be longer than the profitable market life of the content copyrighted. Whatever happened to that idea?

That's a fabulous idea. I actually liked authors lifetime - I certainly don't think a company should keep the monopoly on a work after that person has died. Perhaps allow a grace period of a year after deth (to prevent anything tacky showing up, and allow the company to plan forthe loss of income) but certainly not another 95.

The thing is, as we all know now, society has got too caught up protecting those 'rights' that suit business and forgotton that, in the long run, we all have a lot more to gain be developing and improving.

And perhaps copyright needs to take into account different media. Books after all, are a writers living - they can take years to produce (well, admittedly all the books I've ever written took 4 months, but that's not the point). Other stuff, however, could be made freely available in, say, 20 years. Software, technical designs, etc. have long since outlived their usefulness in that period. Perhaps we'll have to wait until the US implodes and the EU (or China!) becomes the dominant superpower. You seem to get less and less time at the top these days (Romans had over 1000 years, Britain didn't manage that etc.)

Geopolitics, eh? Aren't i all intelectual on a Friday afternoon?

cb911
Aug 9, 2003, 09:59 PM
no one will ever be able to stop the trade of illegal music or movies, software or anything else for that matter. people would just go underground and lots of people would be pissed off.

i think there is only one ISP that offers truly unlimited plans, that's OzForces. i'm getting 512k ADSL from them and it's completely unlimited, but it's about $80-90 a month. but after having it i don't know how i'd survive with a download limit.

DeKa
Aug 10, 2003, 05:09 AM
Originally posted by cb911
i think there is only one ISP that offers truly unlimited plans, that's OzForces. i'm getting 512k ADSL from them and it's completely unlimited, but it's about $80-90 a month. but after having it i don't know how i'd survive with a download limit.

OzForces is a Comindico Reseller... there are literally heaps of them now. Inspired, Dot, iHug, Dodo.. all between $80 and $100 a month and all reselling the same "unlimited" service where you can really only get dialup type speeds on a 512kbps ADSL link.

Myself, I've just applied for iiNet. 16GB/mth and speed limited to 72kbps after that at $80/mth for 512kbps.

The unlimited providers don't cut it for me.

Derek

Nermal
Aug 13, 2003, 11:29 PM
Originally posted by DeKa
OzForces is a Comindico Reseller... there are literally heaps of them now. Inspired, Dot, iHug, Dodo.. all between $80 and $100 a month and all reselling the same "unlimited" service where you can really only get dialup type speeds on a 512kbps ADSL link.

Wow, I wish Ihug NZ offered unlimited! But not at dialup speeds :)