Barry Diller Talks Net Neutrality at SXSW

Chris CrumBusiness

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Barry Diller spoke about the various aspects of the media today. We looked at what he had to say about the The Daily Beast/Newsweek deal, The Daily, and the iPad here.
Diller also spoke for a bit about net neutrality. "We are not where we should be," he said. "We need an unambiguous rule - law that nobody will step between the publisher and the consumer."

He went on to say that he finds it "really surpsing" that when he talks to different groups, that there aren't more people screaming on the part of all of the people who are in various ways - creating, thinking, and using the Internet. "I'm not saying we should overthrow the government," he noted, but seemed to call for more vocal action from the people.

He took a subtle jab at the Wall Street Journal's editorial policy, calling it "wacky" (his second jab at News Corp. - following comments about The Daily). He described the WSJ's stance of it being "a terrible thing" to have rules and laws for net neutrality, on the basis that it would "impede investment".

What will happen, Diller said, is that they're going to have to build more capacity to accommodate the increase in online video, and they will charge for usage (which he said he thinks is appropriate), but the people who control the broadband will say that they feel it's their right to say when they think entities are using too much, so they should pay if they're pushing the bandwidth out. "It would be like asking a toaster to pay for the electricity," he said.

He said he doesn't think it would be the death of entrepreneurship, but that what would be terrible is that the Internet would follow the pattern of other communications media from the last hundred years - in the hands of the very few, where editorial politics come into play - and whoever can pay the most wins.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.