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Who do you think should have control over Internet content?

by Marc Bennett CNET staff/forum admin / July 18, 2006 5:16 AM PDT

Who do you think should have control over Internet content and why?

Service providers
Content providers
I don't care

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Whoever the author grants rights to...

The author of the software, website design, articles, etc is the one who should, and does, have control over the content unless he/she grants rights to another individual, such is the case when you develop a site for another person/group, create a Wikipedia article, etc.


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It's a BAD question
by doon41 / July 19, 2006 1:42 AM PDT

The other choice is ''no one''. In general, no one should control the content of the internet, and no organization really can (even in China). John has it right that on a per-item basis, the authors/creators (or their assignees) already have control, legally. No overarching control beyond that is needed, nor really possible.

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the "bad question"
by sfbrown0802 / July 19, 2006 3:27 AM PDT
In reply to: It's a BAD question

I concur, it is a bad question. Since we all pay for the internet in one way or the other, we the market will determine what is profitable and what is not. Content creators should have control of their creations, not the pipe owners or mega content accumulators/re-sellers.

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In a certain way...
by BlazeEagle / July 19, 2006 12:08 PM PDT
In reply to: the "bad question"

It's like charging an extra fee to travel on a road one already pays to travel on!

The net is akin to a road, it's a roadway for products, services, opinions, ETC. to travel on. A common pedestrian should not have to pay an additional fee to access the 'net!

The 'net is a change in the way our society has functioned for hundreds of years. Greedy companies, industries, ETC. are unwilling to change with the times and adapt.

The net needs to stay an OPEN and FREE resource for all of humanity to use and enjoy! Yes, we pay an internet access fee, but that's for upkeep NOT useage for discrimination!

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Worse than BAD, it will skew results
by russ666 / July 22, 2006 4:07 AM PDT
In reply to: It's a BAD question

Worse than BAD this limited question format will skew results since it doesn't include any of the other possible entities who ought to have some say in the control issue. Say for example you want to have a grass roots issue brought to the attention of other like minded folk. Before, with net neutrality, you COULD afford to do it, possibly. Now since it is going to be cost prohibitive for many or most, Not so much !

And so we end up (once again) back to the "tyranny of the majority" (majority stockholders that is). Who DOES own the www and the airwaves ? would be a better, more inclusive question.

Our elected representatives, elected (we used to believe) by us are, these days, largely in the pockets of "special interests" is this not a fact?. To paraphrase, by their works shall ye know them. Do their votes represent what YOU are wanting ?


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The thing is that...
by BlazeEagle / July 22, 2006 11:08 AM PDT

Based on America's laws, the majority rules[supposedly]. Like it or not. You can't make everyone happy. BTW, I'm not refuting your message, I'm just adding a point to the overall discussion.

On the other, since its the WORLD WIDE WEB, no one country should have control over it. At the same time, the WWW needs to stick to Americas freedom of speech rights, no matter an individuals countries laws.

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by spook_et / August 31, 2006 1:24 AM PDT
In reply to: It's a BAD question

This question is just poorly worded. But it will lead to a skewed result.
It's the reason I didn't vote.
It's like a game we played as kids. Ask a no win question and see how the other person struggles to answer it. Silly.
I'm pulling up my pants and going home... I don't have to play this game ;0).

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Content providers

Content providers both provide the content and are responsible for what they provide. If there is a problem then go there and leave the service providers out of it.

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This is a tricky question!
by ShrekkieBMA / July 18, 2006 6:59 PM PDT
In reply to: Content providers

I agree that the content providers provide the content and as such should have control over the content they provide. But some content is provocative, abusive or even right down criminal.

To avoid this it could be considered to give the control over the content to the service providers. But this would give the control over the content in the hands of a limited lucky few.

I think the best solution is to divide the control: the service providers can prevent criminal, abusive and provocative content and for the rest leave it up to the content providers. This is again a very difficult situation, because there is discussion possible about what is criminal, abusive and provocative content.

Maybe there's a need for an organisation such as the United Nations with representatives from both the content providers and the service providers to set the rules.

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How would the controllers be controlled?
by Argie-Salvador / July 18, 2006 10:34 PM PDT

1984: Big Brother watches you!
2002: The Matrix

The question of controlling people's activities is a hard nut to crack. Politicians, religious leaders, all have a say with regard to individual liberties and rights. Apparently the ultimate control on the Internet will come from the most powerful, just as the Romans did with the Alps passages and before them the Gauls. We can write and talk and scream but someone, somehow will one day ''control'' the Internet and we will all have to yield or disappear. Sad? Pessimistic? No. History repeats itself over and over. The human folly has no limits. These are my thoughts that I define as ''optimistic not leaving experience behind''.
Let's go for a pint and leave control to controllers of all that can be controlled until the day comes when controllers are themselves controlled. By whom? Oh, by another controller. Sheet! Please pass the mug....

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Controllers do control
by uglo / July 20, 2006 4:18 AM PDT

You are absolutely right! Who controls the controllers? It is clear that the ones with the "money" control! That is the way it has always been. Money talks loud "can you hear me now?" We slaves will just be left to see what is left when the smoke clears. Oh, to be one of the rich few who can control something.

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The power of richness
by Argie-Salvador / July 20, 2006 9:32 PM PDT
In reply to: Controllers do control

Thoughts upon the power of Wealth

Upon commuting to the City as I always do,
Riding this Japanese-made motorbus, reading a poem book
And eavesdropping at the same time others' talks
Over the humming engine, subjects of all sorts
Discussed along the trip by these assorted folks,
I overheard today one saying something about
The power of money and its whereabouts,
And rediscovered suddenly something that I've always knew:
Of how rich people get a host of things for free
Offered by all those who for some hidden reason think
That money could be contagious, at times, if
One stays around and sound for long enough;
And all along these years I have seen
A huge number of men, delicate, fair or rough and tough
And how wealthy people were given voluntarily
Food, beverages, paintings, air-tickets, an endless list
Of goods and services some hardly won by these good men
To add up to the richness of the rich
Who, for another hidden reason, always expected them...

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Thoughts on rich folks...
by BlazeEagle / July 21, 2006 11:41 AM PDT
In reply to: The power of richness

There are decent, wholesome wealthy people out there. I've heard stories about wealthy folks, who, behind the scenes[to avoid the spotlight I assume], help disadvantaged people.

On the other hand, it seems like some act like royalty just because they're wealthy. I don't understand why people treat them as such. Many act like wealthy folks deserve some type of special treatment.

Being wealthy can bring out the best or the worst of people. I won't refuse money, but all I want is to be cured of duchenne muscular dystrophy and be able to hug my family. THAT is MY form of true wealth! To avoid sounding selfish, I wish and hope for all forms of muscular dystrophy to be cured as soon as possible.

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Ill pray that you get better
by djujecmaoseoionnn / July 21, 2006 12:54 PM PDT

I was in a car accident and broke my neck and lower back and have now been unemployed for 3 years. I can still do things but not without lots of pain. I live on Dulaudid and Fentynyl patches 24 7. I am going to pray to God that you get better. Let em try to censor that. Good luck in your future and may God bless you with recovery.

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God bless you and yours. A question...
by BlazeEagle / July 21, 2006 1:42 PM PDT

Can you walk? I very much appreciate your kind words. They encouraged me to keep on dealing with my condition. I pray that you get better as well and I'll pray for you.

They cured my disease in mice, so hopefully I'll be better soon. I hope and pray technology finds a way to heal you too.

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Things that money can barely buy
by Argie-Salvador / July 23, 2006 9:55 PM PDT

Health and good physical form can't be bought. But not having to think about being short of money can help to keep spirit up and this, in turn, helps if not to full recovery to learning how to live with handicaps of all sorts, especially if one has a family that cares. Then, faith in a God and prayer can also help. I've been through and I was back. I was lucky. Family is all. NEVER allow yourself to lose hope. NEVER abandon your soul to self pity. Start something new: Study, literature, arts, HTML, whatever. Bless you all.
Salvador Happy

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by djujecmaoseoionnn / July 20, 2006 11:40 PM PDT

I replied to another part of this discussion, but your comment hits the nail on the head of what I was trying so hard to get out. I agree there needs to be control of some kind as with all forms of communication. Not censorship but to restrict access to content of a nature that is obviously not family oriented with passwords and age verification of a stern nature. Just as if it was on a newstand or in a Quick Stop, Some form of control is needed. thanks Again Jeff Hyder

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Makes sense
by thatguy6502 / July 18, 2006 11:20 PM PDT
In reply to: Content providers

I'm smart enough to avoid the 'bad' websites, and if comcast all of a sudden decided to block my website because I said I liked sbc better on the forum. Go content providers.

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I believe it is Service Providers that..

I believe it is Service Providers that should controll the content of the internet because a lot of content providers such as boughten out internet domains and etc. usually abuse and over use the "rights" set for them. On top of that, people in smaller companies viralate the entire contect and will most likely implant viruses on your computer. Even though they put out a few pennies for the website or content, they get back millions for people getting the virus. ISPs should have total controll of content because they can not only prevent viruses, but they can enhance the content itself with the large financial buisness put towards the internet.

-CMTs Uryurin

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A netural element should control the Internet.
by yellowcabohio / July 19, 2006 1:00 AM PDT

The Internet should be fully controlled by a netural world-wide board.

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Is a Neutral element
by andysacks / July 19, 2006 7:55 AM PDT

gonna pay for the costs of building and maintaining the Internet network elements ?

People need to stop believing the Internet fairy came along one day and waved a wond and "poof" the Internet was born.

The Internet was built by and is maintained with Telco money. They are running a business, not a hand out service for free connections and free content. They have a right to charge whatever the market will allow. The only thing that will stifle the Internet is government regulations meant to "protect" the internet.

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world wide boardq
by djujecmaoseoionnn / July 21, 2006 1:06 PM PDT

And who would vote them in? They are then the ones that are in control of what you can see. content providers should be held responsible for the content they provide. The same as Ford is responsible for the safty of their vehicles and Sara Lee is responsible for her cakes being edible and not poisonous. I your content is of a nature that offends or is damaging to a certain age group they should be held responsible for who is able to access it. Proof of age is all thats required. Same as if you go to buy a beer at the store. You have to be of age. The same should hold true for the internet. I dont care how hard it is to do. The same laws in that apply to commerce and entertainment in the US outside the net should apply to the internet. Screw em for thinking they have the right to bombard my kids with their trash and filth just because of a new form of communication. I would like to line a few of them up. End of story.

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Why does it matter?
by jcl4723 / July 18, 2006 6:27 PM PDT

I am probably one of the few individuals who think this way, so my views are probably not going to be popular, but here goes.

Service providers already charge differently depending on the quality and speed of service that a website owner can afford. It seems to be working out fine, so why all the hoorah now.

In addition, isn't the request for a legislative call for or against Net Neutrality coming from the very people who say that they are opposed to not having it.

Am I missing something here, because it seems like this is a mined , not mind, but that too, battle for control, not whether we should have it or not. The only real distinction in this debate is that both sides want it. Control and legislation that is, which both are saying the other should not have an edge on, but let's face it, the only way to ensure true neutrality is to simply drop the fight and go on as we have been doing. Why create nonsense laws where none have been needed before.

I think someone or some group just needed a hot ticket to get noticed and lit a fire to get it started.

I guess, I could be wrong, but at least I am standing here with a more balanced picture of the issue.

Reba Cs

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Large companies want Network Neutrality changed for $$$$$$$$
by mike.searles / July 18, 2006 7:34 PM PDT
In reply to: Why does it matter?

In summary (at least this is what I think from reading about this), the large telephone companies, such as AT&T, want the laws changed so they can determine which web sites are accessed faster than others and also which web sites cannot be accessed at all. One of the key factors that AT&T and other ISPs will use is to charge web sites a fee in order for the ISP to access their sites faster.

So, sites like amazon, cnn, microsoft, etc. will pay this "bribe" money to make sure users access their web sites quickly. Where does that leave smaller businesses? Thay might pay a smaller "bribe" to get access at a slightly lower speed. That leaves web sites who cannot afford to pay any "bribe" for access. The time to access these sites will be slow, perhaps so slow that you'll skip it.

I also heard that the large corporations like AT&T can eliminate a web site and not provide any access to that site. I don't know what criteria they'd use. But if you have a personal site or a very small retail site, you might not have access.

I think there's much more to all of the proposed changes, but to me, that seems like one of maybe several bottom lines.


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re:Large companies want Network Neutrality changed for $$$$$

I fear you are right and it is scary. I prefer the ONLY restrictions placed on a sites bandwidth/throughput be by the company hosting the site. We don't need an ISP helping to kill some and help others based on fees (bribes).

I hear some say, make if safe for the kids, oh, how you going to make the offline world safe? Parents GUIDING the kidos, parental controls and spying, YES, spying on them, key logers, what ever, the parents should look after them, NOT an ISP.

If some one has a site that is not leagle, we HAVE laws, let law enforcment take care of it, report it.

If we are SO lazy that we can not moniter what we do, what our kids do and we hand that CONTROL over to an ISP, how long before the old OBEY thing comes true?

Freedomes that are not used and protected are lost, remember that.

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ISP Control

ISPs should only be allowed to sell bandwith. Without regard for what the content is or how large the company is. And the content provider should be held accountable for the content they provide. Its a store, a meeting place, and many other things but the internet needs some way to monitor what content is provided and by who and hold people providing illeagle or illicit content accoutable for what they do. Your right we have laws, but they dont seem to apply to the net. At least it difficult to apply them because of things like jurisdiction and county lines and oceans of water that are between the purveyors of filth and scum and the people trying to enforce the laws. Its to big to be controlled and since the ISPs are the largest part of it maybe they too should be held accountable for illeagle materials piped through their servers. Mind you I am only speaking of material that is controlled outside the internet. It should also be controlled inside the internet. Only to the extent that proof of age has to be part of it. Identification. The net should not be a haven for people annonymously comitting acts and veiwing material that would be illeagle in any other situation. Level the playing feild for everyone.

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You are correct. It does not matter
by andysacks / July 19, 2006 8:06 AM PDT
In reply to: Why does it matter?

one bit. Things are fine like they are and that's basicaly what the Telco's want. Telco's are not asking for, nor do they want, the right to limit access to any site. They are asking for the right to charge extra for faster connections and guareented delivery of content. That means that if a small business wants to buy guareented delivery of video content they will be able to buy it. The content they deliver will not block access to anyones site, what they would be buying is basicaly the ability to establish one to one links to a customer over the net with a certain level of speed guareented. No one would be blocked.

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What about the user?
by timtilley / July 18, 2006 7:19 PM PDT

Seeing as ultimately it's the user that all this affects, I think the user should also have an equal say in all this (I guess this voice is given partially through the various bodies that help to govern the net).

In the case of both the content providers and the service providers they will both ultimately work in their best interests regardless of how this affects the end user. If a business model presents itself that is more financially in their favour then this will be the model that will ultimately be forced on the end user, who ultimately has to accept that the new model is the norm.

Whatever happened to the promise of a free web, where all the information you could ever need was at your fingertips, the reality is that it may be at your fingertips, but keep a hand free to hold your credit-card to pay for the really useful stuff!

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I completely agree!
by BlazeEagle / July 20, 2006 8:43 AM PDT
In reply to: What about the user?

Espcially your last comment in your post! This:

Marc Bennett wrote -
"the reality is that it may be at your fingertips, but keep a hand free to hold your credit-card to pay for the really useful stuff!"

I don't believe everything should be 100% free, but these companies want to suck our wallets completely dry!!

Look, covering their costs and earning a FAIR profit is fine, but they try to grub as much money as they can get away with!

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Lets spam not ruin the Internet
by varun8 / July 18, 2006 7:20 PM PDT

Ecven though I am a real supporter of free speech and would ideally see the content providers have full control over the content that goes out there, I have to be realistic.

I think the Internet is being ruined to some extend by the vast amounts of spam and unwanted advertising content out there. I typically receive between 300 and 400 spam emails per day, because I have had my main email address since 1996 which were registered as webmaster.

Also many Internet searches lead to plain advertising that often has absolutely nothing to do with your target. Editorial content on the net also does not seem to be nearly as independent as that in print (not saying that that is always independent). I seem to notice that Dell computers always receive glowing reviews on web sites where they advertise heavily. recently I came accross a Dell Notebook which was given a runner up position as an ULTRAPORTABLE even though its weight was 8.8lbs, more than double than any other in the review of 7.

So if we can't rely on content providers, we should be able to rely more on the service providers, because we are their customers, not the content providers.

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