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Karma from Google blocking Syabas appliance?

By 22 October 2010 One Comment

The news today is that the Television networks are blocking Google TV, a new streaming video set top box appliance for the living room, from accessing their web streams.  It’s not surprising that Google is being very tame about it and not crying foul since it wasn’t that long ago when Google blocked Syabas from accessing YouTube unless they paid them a huge sum of money.  In this particular case, the networks aren’t asking for money but they are concerned about Google’s search engine making it so easy to find pirated content while profiting on the advertising for that pirated material.

Last week it was Fox blocking Cablevision broadband customers as part of its dispute over cable content licensing.  Many Net Neutrality advocates quickly chimed in calling for regulatory intervention despite the fact that there were six other ways of getting Fox content according to the FCC and the fact that the same Net Neutrality advocates weren’t applying the same standard to ESPN.

With the content and device blocking becoming more widespread and more publicized, one has to wonder when the Net Neutrality crowd will start shifting their attention to the “originating monopolies” since it’s obvious that network carriers have no power to block anything and tariff it.  Commissioner Michael Copps had stated in the past that “the gatekeepers of today may not be the gatekeepers of tomorrow”.  So while content providers have always been able to sell and deny their content to distributors (just like network carriers have always been able to sell higher quality of service), it will be interesting to see how they react to having their property rights threatened at a regulatory level.

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