Congress under the Bush administration cast largely a blind eye on legislating net neutrality. Net neutrality, the movement to block telecommunication companies from creating "fast lanes" where paying websites would be sped up, while others might slowed down, seemed unlikely to be signed into law by the President who sided with the telecommunication companies on numerous issues.
However, with President-Elect Barack Obama soon to be inaugurated, change is afoot. President-Elect Obama's team, while receiving flak on some tech issues like attempting to delay the transition to digital TV, has largely been praised for its ambitious tech agenda which looks to expand provisions to protect users from telecoms, among other things.
Aaron Cooper, counsel to Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in the Senate Judiciary Committee, says that among the top items that his boss will seek to legislation during Barack Obama's term are performance rights and Net neutrality legislation. This legislation will likely include provisions blocking internet "speed lanes" and also block telecoms from implement data caps on "unlimited" connections, and perhaps to provide users with more overage protection.
Ultimately, the issue of net neutrality is intimately connected with copyright law as is the Democratic Congress and Presidency's attempts to legislate it. The music, film, and video game industries have shown opposition to net neutrality laws, as they fear it will make it illegal to throttle traffic of infringed materials. Daryl Friedman, vice president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences says the music industry will likely support net neutrality "as long as it doesn't mean piracy is equal to legal commerce."
While the Democratic administration may skirt the issue of piracy, or even allow throttling in cases of infringement, Mr. Cooper says that Patrick Leahy will seek mild copyright reform. At stake are scenarios such as online storage of personal off-the-air recordings, internet radio, and other examples, which see current copyright laws failing to provide a realistic solution. In the case of recordings, companies like Cablevision have been pleading their case to the Justice Department and the courts, arguing that their recording and storage services are no different than an internet-connected TiVo.
Mr. Cooper supports allowing such use saying that copyright laws are "geared toward an analog world." Gigi Sohn, the president of public interest group Public Knowledge, too, argues that the service should be perfectly legal, stating, "Are we really going to say every single temporary copy demands a licensing fee? I think that's insane."
Alec French, vice president for government relations for NBC Universal says such a scenario, though would be disastrous for the TV and movie industry. He said the industry would oppose any Democratic legislation which involved such reforms. He states that allowing such services would be akin to "setting a roadmap out for anyone who wants to create a copyright infringing service."
In the case of web radio, the Democratic congress may seek to reform copyright laws so as to encourage lower rates for small internet radio stations, who can't afford big licensing fees like offline radio stations. Michael Petricone, senior vice president for government affairs of the Consumer Electronics Association, says that the music industry, in its greed, is missing out on this possible abundant source of income. If it were to compromise and agree to lower rates, a boom of web casters would arise and be allowed to grow, leading to a lot of revenue. He states, "They will be the future of the industry if they're allowed to thrive. Let's not cook the golden goose."
While the Democratic-controlled Presidency and Congress will almost undoubtedly pursue net neutrality, performance rights, and copyright reform legislation, they're still trying to come to a consensus on exactly what the best solution is. However, the party agrees it’s time for change.
quote: I highly doubt they would give a shit about me since I'm Canadian. We have the bank act of Canada which protects the banks and the consumers from stuff like what happened to you guys. You lend to people who cant afford the payments, they default and OMG, no more money? how did that happen? :S Its still a private business, the only difference is in Canada we don't allow them to lend to people who can't afford it. TD bank, Bank of Montreal, Bank of Nova scotia, Dejardins, RBC, and a few others. Still big business, they make loads of money but they still aren't allowed to take down our entire financial system through stupid lending practices.
quote: That is correct, Fannie and Freddie were Government Sponsored Enterprises that accomplished the opposite of what they intended (like most socialist programs)
quote: You can claim there was no federal backing of GSE securities-- but millions of investors dispute you. For decades, they bought them at high prices, because of the perception of government backing. And they were right...when Fannie Mac floundered, the government instantly stepped in pick up the tab.
quote: blaming the market for getting drunk when it was them who spiked the punch.
quote: It takes two to tango. One to spike the punch, another to naively drink it.
quote: problem was the government FORCED the banks to lend to these people. If you didn't give enough minority home loans you were FINED! It wasn't cheap. So the banks played along and bam...people can't pay.
quote: Lot of people would of lost jobs.
quote: Government should be able to tell the car companies what cars they should make
quote: Oh no, anything but that !
quote: I know I'm gonna get rated down for this. You are a real piece of work you know. You wouldn't be saying crap like that if YOU were in danger of losing your job, or had lost it already
quote: People like you are why I don't read comments 90% of the time, or post replies.
quote: You are a wretched person.
quote: Lot of people would of lost jobs. Would of killed Michigan and made it even worse.
quote: well the regulations on them at least.
quote: We don't have a right to buy a status symbol because we worked harder than the next person?
quote: If the free market is only good, why did it find itself in this finance mess at all?
quote: You seem to confuse socialism and personal greed.
quote: You right wingnuts always called the left (and centre) haters for disagreeing with Bush's actions.This dude hasn't even done anything yet and you are already inventing government policies that you say he will enact.
quote: Which must be why the Democratic-controlled congress denied the Big 3 the money they wanted
quote: If you're a terrorist you're going to vote for Barrack Hussein Obama, and/or funnel money towards his campaign.
quote: Perhaps all I can say is that thinking long term is a good idea.
quote: Face it. The job of a government is to GOVERN.
quote: I could bash the right wings for war propaganda and considering bringing back the draft for the same reasons that you're insulting me.
quote: Because forced civil service is obviously 100% bad, with no redeeming qualities whatsoever
quote: For instance, Canada has to subsidize medical education to counteract the doctor shortages its artificially low salaries provide.
quote: Personally I like having nationalized health care here in Canada. Quick, courteous, and quality.
quote: I have personally sat in an emergency room, withering in agony, for 16 hours waiting to be seen.
quote: and it’s ILLEGAL to pay for the medication yourself!
quote: Face it. The job of a government is to GOVERN. That's why they're there.
quote: It SOUNDS good. The result won't be. Nothing EVER gets "fixed" when the government steps in and tells private businesses how to run things. You have to be an idiot if you think Obama gives a damn about this issue, it's just another way to EXPAND the government. Which is his enitre goal.
quote: Alec French, vice president for government relations for NBC Universal says such a scenario, though would be disastrous for the TV and movie industry. He said the industry would oppose any Democratic legislation which involved such reforms. He states that allowing such services would be akin to "setting a roadmap out for anyone who wants to create a copyright infringing service."
quote: While the Democratic administration may skirt the issue of piracy, or even allow throttling in cases of infringement, Mr. Cooper says that Patrick Leahy will seek to copyright reform.
quote: However, with President-Elect Barack Obama soon to be inaugurated, change is afoot.
quote: and also block telecoms from implement data caps on "unlimited" connections
quote: In the case of web radio, the Democratic congress may seek to reform copyright laws so as to encourage lower rates for small internet radio stations, who can afford big licensing fees like off-the-air radio stations.
quote: Banks not even bothering to do simple credit checks, because they knew they'd turn around and sell the paper to Fannie Mac before the ink was even dry?
quote: "while the Fed controls interest rates among banks, mortgage rates are generally tied to the rates on the 10 yr treasury notes"
quote: If the there was a direct linkage, we should be able to get a 2.5% mortgage right now.
quote: Exactly. I also agree that under-regulation was the problem. I believe that the free market system would never have allowed this financial situation to happen. It was government intervention in the free market that messed up the US of A.
quote: Many congressmen got kickbacks from the banks as well. Corruption 101 here folks.
quote: Freddie and Fannie may have been backed by the government, but they were run like a typical greedy corporation. Too little government oversight and regulation was the problem, not too much.
quote: Hopefully not much. If the last 8 years have shown us anything, it's that regulation is a very good idea.
quote: ...but greed needs to be reigned in...
quote: Is what Obama plans on, if anything, to NOT directly regulating ?