- July 13, 2018 at 4:59 pm #105258ArtisanRadioParticipant
Total posts : 526
According to the new, proposed Supreme Court pick, they do.July 13, 2018 at 5:07 pm #105262Carl BlareParticipant
Total posts : 1540
And the highway department has the right to edit your travel plans.July 14, 2018 at 3:35 am #105276
Sure they do. Just like a cable TV system can decide which channels the provide, determining which news sources you’re allowed to see on their system. Just like a store can decide if they want to sell dirty magazines, or a news stand operator can decide which newspapers he carries, choosing for you which news viewpoints you can read from his stand.
TV and Radio stations can decide which news stories they choose to carry on their newscasts. They decide which local events are carried, which charities they decide to promote with coverage and which candidates they decide to interview.
Your grocer can decide which flavors of Pop-Tarts to stock on the shelves. What kind of apples to have on hand.
The one and only satellite radio company decides which music formats, sports and news they want to carry. And there’s only ONE satellite radio provider so you can’t even choose a competitor.
I even understand that Part 15 radio stations decide which news they choose to carry, if any, and what musical formats they choose, clearly leaving out people who prefer different music, or news with a different viewpoint. Or smut for that matter.
The list goes on forever.
It’s called freedom. These are all independent businesses. They can choose what market they want to serve, decide what to stock and what services to provide. Freedom of speech, free enterprise, and all that jazz. If an ISP didn’t have the right to decide what they offer on the internet why should a radio station decide which news network they offer? After all radio has an obligation to serve the public interest. ISP’s have no such obligation.
However, ISP’s who decide to edit what’s available will soon find their bottom line leaving them much smaller profits.
Back in 1981 I was working for a radio station where the owner also owned the local cable TV company. When MTV debuted in August the owner absolutely refused to add the new MTV channel to his cable offerings as he believed a music TV channel would compete with his radio stations. His right to do so. But by the end of the year pressure from his customers convinced him to add the channel anyway.
Eventually the concept of editing content that is in demand will affect the profits and all but the most staunch content controllers give in to the cash.
The government can’t edit those services, but individual businesses sure can.
TIBJuly 14, 2018 at 5:20 am #105279RichParticipant
Total posts : 195
Carl wrote: And the highway department has the right to edit your travel plans.
Yes, and most people heed them unless they want to drive through a barrier blocking their first-chosen path.July 14, 2018 at 6:08 am #105280ArtisanRadioParticipant
Total posts : 526
So, Tim, if that’s the case, then ISP’s can also be prosecuted for carrying illegal content? Because currently, they can’t, as they argue that they aren’t responsible for content. Under these rules, they are, and they can’t have it both ways.July 14, 2018 at 8:19 am #105281Carl BlareParticipant
Total posts : 1540
Points Missed and Made
As to Rich… “unless they want to drive through a barrier blocking their first-chosen path.”
In the dystopian world to come ALL chosen paths can be blocked by highway checkpoints.
More important, I believe that the solution to our mess is to recognize that the internet is logically and must be finally defined as a common carrier.
The “deciders” at the ISP, or the highway authorities for that matter, might not be qualified to make editing decisions.July 15, 2018 at 4:58 am #105314
It’s really two completely different things.
First off, generally an ISP is different than a hosting provider. Not always, but generally they are two different companies offering two different services. In the case where they might be the same, it’s two different entities. An ISP provides connection to the ‘net, and a web host provides server space and connectivity for hosting data used to make up a web site. e.g. YouTube is a hosting provider, SCI Broadband provides connectivity.
Either way, you can be sure that many providers of web sites wind up being responsible for hosting illegal content. Look at Youtube. Few years ago if you posted a song it would get taken down. Even if it was your band doing a cover song. Finally they wound up paying music rights so now users can upload songs. They took responsibility for the content and paid for the rights. But YouTube is NOT an ISP.
An ISP, be they large or small deciding to edit what’s available through their service is making their own personal or corporate choice. It in involves no law, and no third party. What they choose to provide is up to them.
ANY and EVERY web hosting provider, in their user agreement states that you cannot upload illegal content. if they catch you doing it you’ll be kicked off their services. But they cannot be responsible over a third party’s actions. The third party being the person who is uploading the illegal content. When they censor what THEY provide, they’re controlling their OWN service. That’s their business. Just like Time magazine can decide which news to print and how they may want to slant it.
Further, you have to be able to determine what is illegal content. You’d have to determine where it’s being hosted, exactly what the content is, and how it fits into the applicable laws. What is illegal in the USA may be legal in the Netherlands, and if it’s hosted in the Netherlands the US can’t do anything about it, but you, as an ISP could choose to block it on your service if you like. An ISP who chooses to censor may not be doing so out of a legal concern, but just because they don’t like that content. It’s their right.
If I use my telephone to call my partner in crime and plan a murder or a bank heist, is the telephone company responsible for providing the communication? If I rob a bank is the municipality at fault because they provided the road I used to arrive at the bank and then use it again to make my getaway? No. But they certainly could put up roadblocks and checkpoints to be sure I’m not carrying firearms, or am drunk, or whatever.
If I sell Twinkies in my store, and a crazed worker at the Twinkie factory decides to put poison in a Twinkie, and someone buys that Twinkie in my store, eats it and dies, am I responsible for selling them that poisoned Twinkie? No. But I certainly have the right to choose to not sell Twinkies in my store at all.
In a CIVIL suit the survivors of the dead Twinkie eater may try to include me in a lawsuit, the chances of success unlikely. However, there would be no legal issues unless there would be proved to be some connection between the factory worker and me or my store that would indicate I could have been aware of the poisoning. Without that connection I couldn’t be arrested for selling that Twinkie.
Same thing with a web host. Their agreements specifically prohibit hosting illegal content. This of course doesn’t apply to someone who provides their own hosting on their own server, and in this case the ISP (who is providing only connectivity) would have no control over what is being served. Although IPS agreements ALSO prohibit illegal use, and should you be discovered they would be within their rights to discontinue service to you.
I do believe (although not sure) that if an ISP is contacted by someone who says “Hey, they’re providing illegal content” or “they’re violating my copyright” they DO have an obligation to check and if it’s found that they are infact doing something illegal will have their service cancelled. But it’s because they’ve violated the service agreement.
Two different things.
TIBJuly 15, 2018 at 5:11 am #105316
I can agree that making them common carriers would be a good idea.
I thought the same thing about cell phone companies years ago. I even wrote an editorial about it on my blog (which I haven’t updated in something like 4 years). At the risk of derailing this threat, you can find that still posted at:
And the same concepts should apply to ISP’s.
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