Proposed Bill Forbids Streaming Throttling, Legalizes Aereo

Sections: Streaming, Video

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Net Neutrality BillA proposed bill called the “Consumer Choice in Online Video Act” would forbid ISPs from throttling streaming video, and put a lot more legal muscle behind the concept of Net Neutrality, likewise forbidding content providers from treating customers differently based on service provider. Ars Technica has the scoop:

“It shall be unlawful for a designated Internet service provider to engage in unfair methods of competition or unfair or deceptive acts or practices, the purpose or effect of which are to hinder significantly or to prevent an online video distributor from providing video programming to a consumer,” the bill states. A little more specifically, it would be illegal to “block, degrade, or otherwise impair any content provided by an online video distributor” or “provide benefits in the transmission of the video content of any company affiliated with the Internet service provider through specialized services or other means.”

The bill also pretty much puts a permanent kibosh on data caps, and encourages the development of internet-based cable systems, but there’s a big clause hiding in the weeds:

“[A]n entity may rent to a consumer access to an individual antenna to view over-the-air broadcast television signals transmitted from that antenna—directly to the consumer over the Internet or another IP-based transmission path; or to an individual data storage system, including an online remote data storage system, for recording and then made accessible to that consumer through the Internet or another IP-based transmission path.

I’m no lawyer, but the way I’m reading this bill, it would essentially make Aereo legal. Which also makes sure that the lobbyist Death Star of the broadcast television industry will join forces  with the Cable Clockwork Army for complete destruction of this bill. In my opinion, it’s the bill we need to start modernizing the system of television to the way people want it today. Sadly, the troglodytes hold all the cards, so methinks that the good Senator will be playing 52-card pickup instead of enjoying his flush. According to The Consumerist, GovTrack puts the proposed bill’s chances of  getting past committee at 49%, and gives it only a 10% chance of actually being enacted. Contacting your Congress-critter could help its chances, though, so if this is something you support, start calling and writing now.

Via: [Ars Technica]

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