Thursday, August 26, 2010

Network neutrality, Section 230 and DMCA safe harbor: ISP's want to have it all ways

A blog called “Public Knowledge”, with a lot of primer material on network neutrality, has a posting Aug. 20 by Anne Hasley, “ISP’s want to have their First Amendment cake and eat it to,” link here. The article mentions "H.R. 3817: Investor Protection Act of 2009", Dan Kanjorski (D-PA), govtrack link here.

As we noted, ISP’s have resisted FCC suggestions to treat them just like telephone companies, because then they would not have the ability to tweek access speeds where they say there is a generally publicly valid reason, such as better speed for showing surgical procedures.

ISP’s have, with limited success, said that they need to monitor facilities like BotTorrrent, which by their very nature invite consumer abuse (excessive bandwidth and sometimes piracy or copyright infringement). Courts have disagreed with this contention.

But Halsey is one of the few bloggers to talk about the “downstream liability” protections to ISP’s from both Section 230 (the 1996 Telecommunications Act) and the DMCA Safe Harbor. Few articles discuss both, and few articles link these to network neutrality as a legal issue.

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