Moreover, the end of net neutrality also has the potential to drive up prices for potential homebuyers, something which negatively impacts REALTORS®. As Cornerstone Home Lending explained, if real estate agents are forced to spend more money to compete in the real estate market by ensuring that their online content is prioritized in the same way as content from larger companies, these costs will likely be passed on to the consumer.
Net neutrality is an innocuous sounding term for what is really media Marxism. This is an ideological attempt by those on the left to control the greatest means for the distribution of information ever devised. It provides a playing field which the government does not control, and this is immensely troubling to those on the left.
"For those of you out there who are fearful about what tomorrow will bring, take a deep breath; this decision will not break the internet," FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly said. "While repealing net neutrality rules grabs headlines ... net neutrality started as a consumer issue but soon became a stepping stone to impose vastly more common carrier regulation on broadband companies."
The heavy-handed techniques employed by groups like the BSA have alwaysbeen destined to play into the hand of free software advocates. Evencompanies with strict "a license for every copy" policies (and strictenforcement to back those policies up) can find themselves with unlicensedcopies of software on their machines. The BSA, with its rewards foremployees who turn in their companies and its police raids, can make thecost of those unlicensed copies very high. And, even if a company is ableto stay in complete compliance, it bears the costs of license tracking andsoftware audits. So OpenOffice.org is right to capitalize on thisbehavior; free software does, indeed, offer a way to avoid the expensivehassles which can accompany proprietary code.When LWN posted a pointer tothis campaign on May 1, however, the OpenOffice.org marketing team wasnot amused. One participant exclaimed:Jesus what an idiot. Makes you wonder if they're purposely tryingto wreck the campaign before it takes off.... I'm CC'ing thismessage to lwn to see if someone can at least smack that poster forus.Your editor idiot, feeling suitably smacked, withdrew theposting. It is certainly not LWN's wish to "wreck" the efforts of freesoftware projects.This episode raises an interesting question with regard to how freesoftware projects deal with their user communities. The usual rule is"release early, release often"; the idea being that the opportunityto obtain input from a wider community should be taken at the earliestpossible time. There is little to be gained by holding on to work which isintended to be released anyway.That ethic appears to be changing in some places, however. Companiesperform free software work behind closed doors and release the result inone big pile with the obligatory press release. Releasing code earlier, itis said, is just an invitation to "bike sheds" and "stop energy," and animpediment to actually getting the work done. And marketing campaigns are,it would seem, so fragile that any visibility in the wider communitythreatens to "wreck" them. So work must be withheld until it is finished,ready to present itself in its final form.It is worth asking whether press releases are really thebest way for free software projects to interact with the rest of theworld. A press release is fine as a way of gaining the attention of themainstream media, but there is little in our community which needs to bekept secret until the PR has been officially distributed. It is hard toimagine that the strong message behind the "Get Legal" campaign can trulybe compromised if the community knows, before the press release hits thenet, that such a campaign is being developed. In fact, it's even possiblethat people outside of the core marketing group could have useful inputwhich could make the campaign stronger.The value in the free software process is not just in the delivery ofsomething cool on a date picked by somebody in the marketing department - it'sin the process. Without the process, all you have is anothercorporate product, albeit with less restrictive conditions and a nicerprice tag. At times, we may all be tempted by the idea of dispensing withan open development process (and the community which goes with it) in thename of faster development or a splashier release. But going that way hasits costs, and risks taking us closer to the proprietary systems that wehave worked so hard to replace.Comments (28 posted)Looking forward to KDE 4 May 3, 2006 2b1af7f3a8