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How "Net Neutrality" Will Encourage Intellectual Property Theft
Last week, the Songwriters Guild of America testified before the New York City Council, expressing their staunch opposition for “Net Neutrality”, as proposed by the FCC. Under the proposed rules, "net neutrality would" create a legal safe harbor for pirates to continue to loot intellectual property, primarily by discouraging network operators from taking actions to prevent such misconduct. The SGA testified:
The FCC is proposing to enshrine forever rules governing the Internet that are responsible for this devastation to the songwriter community. While these rules require that all lawful uses be treated “in a non-discriminatory manner,” they ignore whether or not the usage is unlawful. The result is the property created and owned by songwriters like me is discriminated against. This is anything but neutral.”
“The greatest risk of harm to consumers comes from regulatory and legislative proposals to prevent responsible ISPs from managing their networks. At the moment, the free market is the best weapon we have to combating Internet piracy. Technology created the illegal file sharing monster, but more technology can detect and deter those practices that are illegal. In other words, we must fight technology with technology. Unfortunately, the current net neutrality regulatory proposals would smother this nascent technological counter-attack against Internet piracy.The songwriting profession right now is like a person drowning in the quicksand of digital piracy. Of those whose heads remain above the surface, many are up to their armpits. There is a chance that some new technology will be the rope thrown to us before it is too late. But companies and entrepreneurs need an economic incentive to develop those anti-piracy technologies. Regulations restricting the ability of ISPs to manage their networks would discourage the development of these vital technologies and would eliminate the last bit of hope that songwriters have to survive the digital onslaught.