Google & Verizon’s Version Of Net Neutrality Offers Little Protection For Music Industry Innovation

image from www.scherrtech.com Yesterday, Google and Verizon, announced a private agreement between the two internet powerhouses that they believe should serve as a framework for  U.S. public policy on net neutrality. The announcement comes on the heels of reports that FCC talks with internet stakeholders recently collapsed.

The joint Google and Verizon agreement does promise equal access to the current internet and proposes punishment for ISPs that restrict or "throttle" certain services. But the pair  would also create a "fast lane" for premium content – presumably paid services that require heavy bandwidth. The proposal seems reasonable – YouTube, email and everything we're used to continues unrestricted without being bogged down – until you remember that not long ago YouTube itself was considered a bandwidth hog.

If the FCC does not establish clear rules on net neutrality without "fast lane" exemptions , which lane will music tech innovators be allowed to travel in?

“There is also some question about how the so-called ‘public internet’ – described in today’s Verizon-Google conference call – would continue to grow and develop alongside the ‘additional online services’ hinted at in the proposal," says Casey Rae-Hunter, Communications Director and Policy Strategist for Future of Music Coalition. “Today’s events serve to further highlight the need for an appropriate regulatory framework that would clarify what is and isn’t acceptable online. We continue to look forward to the establishment of clear, enforceable rules to preserve the open internet as a crucial platform for musicians.”

Doubt stifles innovation, and that – almost as much as control of the internet – is the unfortunate consequence if the Google and Verizon proposal becomes a reality.

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  1. I really don’t understand the logic of the music industry. First the internet was evil, and should be shut down.
    Now- they “want their own lane”, and if they don’t get it then innovation in the music industry will suffer?
    Everybody is acting like this Googizon thing is law, hey it’s not, and probably won’t be (although everyone freaked out by it should hope it does, cause it will be better than what the gov’t will do).
    Like Justin said, can we worry about the bad things that are actually happening?

  2. This is the future of music. ISP’s and major brands/labels/music services working together to monetize something or at the very least provide a new more profitable model for us to work with in the future.

  3. So does this example apply? I have noticed lately that the streaming of iTunes samples is deplorable, requiring at least 3 buffers to listen to a 20 second clip. If I pay them a premium will it then download without interruption?
    If you want to hear high quality un-interrupted samples, take a look at the one I just started using powered by licensequote.com: http://web.mac.com/decouvrir/http%3A__web.mac.com_decouvrir_mamaloosemusic_license/License.html – Perhaps we can organize a mini-revolution?

  4. Well, Justin, inasmuch free speech and the (virtual) right to assemble using the most democratic communications tool in history is implicated, I’d say nondiscrimination principles online are fairly important.
    PS: enjoyed your Boing Boing interview.
    Corey, you’re not wrong aboutthe need tonics investment in content as a spur to a healthier music ecosystem, but ultimately it’s about who gets to play. How’s commercial radio treating ya?

  5. Wow. iPhone randomly inserted the word “tonics” into that comment. Well, we could use that, too.
    In case you wanted a more detailed look at this non-legally-binding proposal and what it might mean for musicians (were it to become public policy), we did a follow up at http://www.futureofmusic.org.

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