Posted by: Witch Doctor | May 16, 2009

Keep an eye on this!

You would think that Tim Berners-Lee would know a thing or two about the internet.

Apparently, his views are along these lines:

“According to Tim-Berners Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, Net Neutrality is simply defined as follows: if I pay for an Internet access with a certain QoS, and you pay for an Internet access with the same or higher QoS, me and you can connect. This is the basis of the end-to-end connectivity capacity of the Internet. Providers have so far furnished the end-to-end connectivity under a legal regime of “mere conduit”, as stated by Directive on the Electronic Commerce 31/2000/EC, which means that they are not held responsible for the contents which flow in their network. They are not responsible because they do not select the services they give access to, they only transport signals. This is the basic principle of the Internet as we know it.”

However, apparently there is an MEP whom My Black Cat thinks must be losing the plot. This gentleman seems to hold the view that internet providers are like bookshops and should not be expected to “stock” all the information on the internet. Presumably this because he thinks all the information on the WWW is contained in discrete volumes on shelves somewhere out in wonderland. He has conceptual difficulties, I fear. This is what he said:

“”You might choose to have a service-limited package; nobody has ever suggested that we have a general rule that if you buy an electronic communications service package you will have access to everything. That’s like saying that if you have a bookshop you are legally obliged to stock every book.”

What might happen without “Net Neutrality?”

“Without Net Neutrality, we would not even have the World Wide Web, not to talk about even more advanced technical features like distributed boards and p2p technology. It’s Net Neutrality which allows bloggers, anywhere in the world, to compete on an even playing field without any editorial impositions. Net Neutrality grants freedom of information and freedom of speech and allows start-ups to play on an even playing field with giant media companies. Net Neutrality does not mean that providers are obliged to give users the highest QoS and bandwidth regardless of price. It simply means that providers must guarantee end-to-end connectivity regardless of price.”

Now, The Witch Doctor cannot get her head round European Law. There are just not enough hours in the day. My Black Cat has a theory that no-one in Europe including those running the countries of Europe, can get their head round European Law either for the same reason.

Anyway, the quotes above are from the following:


This is the response of the MEP concerned, Mr Malcolm Harbour:


Here is the index of information on “The Telecoms Package” from the European Parliament website. It is not for the faint-hearted.


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