FC: Why NYC Time Warner is right to send nastygrams: "It's theft!"

From: Declan McCullagh (declanat_private)
Date: Fri Jun 28 2002 - 11:48:54 PDT

  • Next message: Declan McCullagh: "FC: Text of NYC Time Warner nastygram to free 802.11 access point"

    Previous Politech message:
    "NYC Time Warner Cable sending nastygrams to free 802.11 points?"
    To: declanat_private
    Subject: Re: FC: NYC Time Warner Cable sending nastygrams to free 802.11 
    From: tomgat_private
    Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 15:30:44 -0500
    I think it's instructive that Rick describes his wireless device a "public 
    access point."
    I run wireless access points both in my office and my home, but they are 
    not "public" access points.  I would immediately, instinctively know that 
    to do so is wrong. When it was first pointed out to me by a friend that the 
    default configuration of the wireless access point gave access to anyone 
    within its range, I immediately reconfigured the access point and all 
    workstations.  I immediately, instinctively knew that it was wrong, without 
    reading the fine print of my contract with the ISP.
    It is to give away something for free that someone has not paid for. It is 
    to give my provider scores of consumers of its services while only giving 
    them 1 paying customer.
    If I subscribe to a cable tv service and run wires to all the homes in my 
    neighborhood giving them free cable, that is obviously stealing. I see no 
    difference between that and providing a "public" access point.
    If someone wants to be noble and provide free, public, wireless internet 
    access to scores of people, they should own up to what they are doing, 
    assume all the real costs of business, and negotiate some sort of public 
    license from their content source. THAT is noble. Stealing content and 
    giving it away is not noble--it's Robin Hood.
    Tom Giovanetti
    Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI)
    Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 17:30:35 -0400
    To: declanat_private
    From: Eric Tully <ericat_private>
    Subject: Re: FC: NYC Time Warner Cable sending nastygrams to free
       802.11 points?
    There's no story here.  It's rare that I stick up for a corporation but
    this guy deserved the nastygram.
    They don't care if he sets up a wireless LAN.  They just don't want him to
    supply downstream parties with the Internet service that they sell him.
    This guy is nothing more than a cable thief.  He's probably going to
    complain next that the All You Can Eat Buffet kicked him out for sharing
    his plate with 20 strangers.
    Redistributing Cable TV "merely" deprives the cable company of revenue but
    it doesn't really increase their costs.  Redistributing Cable Internet
    service on the other hand both deprives them of revenue AND increases their
    costs since they have to install additional lines to accomodate the load
    his LAN puts on their network.
    He's violating his contract - Here's the world's smallest violen.
    - Eric
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