Jun 17, 2021
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Front Page, Industry News

Biz eyes FCC’s moves online

The FCC on Thursday began the formal process of establishing a set of “rules for the road” for Internet service providers, setting off a policy debate that could spark a clash between showbiz concerns on the piracy front and the open access push favored by many Netcos plus the Obama administration.

As the industry moves increasingly to Web-based business models, such as the “Keychest” video-on-demand initiative that Disney is developing, issues involving the regulation of the Internet become of greater importance to Hollywood’s majors.

The MPAA has so far had a measured response to the FCC’s push to enact rules that would ensure that Internet service providers treat users and applications equally — meaning that an ISP could not block a user from using any applications, nor could it offer faster speeds for companies that paid extra for the privilege, among other provisions.

Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski announced the start of the rulemaking process at a commission meeting Thursday.

The process begins with the notification, after which the public has 120 days to make comments on the policy proposals Genachowski outlined. In a sign that Genachowski recognizes the importance of promoting the policy in a manner that will make it hard for pols and the industry to oppose, he’s traded the wonky “Net neutrality” moniker for this policy issue in favor of the catchier “open Internet.”

Hollywood has been wary of the Net neutrality push. The biz has long sought the ability for providers to aggressively police the broadband highway and intervene when clear-cut instances of copyright-infringing activities are taking place. It’s also understood that major media congloms would like to maintain the flexibility to develop business models that could offer incentives for users to pay for services that would have guaranteed faster access speeds. But for now, the biz’s official focus is on the piracy issue.

In the statement, the MPAA praised the FCC for making a clear distinction between “lawful” and infringing content in the proposed rules that Genachowski unveiled Thursday. Those rules acknowledge that “reasonable network management includes the ability to stop unlawful distribution of content online,” the MPAA statement said. “Although we are not proponents of government regulation of the Internet, by highlighting the importance of intellectual property in this way, the commission signaled that American creativity and ingenuity, and millions of related jobs, will be preserved.”

Cable giant Comcast, which is in the midst of negotiating to take a majority interest in NBC Universal, is among the service providers that have tangled with the FCC on the issue of an ISP’s ability to regulate or block services as it sees fit. In a statement, Comcast praised Genachowski for his vow to make the rulemaking process open to vigorous debate, but it also raised a red flag about the possible side effects of federal mandates affecting private business interests.

“We continue to hope that any rules adopted by the commission will not harm the investment and innovation that has made the Internet what it is today and that will make it even greater tomorrow,” Comcast’s statement said.

In the six “reasonable and enforceable rules of the road” outlined by Genachowski, he sought to assuage those fears by acknowledging that the Internet remains a fast-evolving arena.

“We also recognize, of course, that Internet technology is developing rapidly,” Genachowski said. “We understand the risk of unintended consequences. Openness rules should be sufficiently general and flexible enough to account for, and invite, technological change and progress.” 

Source: Variety

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Front Page, Industry News

Biz eyes FCC’s moves online

The FCC on Thursday began the formal process of establishing a set of “rules for the road” for Internet service providers, setting off a policy debate that could spark a clash between showbiz concerns on the piracy front and the open access push favored by many Netcos plus the Obama administration.

As the industry moves increasingly to Web-based business models, such as the “Keychest” video-on-demand initiative that Disney is developing, issues involving the regulation of the Internet become of greater importance to Hollywood’s majors.

The MPAA has so far had a measured response to the FCC’s push to enact rules that would ensure that Internet service providers treat users and applications equally — meaning that an ISP could not block a user from using any applications, nor could it offer faster speeds for companies that paid extra for the privilege, among other provisions.

Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski announced the start of the rulemaking process at a commission meeting Thursday.

The process begins with the notification, after which the public has 120 days to make comments on the policy proposals Genachowski outlined. In a sign that Genachowski recognizes the importance of promoting the policy in a manner that will make it hard for pols and the industry to oppose, he’s traded the wonky “Net neutrality” moniker for this policy issue in favor of the catchier “open Internet.”

Hollywood has been wary of the Net neutrality push. The biz has long sought the ability for providers to aggressively police the broadband highway and intervene when clear-cut instances of copyright-infringing activities are taking place. It’s also understood that major media congloms would like to maintain the flexibility to develop business models that could offer incentives for users to pay for services that would have guaranteed faster access speeds. But for now, the biz’s official focus is on the piracy issue.

In the statement, the MPAA praised the FCC for making a clear distinction between “lawful” and infringing content in the proposed rules that Genachowski unveiled Thursday. Those rules acknowledge that “reasonable network management includes the ability to stop unlawful distribution of content online,” the MPAA statement said. “Although we are not proponents of government regulation of the Internet, by highlighting the importance of intellectual property in this way, the commission signaled that American creativity and ingenuity, and millions of related jobs, will be preserved.”

Cable giant Comcast, which is in the midst of negotiating to take a majority interest in NBC Universal, is among the service providers that have tangled with the FCC on the issue of an ISP’s ability to regulate or block services as it sees fit. In a statement, Comcast praised Genachowski for his vow to make the rulemaking process open to vigorous debate, but it also raised a red flag about the possible side effects of federal mandates affecting private business interests.

“We continue to hope that any rules adopted by the commission will not harm the investment and innovation that has made the Internet what it is today and that will make it even greater tomorrow,” Comcast’s statement said.

In the six “reasonable and enforceable rules of the road” outlined by Genachowski, he sought to assuage those fears by acknowledging that the Internet remains a fast-evolving arena.

“We also recognize, of course, that Internet technology is developing rapidly,” Genachowski said. “We understand the risk of unintended consequences. Openness rules should be sufficiently general and flexible enough to account for, and invite, technological change and progress.” 

Source: Variety

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Industry News

Biz eyes FCC’s moves online

The FCC on Thursday began the formal process of establishing a set of “rules for the road” for Internet service providers, setting off a policy debate that could spark a clash between showbiz concerns on the piracy front and the open access push favored by many Netcos plus the Obama administration.

As the industry moves increasingly to Web-based business models, such as the “Keychest” video-on-demand initiative that Disney is developing, issues involving the regulation of the Internet become of greater importance to Hollywood’s majors.

The MPAA has so far had a measured response to the FCC’s push to enact rules that would ensure that Internet service providers treat users and applications equally — meaning that an ISP could not block a user from using any applications, nor could it offer faster speeds for companies that paid extra for the privilege, among other provisions.

Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski announced the start of the rulemaking process at a commission meeting Thursday.

The process begins with the notification, after which the public has 120 days to make comments on the policy proposals Genachowski outlined. In a sign that Genachowski recognizes the importance of promoting the policy in a manner that will make it hard for pols and the industry to oppose, he’s traded the wonky “Net neutrality” moniker for this policy issue in favor of the catchier “open Internet.”

Hollywood has been wary of the Net neutrality push. The biz has long sought the ability for providers to aggressively police the broadband highway and intervene when clear-cut instances of copyright-infringing activities are taking place. It’s also understood that major media congloms would like to maintain the flexibility to develop business models that could offer incentives for users to pay for services that would have guaranteed faster access speeds. But for now, the biz’s official focus is on the piracy issue.

In the statement, the MPAA praised the FCC for making a clear distinction between “lawful” and infringing content in the proposed rules that Genachowski unveiled Thursday. Those rules acknowledge that “reasonable network management includes the ability to stop unlawful distribution of content online,” the MPAA statement said. “Although we are not proponents of government regulation of the Internet, by highlighting the importance of intellectual property in this way, the commission signaled that American creativity and ingenuity, and millions of related jobs, will be preserved.”

Cable giant Comcast, which is in the midst of negotiating to take a majority interest in NBC Universal, is among the service providers that have tangled with the FCC on the issue of an ISP’s ability to regulate or block services as it sees fit. In a statement, Comcast praised Genachowski for his vow to make the rulemaking process open to vigorous debate, but it also raised a red flag about the possible side effects of federal mandates affecting private business interests.

“We continue to hope that any rules adopted by the commission will not harm the investment and innovation that has made the Internet what it is today and that will make it even greater tomorrow,” Comcast’s statement said.

In the six “reasonable and enforceable rules of the road” outlined by Genachowski, he sought to assuage those fears by acknowledging that the Internet remains a fast-evolving arena.

“We also recognize, of course, that Internet technology is developing rapidly,” Genachowski said. “We understand the risk of unintended consequences. Openness rules should be sufficiently general and flexible enough to account for, and invite, technological change and progress.” 

Source: Variety

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