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Netflix Leaving Battle for Net Neutrality Shows Why We Need It (inverse.com)
267 points by prawn on June 5, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 84 comments



For an article that seems to be in such favor of net neutrality, the author is not making any attempt to be neutral in presenting the material.

I read the Recode article this article is citing and watched the conference discussion. Here is what Hastings actually said:

“It’s not narrowly important to us because we’re big enough to get the deals we want,” Hastings said.

This article presents that subtly differently, by omitting the first sentence and shifting around the context (and thereby altering the tone). It also conveniently fails to include the broader discussion in which Hastings made this statement. If you look at the actual conference dialogue, Hastings didn't outright dismiss net neutrality categorically. Rather, he was forthright in admitting that it's not a priority within the context of Netflix's current goals due to a resignation that it's not a fight worth the resources, which is far less cavalier and hypocritical than portrayed. The Recode article continues with more nuanced coverage:

Perhaps another reason Netflix is being a little quieter about fighting to keep current net neutrality rules is that Hastings knows it’s already a lost cause. His best guess at what will happen is exactly what FCC chair Ajit Pai has been hinting at: “It might be that ISPs just accept the principles [of net neutrality] and it’s not enshrined formally,” he said. “I think the FCC is going to unwind Title II,” he added later. And he believes that it’s in the ISPs’ “long term interest” to respect net neutrality principles, so maybe they’ll just do it on their own.

While we're at it, Hastings was also quoted saying, “The Trump FCC is going to unwind the rules no matter what anybody says."

I'm not taking a side on Netflix's course of action here, but I personally feel this article presented the facts in a particularly disingenuous way. There are legitimate arguments that blindly throwing resources at fighting the FCC is an unproductive use of time and money, even if you are pro-net neutrality. You can disagree with those arguments, but it's really unfair to mischaracterize them as sympathy and hypocrisy. For those of you readying hashtags and boycotts, consider that there can be valid opposition to the FCC that looks more nuanced than, for example, Tim Cook's letter to the US government.


> he was forthright in admitting that it's not a priority within the context of Netflix's current goals due to a resignation that it's not a fight worth the resources

I think that's dangerously short-termist. The end of network neutrality will consume far more resources in the long term than the disarray of a resignation that will be forgotten bynext year.

Sure, they can afford the deals with carriers this year, and next. But once they're locked-in the fees will just keep rising. Why wouldn't Comcast, for example, keep raising the preferred-bits delivery fee? They'd be negligent not to do so.

I was hoping that the big Internet content-giants would ignore the pay-for-priority-delivery model that is emerging; if no-one paid for first-class delivery then the pricing model would collapse. However it seems that they'll just fall in line and accept it as a cost of business, increasing the 'cost' to their customers to compensate.


>Sure, they can afford the deals with carriers this year, and next. But once they're locked-in the fees will just keep rising. Why wouldn't Comcast, for example, keep raising the preferred-bits delivery fee? They'd be negligent not to do so.

This would mean the barrier of entry goes higher and higher. As long as they are not priced out by Comcast, Netflix will enjoy virtually no competition from smaller players.


"...if no-one paid for first-class delivery..."

Then they'll just make sure all delivery is third-class.


while I like some of the promises that NN supporters claim we will have I remember back to the highly regulated days of where ISDN was all that was offered outside of pricey T1 lines and only because of lack of regulation did competition arise to give me the day when I now have 1G internet.

Even getting ISDN installed was an absolute bear and I gave up while another stuck with it. Modems were fortunately getting faster but DSL didn't come to us till after cable did.

We are just as likely to get a regulated nightmare guaranteeing mediocre speeds and service at set costs the prevents anyone from wanting to jump in. Besides I really want to know why we should favor content providers over service providers? If you are going to regulate one then why not the other?


I'm not sure how we'd go about treating content providers as dumb pipes. What are you proposing there?


Thank you for noting there is an additional source to conside - but, I'm sorry, I don't see the difference it makes.

> Hastings didn't outright dismiss net neutrality categorically.

I didn't read the first article as stating that he would.

> Rather, he was forthright in admitting that it's not a priority within the context of Netflix's current goals due to a resignation that it's not a fight worth the resources [...]

"Not worth the resources" is a statement that can have many reasons - one try at an explanation could be that the "worth" is primarily determined by how much use net neutrality would be to Netflix, a theory somewhat backed by Hastings' first quote.

That the Trump FCC is shifting the weights is certainly true, though I don't see how the change is profound enough to justify ceding defeat. The telco lobbyists certainly didn't "give up" under Obama and the FCC's then pro-net-neutrality stance.


> Rather, he was forthright in admitting that it's not a priority within the context of Netflix's current goals due to a resignation that it's not a fight worth the resources

Just out of curiosity, what kind of resources are we talking about? Maybe this is an overly naive view, but from my perspective it seems like they could just as easily have kept a nominal pro-NN stance without actually investing any meaningful capital.

In other words, even if they internally decided that this isn't a "fight" worth continuing in terms of the legal battle - it's not really clear why they felt the need to publicly distance themselves from net neutrality like this. Why not simply keep paying it lip service?


Pure conspiracy theory but it is to Netflix's advantage to hinder upstarts from entering the market by not supporting net neutrality.


This isn't a conspiracy theory; it's exactly what the article is arguing. Now that net neutrality might hurt Netflix rather than benefit them, not only are they not motivated to advocate for it (which, as the above comment pointed out, would not require any significant effort), but they are probably more inclined to advocate against it.

This is might be seen as an instance of "pulling the ladder up behind you".


They went through a lot of effort to make e.g. Verizon look bad if they didn't oppose NN.

Lots of back-and-forth in 2014, but here are major HN discussions:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7872168

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8016055


That's not really a conspiracy theory, other than the current lack of evidence. That is just business as usual in most areas of business. It is just rare on the Internet, for reasons I don't completely understand.


I think for Netflix it was more pragmatic than that. I don't think they were ever really committed to Net Neutrality -- it was just a negotiating tactic to get lower rates for the interconnects that they would inevitably need once they saw their transit rates going through the roof.

Keep in mind that Netflix is somewhere around 40-50% of peak internet traffic volume. Operating without edge caches located physically within the ISPs network was not feasible. It is not reasonable to expect the ISPs to integrate/operate those edge caches for no cost. Netflix always knew they were going to have to pay, the question was "How much?"

Once you start dealing with network architecture for video distribution at the national ISP scale, strict principles of net neutrality don't really make a ton of sense. You need edge caches, you need a place to put them, and it's expensive and complex for ISPs to manage the hundreds (yes, hundreds) of vendors who want to put edge caches in their datacenters. Netflix just wanted a better "volume price" than they were paying before.


> It is not reasonable to expect the ISPs to integrate/operate those edge caches for no cost.

I don't get this argument. If it is cheaper than the alternative (buying more IP transit / peering, dealing with customer complaints, churn, etc.) why not?


The ISPs bear none of the expense of "buying more IP transit". The end services (i.e. Netflix) do. That's always how the transit business has worked in the US -- the sender pays (this is how AWS works, and not by coincidence -- traffic within the AWS network is free in most cases, but leaving the network you pay).

If you want to not pay, well, that's fine I guess. But nobody is going to take your traffic. And it's been this way since like 1990.

Edit: I'll note that it works differently in other places such as Europe because the telecoms are subsidized and partially owned by the government. That's not going to happen in the US, and there are a lot of entrenched interests and political power supporting this business model.


I'm afraid that's not how the internet works. Very few ISPs have enough market power to demand paid peering from other networks. Comcast is one of them, but most others would be laughed out of the room for trying to pull a stunt like that.

> The ISPs bear none of the expense of "buying more IP transit".

Yes, they do. Very few ISPs are fully settlement free. Most use IP transit, public and private peering to interconnect with other networks. They may not need to buy more IP transit, but at the very least they will need to pay for the peering and transport infrastructure.

The alternative is obviously not to pay for anything and watch your interconnects saturate. Depending on how much of a (local) monopoly you have, this is either feasible, or not.

> That's always how the transit business has worked in the US -- the sender pays

That's not correct. To familiarize yourself with how transit works, refer to articles on Internet peering, IP transit and 95th percentile billing on Wikipedia. You can also learn some of the basics on DrPeering.

> this is how AWS works, and not by coincidence -- traffic within the AWS network is free in most cases, but leaving the network you pay

Amazon's billing model isn't really related to how IP transit and peering works. It's just how they set up their business.

> If you want to not pay, well, that's fine I guess. But nobody is going to take your traffic.

Plenty of people will take your traffic for free. Even gladly if you are on an Internet Exchange.

> And it's been this way since like 1990.

You've been out of the game for too long, if you think that's how things work.

> Edit: I'll note that it works differently in other places such as Europe because the telecoms are subsidized and partially owned by the government.

That's just factually incorrect. The willingness to peer has nothing to do with government ownership or being European. It's all about market power and what you can get away with. A prime example is Deutsche Telekom, who is notorious for not peering with (almost) anyone due to their strong market position in Germany. This and other similar examples poke holes in your theory.

Furthermore, the European telecoms have been privatized. The government may still own a piece, but they are not subsidized outside of normal universal service obligations.


It's passive that Comcast et all already made some deals with Netflix and others.


thanks for the measured response. this is the kind of comment i've come to expect from HN. it adds to the conversation.

the other responses on this story are surprising to me. they seem to be on the intellectual level of reddit/facebook.


I dropped Netflix back when they decided to blacklist VPN IP addresses. Using a VPN address for my own country was pretty much the only way I would be able to access content without it being throttled or manipulated by my ISP.

Then they went ahead and worked with T-Mobile on Binge-On where they would throttle speeds and cap the resolution to 480p on their network which was also a troubling sign.

Unfortunately the outrage and backlash wasn't enough then as the CEO brushed it off as only a very small minority that would actually cancel over net neutrality concerns like these so it didn't make much difference.

And unfortunately, here we are today, where I'm worried it still won't make a difference.


>>Then [Netflix] went ahead and worked with T-Mobile on Binge-On where they would throttle speeds and cap the resolution to 480p on their network which was also a troubling sign.

A year ago almost to the day, Netflix admitted[1] that they (not carriers) were pre-emptively lowering the resolution of Verizon and AT&T subscriber streams. The irony last year was that neither AT&T nor Verizon were aware of this until T-Mobile's CEO called them out on it[2].

At the time, I seem to recall this didn't impinge much on the consciousness of Net Neutrality supporters as it should have.

[1] https://media.netflix.com/en/company-blog/helping-netflix-me...

[2] [1] https://www.theverge.com/2016/3/24/11302446/netflix-admits-t...


If you were ok with Netflix DRM at some point, getting rid of VPNs is only better enforcing what they're trying to do with DRM, preventing unauthorized content access. Probably not Netflix's choice.

Binge-on is horrible, but you can opt-out completely in your T-Mobile account settings page.

Amazon had unbox for a while.. you couldn't watch Netflix on linux at all forever until Chrome on linux added DRM support. I think this was their original wrong, and they've been doubling down since.


> Probably not Netflix's choice.

Oh come on, this apologising needs to stop. Netflix joined the major DRM pushers as soon as they started producing their own content. They were the major proponents of HTML DRM. They happily apply that DRM and geoblocking to the series they produce and even more happily geoblock them as well. They've joined the other major publishers in behaviour.

This net neutrality backpedal is just another in the line of their anti-consumer move - now that preventing others from joining the market makes them profit, they'll happily throw neutrality under the bus. It was just popular as long as they were the ones screwed by the cable operators.


As far as DRM, isn't the usual spiel that when you have DRM you don't own the content you're buying? In the case of Netflix, you're explicitly not paying for content ownership, you are paying for access while you're subscribing.

I have no issues with DRM for subscription based services. For instance, I have no problem with Apple using DRM for Apple Music (subscription) and then selling music on iTunes as DRM free.

I will pay for DRMd movie rentals from Apple/Amazon but I would never pay to "own" a movie from either service.


Except of the tiny detail that you're not allowed to watch rented movies on devices that aren't completely locked down. The issue of DRM isn't just owning, it's forcing you to use a certain software stack and then disabling your paid access if the kernel/drivers/whatever differ from the few software stacks they tested.

For example Netflix video is limited to low resolutions on Linux in free browsers. You're not allowed to watch rented content on Android you modified. And more.

The added problem is that they threw a lot of money into standardization of DRM services. This now means that more and more services - even those with free and ad supported content - now stop working on systems that aren't whitelisted by Widewine or whatever DRM stack they use. With the speed of DRM adoption on the web, soon, you won't be able to watch most of streaming content on anything but fully locked down devices running a few whitelisted un-modified OSes.

And that's a problem. Losing access to most modern video content (more and more modern western culture isn't available on anything but streaming services) just because I want night mode on my phone is excessive don't you think? Why would you let your stupid show provider dictate if you can add a driver to make the devices display more pleasant for your eyes?

(And yes, I'm aware that not all restrictions are in place on all platforms yet, but take a look at BluRay AACS 2.0 DRM standard and new Android OS limitations for the directions they want to take you.)


Except of the tiny detail that you're not allowed to watch rented movies on devices that aren't completely locked down. The issue of DRM isn't just owning, it's forcing you to use a certain software stack and then disabling your paid access if the kernel/drivers/whatever differ from the few software stacks they tested.

And before, you weren't allowed to watch Netflix at all on any PC based stack that wasn't supported for MS Silverlight. Web based DRM actually gave you more choices, not fewer.

For example Netflix video is limited to low resolutions on Linux in free browsers. You're not allowed to watch rented content on Android you modified.

And that has nothing to do with web based DRM. Netflix has always run on custom clients on non-PC platforms. If they didn't have Web based DRM, what do you think is more likely? That they would make a custom app for the most popular platforms (like Sling TV) or that they would release DRM free video?

And more. The added problem is that they threw a lot of money into standardization of DRM services. This now means that more and more services - even those with free and ad supported content - now stop working on systems that aren't whitelisted by Widewine or whatever DRM stack they use. With the speed of DRM adoption on the web, soon, you won't be able to watch most of streaming content on anything but fully locked down devices running a few whitelisted un-modified OSes.

Video on the "open web" is not a priority for most video producers. If they wanted to DRM their content, the lack of a standard was never the issue -- they would just release apps for all of the platforms they cared about. There are plenty of DRM solutions for video on the web.

And that's a problem. Losing access to most modern video content (more and more modern western culture isn't available on anything but streaming services) just because I want night mode on my phone is excessive don't you think? Why would you let your stupid show provider dictate if you can add a driver to make the devices display more pleasant for your eyes? (And yes, I'm aware that not all restrictions are in place on all platforms yet, but take a look at BluRay AACS 2.0 DRM standard and new Android OS limitations for the directions they want to take you.)

Every company decides what consumers they want to serve. It is a free market -- they decide which consumers are worth serving and consumers decide which content they are willing to pay for and what tradeoffs they are willing to make.


Your argument is self-defeating. If you're wondering why there are no, not even one (unless you want to count gog.com/movies), drm-free video buying sites, well, you have your answer. If people are ok with DRM while-renting, well, they will be ok when buying too.

The opposite is true for games on GOG/Humble Bundle/Steam and music almost everywhere, the less DRM, the more cultural and economic value is unlocked. There is a reason why movies aren't as good as they used to be, why make better content when you can resell the same content on Netflix and Netflix 4K (let's not forget the different 4K plan).

Region locking via VPN banning, is basically another form of DRM, regardless of them doing it for their content or others.


If Netflix used fingerprinting instead of DRM, as is used in Books and probably MP3s, it would be better overall. Fair use does still exist when you're renting.


Good point. I hate DRM but I couldn't articulate why I didn't have much issue with this. It's a rental, you don't own it. I bought a book that was DRM and I can't read it. It was Barnes and Noble and they cancelled the app and I don't remember the logon to the site or even exists still.

Netflix is protecting it's service. I am not a dogmatic absoltist, they are renting the content and you are leasing the service from them. If you really want a copy I would just full screen it and screen cap it with quicktime. There are probably easier ways. Point is, with Netflix you are unlikely to do it because for $9 (or whatever it costs) the value prop is higher than the opportunity cost of piracy.


> I will pay for DRMd movie rentals from Apple/Amazon but I would never pay to "own" a movie from either service.

I made the mistake of purchasing content from Amazon, I regret it every day since there's absolutely no way to get that content offline in a format I can use on any device I want.

Ironically, movies and tv shows I purchase off the iTunes Store are super easy to do this with - there's plenty of great tools out there that can strip the FairPlay DRM right off video content so I can use it as I please.


As far as geoblocking their own content ... I'll be waiting a little longer to get access to the new House of Cards season as usual but I have always assumed this is because of delays with doing the translation work. Is it not the case that all the Netflix content appears everywhere, once this extra work is complete?


They blocked VPNs around the same time as their global expansion, and when VPNs were becoming increasingly popular, in addition to becoming a new major content creator.

I don't care about it enough to think more, you might be more right, but it's all just adding to their DRM regime.


As Hastings said himself, at this point they're big enough that they can get whatever deals they want. Especially considering that they're pretty much the only reason the movie industry is making any money at all...

So no, the "DRM is a requirement from the studios" excuse isn't acceptable anymore.


I unsubscribed from Netflix due to their backtracking on Net Neutrality. If you are an engineer at any company I would suggest organizing a walk out if your company is abandoning a free and open internet.


This is what I have done as well.

I think it was Bruce Schneier who brought up the idea of digital feudalism. I want to own my data, and that is incompatible with the business of Netflix and Spotify.

Very sad about it, since both those services are very easy to use and I was experiencing more new film & music while subscribing than I am when not subscribed.


i never understood how people thought netflix was for net neutrality in the first place.

their whole argument was 'we are big, we desire special privilege to put pipes directly into the backbone for us', which would have been a competitive advantage.


Well they were because they were small. They fought for it until they got big, then closed the door behind them.


what im saying is, the event that people say netflix stood up for net neutrality is when they were telling ISP's to allow netflix to build pipes directly into their backbones, and didnt want to pay for it.

and people were like hell yeah netflix, fight the good fight!

they weren't standing up to 'the man', they were asking for special privileges because they were big - they were already big at this point, not small


I will rather pay Netflix for unfree internet than have "free" internet where everything is paid by and poisoned by ads.


What you will probably end up with (and not just from Netflix) in the end is paying for unfree internet that is also encumbered by ads.


The leap of logic that brings you from net neutrality (that is - fully open free market where services compete) to "everything is poisoned by ads) is really baffling.


You're comparing pork with speed. Net neutrality does not have any relation with ad based revenue.


I'll wager you don't remember the days when cable TV was ad-free.

Mark my words: it will be the same with the internet.


I never understood when corporations buying influence with politicians (for admittedly their own self interest) is good or bad. Is it just based on the cause? If a corporation speaks out and lobbies for policies that I agree with its fine? But if its something I don't agree with, its corporatism and corruption?

I get that net neutrality is popular among many in the tech crowd, but perhaps large corporations aren't shining nights and we shouldn't be applauding increased lobbying because their interests align with ours.


That implies that whether policies are good or bad is just a matter of opinion. Net neutrality - like combatting global warming - is to my knowledge widely regarded as having far more benefits for society than the opposite policy. So yes, it's the cause.

That being said, of course relying on corporations doing the lobbying is bad. A better way would be to rely on groups like the EFF or (gasp!) MPs themselves caring for the topic.

However, we already have the EFF caring for the topic. Apparently this is not enough, otherwise no "industry alliance" wound have been needed.


I just thought that many that are concerned with corporate speech do so more on a moral ground than just disagreement on the message. I just don't see a situation in which corporate speech should be both encouraged and discouraged depending on the issue and the side of the issue the industry is on. Too easy to be manipulated


Corporate influence supports corporate ends, as opposed to individual or societal influence and ends.

Corporate ends are profits for that corporation, which tend to lead very different policy than societal or individual ends, especially regarding topics like climate change and net neutrality.


I'm okay with a limited amount of corporate spending that directly relates to advocating for policies that favor themselves. I just think that it should be strictly regulated and limited.


Cancelling my subscription. Hope others do the same, this is the only way we can show businesses that they didn't get there without us.


They realize that they don't have a chance with this current congress to get them to change the laws to benefit their business model.

I guess they will just have to suck it up and build some peering infrastructure.


I guess it's inevitable for dominant companies to become toxic.


I have unsubscribed from Netflix 1.5-2 years ago because I have watched all interesting content they had and it made no sense for me to pay them monthly anymore as I reached the point when I rarely ever opened Netflix app to watch anything.

I'd probably do the same with other similar services like HBO or Amazon Prime. Subscribe for 6 months to 1 year, watch all the content I am interested in and then cancel my subscription.


Between the Marvel shows, House of Cards, Longmire, Orange is the New Black, Bloodline, Sense8, Narcos, The Get Down, Stranger Things, A Series of Unfortunate Events, 13 Reasons Why, Master of None, Grace & Frankie, Love, Dear White People, et al, the viewing landscape of Netflix is indeed very different than what it was 2 years ago.

I remember rarely launching the Netflix app for a long, long time, and constantly debating whether or not to maintain my subscription, and then they started releasing "original(ish)" content that, frankly, was pretty damn compelling.

I still go through spurts where I find difficulty finding something I want to watch right now, but recently, I'm finding that's less and less Netflix's fault relative to the other cable-cutting services.


You listed a dozen or more tv shows and other original content Netflix has but the problem for me is I would probably be interested in maybe 3-4 of those max so I'd subscribe and after several months of watching the shows on weekends and evenings after work I'd run out of content.

So it doesn't continually make sense for me to keep paying Netflix every month when I can subscribe for 3 months every 2 years and watch the content I like. Then cancel subscription and switch to HBO/Amazon for 3 months and catch up with my favourite content there.

It's much more economical than being subscribed to all 3 at the same time. And any single of these services does not generate enough content for me to keep me interested long term.


It's well documented that the overall catalog is shrinking (http://www.businessinsider.com/netflix-catalog-size-shrinks-...) and has been for some time.

You can't replace quality content with mediocre netflix originals. At best, 4 or 5 of those you listed are watchable, while the rest are just space fillers, trying to distracted from the loss of a huge number of popular shows.

Hulu, Amazon, HBO, etc all provide more quality content per dollar than Netflix at this point.


This is true, there are movies that used to be available on Netflix last time I was subscribed (mostly some old classics which I enjoyed rewatching from time to time) which have since been removed from the catalogue.

Another issue is outside of US the catalogue is very small. I was living in UK at the time I subscribed to Netflix and the catalogue was much smaller than US one.


I wish Netflix had Mr Robot and The Expanse.


Sad. All I can do is #unsubscribenetflix


I think it's worth keeping in mind that this is the company that poisoned HTML with DRM.

That pretty much sets the bar for what I expect from them.


Would you rather Netflix to continue using a DRMd solution controlled by one company (Microsoft) or try to work with a standards committee?


That's a false dichotomy. They don't have to do either.


Video has never been DRM free. Even in the days of VHS they had Macrovision. Video right holders have never allowed their content to be delivered without copy protections.

But the larger question is, why do you care? You are not paying for ownership of the video. You are paying for access. Why shouldn't your right to access the video be limited to the time you are paying for the subscription?


It's not about the time to access the video. It's about restrictions built into software and hardware. I don't care about video access. I care about beeing in control of my software and hardware.


You are in control of your software and hardware. They never forced you to choose incompatible software and hardware.

They are also in control of their content distribution. Seems fair to me.


> They never forced you to choose incompatible software and hardware.

Until they made it a requirement that my web-browser subverts control from me, the owner of the PC, to Hollywood, in the name of DRM, now a "standard" web-feature.

So basically people who wants to be in control of their own computers can't run web-browsers anymore eh? Just because of Netflix?

That frankly sounds like a shit deal.


How am I in control of my software, if I can't use it in they way that I want? That is the opposite of being in control


Are you not in control of your PS4 software just because it can't run on an Xbox One? In either case the software you bought was not designed to run on your chosen hardware.


No, as long as they aren't purposefully trying to block. Incompatibility is an entirely different issue than DRM.


Your reply is just plain factually incorrect.

Video has always been DRM free, if you know where to get it. DRM does not prevent people from pirating. This has been proven endlessly. It only hurts paying customers. Even in the 80s I could get a DRM-free copy of a movie because the DRM had been stripped out.

> Video right holders have never allowed their content to be delivered without copy protections.

And yet I can still currently download any show/movie I want in a better experience than I get for paying for it. Just because we've always done something one way, doesn't mean that we should continue doing it that way. They may not allow it, but that doesn't stop it from happening.

And why do I care?

A) It's just inefficient. It's a waste of money, and a waste of time, for both me, and the production companies.

B) I should be able to do what I want, with my software. If it's not my software, great, don't give it to me. As soon as it hits my device, though, it becomes my software. Your legalese does not change that.

C) I want to support companies that make media that I enjoy. I currently cannot do that. I keep trying to throw money at companies to get the media in a way I want, but they won't accept it. That's a terrible business model.


Video has always been DRM free, if you know where to get it. DRM does not prevent people from pirating. This has been proven endlessly. It only hurts paying customers. Even in the 80s I could get a DRM-free copy of a movie because the DRM had been stripped out.

I never said that video wasn't always available DRM free. I said that the content distributors never distributed the video DRM free.

I should be able to do what I want, with my software. If it's not my software, great, don't give it to me. As soon as it hits my device, though, it becomes my software. Your legalese does not change that.

It is your software. Just like a PS4 game is your software. When you bought the software you bought it with known compatibility constraints. Why would you expect commercial proprietary software to run on hardware that they don't support any more than you would expect a PS4 game to run on an Xbox One?


> Video has never been DRM free

is what you said, which is far from the same comment as "the content distributors never distributed the video DRM free." If you meant something else, you might want to adjust that.

If something is incompatible, that is one issue, but if something is intentionally blocked from being compatible, that has moved to being an ethical problem. Those are two completely different scenarios.

If someone could modify their xbox to run ps4 games, I see no problem with that, and would take issue with someone actively trying to prevent them from doing that.


So you missed the part of the post where I said "Video right holders have never allowed their content to be delivered without copy protections."?

Netflix was completely incompatible with PC operating systems that didn't run Silverlight. Netflix is nowe incompatible with operating systems that don't support the required DRM -- which is now a greater subset of operating systems.


> Netflix was completely incompatible with PC operating systems that didn't run Silverlight. Netflix is nowe incompatible with operating systems that don't support the required DRM

Meanwhile HTML has moved from being a completely open specification implementable by anyone and everyone who wanted to, to being closed.

Now it's reduced to being available only on that tiny subset you mentioned. Only companies and platforms blessed by Hollywood can implement a fully compliant HTML engine.

The open web enabled alternate OSes like Linux, Mac, iOS and Android. This change effectively means there won't be any new alternate OSes in future. The innovation ends here.

That's a huge fucking loss. And Netflix is not worth that loss.

They can make an app like everyone fucking else. Like they already do for all platforms not PC. I fail to see what the big problem is.


HTML may have been an open standard, but if Netflix did decide to use a DRM format, what format would they use more than likely? h.264. A video format that can't be used in an open source browser because of patent issues.


> So you missed the part of the post where I said "Video right holders have never allowed their content to be delivered without copy protections."?

No, but I kind of ignored it as that argument is irrelevant. What they've always done has no bearing on the situation. It was illogical then, and it's illogical now. Nothing has changed.

Yeah, they are compatible with more systems, but at the cost of screwing up the standard. Just because it's no longer tied to Silverlight is irrelevant. None of that refutes any of my arguments. They could just throw their weight around release the videos DRM free and be done with it, but they choose not to.


No, but I kind of ignored it as that argument is irrelevant. What they've always done has no bearing on the situation

So I might want to adjust my comment even though you admittedly ignored what I said and the context I said it in?

Saying it's illogical to put DRM on content because it can be broken is just as illogical as saying it is illogical to lock your car door because a thief can break the window.

What "weight" does Netflix have against the entire movie and music industry?


Your misquote of what I said finally got me to realize how strongly you've been trolling. Good game.


This shows that corporations can't be trusted to have any principle other that "FU, I got mine."


The road to power is paved with hypocrisy and casualties

source - Their own original series


Such a shame. A blemish the otherwise stellar company will never shed.


"I got mine..."


Is Net Neutrality a 100% known quantity? I'm pretty sure it isn't. There are a lot of subjective considerations surrounding it and how it's perceived by both technical and non-technical people.


The current Title II framework allows the FCC to look at cases on a case by case basis exactly for this reason. If you are making all VoIP traffic faster, it's ok. If your ISP does consumer unfriendly behavior (low data caps, zero-rating some services, paid/unpaid prioritization) and enough people complain, Title II gives FCC the authority to fix it. Without it, it won't be up to FCC at all or FTC.


Consumer unfriendly behavior, your words, strongly suggests that it isn't a communications issue; rather it is likely a consumer affairs issue.

https://www.ftc.gov/about-ftc/bureaus-offices/bureau-consume...

Specifically:

https://www.ftc.gov/system/files/documents/public_statements...

"A simpler consumer protection solution exists. Congress should fully repeal the common carrier exemption in the FTC Act, and enable both the FTC and FCC to protect consumers and the openness and innovation of the internet."

https://www.insideprivacy.com/united-states/federal-trade-co...

"The FTC argued that if Congress really intended to divide jurisdiction along industry lines, it could have exempted from the FTC’s authority everything subject to the Communications Act or the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s) jurisdiction."


Consumer unfriendliness can be at multiple levels, not just in a falsely advertised plan. The FTC sued AT&T over wrongful advertising and changes of a data plan, a consumer affair issue.

Figuring out whether your ISP is correctly being the common carrier it needs to be (correct or incorrect prioritization, 0-rating, caps, etc..) is definitely a Title 2-related communications & FCC issue. The FTC can continue enforcing what are consumer affairs issues related to ISPs being broadband providers. The FTC's legal reasoning is correct, getting rid of the exemption as I understand it would give them more authority if their current argument is rejected in court.




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