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September 17, 2007

Filed under: journalism»new_media

Future of Music Conference, Part 1

Mental note: music journalists are a scruffy, hipster-looking lot. Despite my feelings about dress shoes, I'm not wearing the Chucks tomorrow. I'd like to stand out from that crowd.

The best exchange of the day, easily, came during an otherwise tedious bandwidth policy/Net Neutrality debate, in which Scott Cleland (NetCompetition.org, a.k.a. the ISPs) insisted that Net Neutrality has never existed in domains like wireless and cable, so why fight so hard for it?

Ben Scott from Free Press had not been terribly impressive for most of the talk, but he took the mike and said (I quote mostly from memory and my notes):

I'd like to agree completely with Scott on one point, because it's true that net neutrality has never applied to wireless providers. And I'd submit that if you want to see what it looks like when providers are allowed to be gatekeepers, just look down at your handheld device.

The wireless companies can choose what music you listen to. They can choose where you can go to buy that music. They can choose where you go on the Internet. That's what it looks like without Net Neutrality.

To which I can only say, yeah, pretty much. And if anyone thinks, as Cleland sputtered in reply, that the USA offers "lower costs" or better quality than wireless phones in other developed countries, then they pretty much deserve what they're getting.

Future - Present - Past