Vint Cerf the man credited with being a co-creator of the internet spoke at CES today and was asked about internet regulation by and audience member. What is interesting about Cerf’s response is that it echoes the sentiments that artists, creators and rights holders have been arguing are important to have a fair, ethical and sustainable internet for all citizens that does not unfairly favor specific companies are corporate interests.
One audience member asked Cerf what kind of regulation is necessary to protect consumers from predatory practices on the Internet, and from companies favoring certain kinds of content over others. The audience member mentioned that the question is relevant to Google, Cerf’s employer.
Cerf answered, “With regard to the regulatory practices, what I am after more than anything else is to inhibit anti-competitive behavior. It’s necessary to make sure that people who control underlying resources don’t do so in such a way as to distort the market. If there is a distortion—and you have to demonstrate that if you want to take regulatory action—then… you need to do something about it to maintain choice for everyone and make sure the market is open for competition.”
We pretty much agree with everything Vint is saying above in bold as media piracy facilitated and aided by companies like Google appear to be distorting the market due to a lack of regulation and anti-competitive behavior.
Further more, as much so is our mantra, we find that we could not agree more with Vint’s observation that you need to maintain choice to ensure a fair and competitive market.
We’re encouraged by Mr. Cerf’s comments in that we can clearly see that he truly understands the need for regulated markets so that they can function fairly for all stakeholders. Unfortunately his comments are with respect to broadband access and not a fair and regulated internet that would address the market distortion created by media piracy whereby the choice of where to distribute their work is removed from creators without consent.