Save comcast!


#1

[Read the post]


#2


#3

Curiously, W3.org seems to be unresponsive right now.


#4

I’d wager that broadcasters in 1948 would have loved DRM, it just didn’t exist yet. Cable TV wasn’t born in some era of freedom and sharing.

Comcast is pretty much doing exactly what they should do. I hate that company and avoid it at all costs, but I don’t think what they are doing is bad for their shareholders.

I think you could argue the W3C is doing what they should as well. Is encrypted content at odds with open standards? Would it be better for consumers if everybody that wanted to serve DRM’d content did so with their own system?


#5

Lots of things that are terrible for society are good for somebody’s shareholders. The War on Drugs is great for anyone who has a financial interest in private prisons, for example.

It’s not surprising that Comcast would attempt to defend their interests this way, but it’s disappointing that they’ve gotten the W3C to go along with it.


#6

Yes. Because they’d have more reason to abandon it.


#7

“Good for the shareholders” is the last refuge of scoundrels.


#8

I feel like, if the identical “save Netflix” post from last week didn’t persuade anyone, then changing it to “save Comcast” isn’t the solution.

(I have other feelings too, but they’re documented in that other thread)


#9

it’s disappointing that they’ve gotten the W3C to go along with it

Why? Look at their list of members. What percentage of their members do you think would be opposed to codifying standards around the delivery of protected content? Looking at that list, I’m guessing it’s way less than 50%.


#10

I’m not up on the technology here, but it seems like it shouldn’t be too hard to route around the DRM. Does it involve full-blown rootkit and end-to-end strong encryption? What if the NSA needed to watch Rocky V? Because maybe it had terrorist messages?


#11

Shareholders are very good at cognitive dissonance. They don’t see for instance that if Walmart pays badly and avoids social responsibilities, that may be good for their shares, but the depressing effect on the economy as a whole of a low paid workforce counteracts that elsewhere.
It is because people are selfish and short-sighted to the extent that their own long term interests are harmed that we need regulation and governments. At the one end Somalia and Yemen, at the other Switzerland.


#12

if Walmart pays badly and avoids social responsibilities, that may be
good for their shares, but the depressing effect on the economy as a
whole

That’s not really a settled issue. Ever since the book The Wal-Mart Effect came out a decade ago, it’s been studied from every angle and every single conclusion possible has been reached.

What is clear though, is that Walmart has driven prices down through their size and technology. Even if you don’t shop at Walmart, you benefit from lower prices.

I believe Amazon recently passed Walmart to become the largest retailer. Amazon’s business model is different than Walmart so they employ a fraction of the number of people that Walmart does and utilize lots of automation. If you don’t like Walmart because they pay their people poorly, you must hate Amazon because they don’t even have people to pay.


#13

I think you hit the wrong Reply button.


#14

You were replying to the wrong person.
However, you make a false equivalence in your last sentence. Amazon is an automated logistics company. I don’t like Amazon because the people working in the non-automated parts are paid just as badly as those in Wal-Mart, not because it employs fewer people. An economy with lots of jobs that are being subsidised (albeit in hidden subsidies) by the taxpayer is not a good idea.
My argument is that I do not really benefit from lower prices if the result is a somewhat dysfunctional society, which raises costs in other ways.
A simple example: if supermarkets do not pay enough tax to cover repairs to the roads they use for distribution, someone has to pay for that. If the public sector cannot afford to maintain roads, the public pays through tyre wear, increased maintenance to their cars, and possibly having to buy bigger cars with bigger wheels to handle the potholes. If the local supoermarket uses its huge legal resources to avoid paying for flood alleviation near one of its sites, people pay for that through flooding and inconvenience.
I am sure plenty of books have been written to “prove” that business as usual is somehow a good thing. But it interests me that in the UK the German supermarket chains are growing at the expense of the likes of ASDA and Tesco - and the Germans pay much better. It seems that motivated staff create better sales.


#15

save Comcast

I’m not sure that slogan is going to gain much traction


#16

Walmart saves my family $X (directly if I shop there, indirectly if I don’t) and also costs my family $Y from externalities related to their business practices.

Regulations help lower the Y portion by putting those costs back on Walmart. I have no problem with that. In the end though, all I that really matters is that X exceeds Y.


#17

Except I don’t - quite the opposite. I don’t buy a lot of stuff, therefore I benefit very, very little from reduced prices of the sort of crap Walmart carries. On the other hand, I still pay to subsidize Walmart’s grossly underpaid workers and make up the tax shortfall caused by Walmart having driven other businesses out while paying little tax itself.

My response to that was, “Let’s not.” It really isn’t the best approach to gain sympathy, given that we know what Comcast turned into…


#18

Are we up to once a week for these EFF anti-DRM posts?


#19

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