Toxic Avenger's brilliant rant about the importance of Net Neutrality


Lloyd Kaufman (no relation) rocks!!! Say what you will about his movies, he’s always maintained his independence. In my younger, angrier days I ran an anti-Blockbuster (remember them?) website and was shocked one day to get an email of encouragement from Lloyd. Glad to know he still grasps the big picture as far as media is concerned…


Lloyds latest appearance on The Projection Booth was almost heartbreaking you can hear he is at the end of his long career.

His points about film distribution are valid. Having said that though he totally ignores the fact that it is doubly hard for him because he has spent 40 years beating his shtick to death and when things dropped off for him in the 90’s he didn’t evolve and went back to the same trough for the umpteenth time. Even his normal outlets which are still there have bailed on him because they don’t want Return To The Class of Nuke Em High Vol.2. Yes not only did he make the same movie again, he broke into two volumes. Yes bad movies are fun, but the same bad movie for 40 years is not going to work anymore. No wants his tired old product.

When I heard his plea for help on The Projection Booth I thought about seeing if I could get a showing together for him, but then it hits you that it’s for not just a terrible movie, it’s a terrible movie he has made for decades.

It’s not some big corporate conspiracy to keep him out of every theater in the world including the independents.

I remember watching “Toxic Avenger” with Lloyd’s commentary on a few years back. It’s great! He explains how the whole movie is about how the “Power Elite” of the world conspire to use body image, civic corruption, pollution, etc. to bring the common folk down. It turns out it’s a VERY deep movie.


I just say revoke Common Carrier status and all protections thereof - namely the protection to not be sued for its uses.

The one thing the DMCA got right is that a common carrier should not be liable for what use it was used for (this is why web hosting companies cannot be sued if one of their clients puts up a website filled with illegal materials). So, if they want to get rid of net neutrality on their lines, as far as I’m concerned they are no longer a common carrier, and should be opened up to being sued into the ground and called as a co-conspirator in every internet-based lawsuit that happens from now on.


He might want to consider how the TV networks got to be the way they are. Hint: a lot of it involved the FCC crushing their competition with licensing and market restrictions, along with a big side order of punitive Puritanism. Claiming that the Wardrobe Malfunction Police are “opposed” to the big media organizations is laughable - the current chairman is a longtime cable industry veteran!

If you actually want to keep the Internet open and neutral, you need to encourage competition by removing the last-mile monopolies of the incumbent players and barring the FCC from interfering.

How’s that going to work if they get to vet every piece of content that goes on their network? In this kind of future, only big media companies like Disney or Viacom will remain popular, and they’ll just serve up the pre digested pap that has already permeated mainstream TV. Your ‘subversive’ elements won’t be able to afford the entry fees.

You’re missing the point: If they have to vet every single piece of information, that’s not an internet connection at all; they won’t be able to allow any message boards, any third-party hosting, any user-created content at all. Because without Common Carrier status, they’re legally liable for any and all of it that is transmitted across their network. Someone emails someone else about a drug deal? They’re guilty of co-conspiracy. Post a death threat? Company’s now a co-defendant for delivering that threat. Someone pirates movies/software? They’re liable for pirating, too (they “copied” it for you).

Without common carrier protection, any ISP will effectively have to disconnect themselves from the internet to avoid being buried under a mountain of lawsuits … which may happen, with a conglomerate of sites hosting their own content and only talking to each other, not allowing email or instant messaging … and then everyone will drop them and go to other ISPs that are, y’know, actually connected to the internet. Sorta like what happened to AOL/Compuserve/etc., but much faster, because the wider internet is already known to the populous.

If they have to vet every single piece of information, that’s not an internet connection at all; they won’t be able to allow any message boards, any third-party hosting, any user-created content at all.

That’s exactly the point. They want to eventually turn the internet into cable TV. Who cares about user content? We’ll only allow what we want to, based on Nielsen ratings(!) or something similar - popular, safe, family friendly feel-good crap to keep the people docile and dumbed down.
Also if this thing goes through, we may well see mergers between ISPs and content companies. So Disney runs its own ISP and charges extra to access its content, or prioritizes its content over that of independent users.

The rise of the public internet was a happy accident thanks to DARPA. Had there been no Cold War pressure for a distributed network that can route packets around disabled/destroyed nodes, we would probably have started with some centralized proprietary walled garden set up by AT&T. Or just imagine a world where the internet was replaced by AOL.

[quote=“rexdude, post:9, topic:22106, full:true”]That’s exactly the point. They want to eventually turn the internet into cable TV. Who cares about user content?[/quote]Uhh… pretty much everyone on the internet.

Facebook? User content. YouTube? User content. Comment threads? Blogs? MMORPGs with chat (i.e. all of them)? User content. Hell, even email is user content.

Take those things away, and you no longer have the Internet. If you think people are going to put up with paying for a connection without those things, you’re out of your mind - drop those, and people will leave for somewhere that actually gets them onto the internet.

You misunderstand. I meant that ‘big content’ doesn’t give a crap about Facebook or Youtube or anything else you cited. If anything were up to them, they’ll water down such services and sans net neutrality, make sure that nothing else rises to challenge them.
Turning the internet into cable TV, where everything is regulated and sanitized, would be a wet dream for these people.

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