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[ARS] Comcast to spearhead creation of P2P Bill of Rights

post #1 of 13
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By Nate Anderson | Published: April 15, 2008 - 01:34PM CT

Quote:
Comcast has just announced its plan to lead an industry partnership in the creation of a "P2P Bill of Rights and Responsibilities" that would apply both to users and to ISPs. Comcast spokesperson Charlie Douglas tells Ars that the cable giant is already prepared to argue for a protocol agnostic approach to network management, an increase in upstream capacity to help alleviate congestion, and more transparency about its network management practices. If Comcast can get the ISP community on board with such proposals, more power to them, but we'll refrain from judgment until we see who's invited to sit around the table.

Comcast has already partnered with Pando, a company that speeds P2P transfers on ISP networks, and hopes to round up a gaggle of "industry experts, other ISPs and P2P companies, content providers and others" to help draft the document later this year. That list notably leaves out consumer advocacy groups like Free Press, Public Knowledge, and the EFF, so we asked Comcast whether they would be invited.

"We're thinking more about industry," we were told. "P2P companies, ISPs, academics."

Why wouldn't consumer groups with the relevant experience in these matters be consulted, we asked. "I don't know," Douglas said after a long pause, but added that Comcast hasn't ruled anything out at this point.

Possible ideas for the "rights" section of the document include the ability to uninstall P2P applications, along with "clarifying usages" (that is, describing bandwidth limits, which would be welcome). Douglas also noted that P2P apps might be able to "identify lawful content versus not lawful."...

With the FCC set to hold the second of its public hearings on the Comcast/P2P throttling issue later this week at Stanford University, though, we suspect that the threat of a regulatory beatdown had something to do with Comcast's Damascus Road conversion. As Comcast notes in today's press release announcing the Bill of Rights, "The arrangement is yet another example of how these technical issues can be worked out through private business discussions and without the need for government intervention."

In other words: Move along, FCC, there's nothing to see here.

Comcast may well be right about this; government regulation can be burdensome and can certainly have unintended consequences. But, as this entire case shows, the existence and interest of a regulator like the FCC can function as a helpful curb on market power when that power threatens to take companies in directions that might not best serve the public good.
[SOURCE]

I wonder why comcast has decided to play nice...
Calculon Ω
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Calculon Ω
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post #2 of 13
Too little too late, Comcast
    
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post #3 of 13
So now you try to be good once you realize everyone hates you? I don't think things will be so easily fixed.
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post #4 of 13
If Comcast gets to write the P2P Bill of Rights, it would go something like this:

1) Comcast has total control.
2) See above.
Once again...
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Once again...
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post #5 of 13
By the looks of it, this still won't help 99% of P2Pers, which use it for illegal means.
Quote:
Douglas also noted that P2P apps might be able to "identify lawful content versus not lawful."...
DRM in MY P2P?!
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post #6 of 13
Quote:
We're thinking more about industry,"
Quote:
Possible ideas for the "rights" section of the document include the ability to uninstall P2P applications, along with "clarifying usages" (that is, describing bandwidth limits, which would be welcome). Douglas also noted that P2P apps might be able to "identify lawful content versus not lawful."...
Pay attention guys, they aren't playing nice, they are trying to set up what THEY have a right to do TO us!
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post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Urufu_Shinjiro View Post
Pay attention guys, they aren't playing nice, they are trying to set up what THEY have a right to do TO us!
Ya, I instantly noticed that it's a Bill of THEIR Rights, not ours.
post #8 of 13
Lets see, they try to uninstall ANYTHING that's installed on MY computer, they better show up with an army, because that's what it'll take!!

No wonder I've been pushing for FiOS for my home. As soon as it's available, Comcast is... OUT!!
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post #9 of 13
Wait, WHAT? They're letting comcast, the company that illegally filtered downloads of P2P and is against net neutrality create a bill of rights about this!?
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post #10 of 13
I doubt this will work. If so, there goes like...90001 customers.
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