March 9, 2015

I'm Decidedly Un-neutral on Net Neutrality

L. Gordon Crovitz piles on Netflix's CFO David Wells's "lobbyist's remorse only a week after the Federal Communications Commission voted to replace the open Internet with Obamanet."

Last year National Journal reported that Netflix was "relishing" its role as the lead lobbyist for net neutrality, "not only advocating a position that would protect its profits," but "also earning goodwill from web activists and liberals."

Today Netflix is a poster child for crony capitalism. When CEO Reed Hastings lobbied for Internet regulations, all he apparently really wanted was for regulators to tilt the scales in his direction with service providers. Or as Geoffrey Manne of the International Center for Law and Economics put it in Wired: "Did we really just enact 300 pages of legally questionable, enormously costly, transformative rules just to help Netflix in a trivial commercial spat?"


Technology Posted by John Kranz at March 9, 2015 10:18 AM

This is the insidious part about crony-capitalism: a very, very few folks made out very well on this and the Netflix owner will probably finish his tenure and life not much inconvenienced by this...

It's the rest of us who are going to be holding the bag of diminished freedoms and reduced options. I'm reminded of a quote from a game designer and history expert:

if no decent men fought for the Third Reich there would be no moral lessons to learn; it is no surprise evil men can do evil things. It is in the fact that good men can help them where the real lesson is to be found.

On the upside, I hearten myself with the idea that technology will provide new openings in the attempt to make a solid bureaucratic firewall on our access to the great network of mankind's ideas. Worse comes to worse, the technophile in me knows that no firewall can hold us back.

Posted by: nanobrewer at March 9, 2015 5:38 PM

Well said, blog brother.

Posted by: johngalt at March 10, 2015 2:52 PM | What do you think? [2]