January 7th, 2010

PK Icon

too many Dems are impeccable

In thinking about my friends in the Administration and what theya re willing to do, I keep coming back to a quote from A Civil Campaign in which Simon Ilyan explains to Ekaterine:

"In my time, I've had many agents who turned in impeccable careers. Perfection takes no risks, you see."

We have too many impeccable Democrats.

Would appreciate if someone could send me the quote, as need it for something and am on travel away from my books.
PK Icon

Link Harvest: Econ Value of Open Internet

NYU Report: http://www.policyintegrity.org/documents/Free_to_Invest.pdf
Press Kit: http://www.policyintegrity.org/documents/1.7.10NetNeutralityMediaResourceKit.pdf

Need to read. Short version is that having an open internet creates positive externalities and allowing prioritization is likely to reduce overall content creation and broadband use generally, with negative consequences for the economy as a whole.
Kinda reminds me of the piece I wrote on this nearly four years ago. http://www.wetmachine.com/totsf/item/441

Now I will freely grant to Libertarians a moral argument over whether it is appropriate to base industry regulation on the presence or absence of positive externalities. Being of the "messy reality" school, I think the principle holds in certain circumstances but is competing with other principles of individual autonomy and public policy is a balance to try to achieve the overall best results (determining what constitutes "best results" is also a policy exercise, but a different one). This simply goes to an oft debated economic question: is it a better industrial policy to require network neutrality, or not?
PK Icon

Link Harvest: Time Warner Delays New Releases on NetFlix


Here's the trick. As anyone who has run movies for a convention since the 1980s knows, you can't do a public performance of a movie sold for private use. That violates the "public performance" right and you pay a separate fee for public performance. This is true for DVDs sold for rental. The license terms are different than DVDs sold to individuals for personal use.

Now that Netflix is very successful, studios want to (a) protect the pre-existing lines of revenue from sale and video on demand, and (b) get a taste of Netflix's revenue above and beyond what they get from the initial licensing because, hey, why not. You could answer "because you stupid greedy idiots you are screwing up your market and you will make less money," but these guys have a long history of not understanding that.
PK Icon

Link Harvest: How VISA came to dominate debit cards, and what this fortells for the internet


This is a classic example of the way in which two-sided economic market dynamics work to the overall detriment of consumers -- especially where network effects and lock in are present. On the surface, issuing the Visa signature debit card looks like a convenience to consumers, despite the higher fees, because the fees are hidden. Consumers cannot easily compare the difference in signature debit fees v. debit card fees. Worse, the card fee situation is one small component of the overall banking package. A customer who finds the policy at his or her bank has changed (as opposed to the customer opening a new account) must go to considerable effort to locate a bank with a debit card, close the account, and open a new one -- unlikely to happen on the basis of a fee for cards alone. To make switching even less likely, I have no guarantee that the bank I switch to will continue to use pin debit cards rather than signature debit cards.

This is why I strongly resist transforming broadband access service into a two-sided market by allowing providers to offer prioritization to third parties.