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Everything Free Online!

In Europe, the goverment is pushing to make scientific papers free online, which, as you may imagine, is quite a blow to the publishing companies. The reasoning is that the research was funded by taxpayer money and therefore every member state should have free access to the results. Can anyone imagine our government proposing such a thing? I think i can almost hear the "hindrance to a free market and economic growth" arguments now.

Speaking of free access, how much do you pay for internet service? Taxpayer dollars funded that research. I suppose we don't pay for the internet itself, just for being able to access it. Nice. Ofc, if we lose the net neutrality fight, it won't matter so much that we have access to the internet because ISPs could decide to block or slow down access to any sites they don't like. Here's an interview with Amazon VP Paul Misener who makes the case for net neutrality. I find that pretty interesting since a company as large as Amazon could be one of the preferred sites that get loaded faster since they have the money to pay the ISPs for the "premium access" service.

I think it's interesting that part of the argument of companies like Verizon who want to get rid of net neutrality is that it's hurting companies' ability to compete effectively and hurting the market. Everyone's page getting loaded at the same rate and everyone having access to all sites equally hurts the market. We should give the advantage to companies who pay the telecoms a fee. That, ladies and gentleman, is the new capitalism at work. Screw the idea that the one with the best product wins the most business. It should all go to whoever pays the biggest bribe.

By min | May 12, 2006, 12:43 PM | Liberal Outrage