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FCC and US Patents Crush New Economy

The tightening of the corporate noose around the neck of a free wheeling internet and communications industry is a problem hindering the recovery of the "new" economy.

Recent actions include: - Demanding royalty payments of web radio not paid by other radio broadcasters. FCC

- Allowing cable operators ISP monopolies, unlike the more open competition in the telephone network. FCC

- The restriction of low power radio stations and the FCC move to deregulate television, cable, radio and newspaper ownership. This move to monopoly control of all information and communication channels stops new ideas and information flow. FCC

- Corporate threats of DMCA and patent lawsuits stops new products and services. US Patent Office and Congress.

All of these actions are examples of the shackles recently put on economic expansion and pushing centralized control of information, culture and services.

Let me illustrate.

Low power radio offers local channels for very little cost. In my city, most of the radio is owned by a few conglomerates, the programming is stultifying radio blandness, but there is little competition because low power radio is not allowed.

Restrictions of media ownership are being dropped by the FCC, so not only radio but TV, cable and newspapers will go the same way.

There is already an ISP monopoly on cable by the few cable companies left. Most cable ISPs do not allow services, like web servers, which is a direct attack on a free market. Most web sites are "mom and pop" operations, small traffic. But if these services are removed from the public as an option with the ISP it hits the innovators of our economy, the small and new businesses. There is an exlusive cable franchise granted per area, which is a monopoly. Combined with media ownership conglomeration the effect is a monopoly on publishing and web casting of political speech, commercial speech and culture.

If you pay for bandwidth you should be able to use it as you see fit, like paying for electricity. Limits on the free use of the service only serves the monopolists by limiting competition. Keeping startup costs high and technology out of the hands of small business strangles innovation.

Note that there is no such ISP restriction on the slower telephone line services. ISP service, long distance service, phone services and innovations are cheap and plentiful, but as soon as there is potential for uncontrolled high bandwidth (cable), WHAM, in come the restrictions.

Couple the FCC moves with restrictive patents, licenses, DMCA repression and the only developers and publishers left will be large corporations, known only for inventiveness in accounting procedures.

And that is the goal of the Corporatist political organizations total control, total monopoly.