The Motion Picture Association of America has come out against net neutrality… sort of. In its filing with the FCC[PDF] late last week, the MPAA reminded the commission of the importance of content companies in driving new infrastructure technologies, and claims that protecting these content companies (i.e. forcing ISPs to filter out file-sharers) is vital for the future health of the internet.
It would seem fair to speculate that file sharing, contrary to the both the MPAA’s and the RIAA’s earlier claim, has actually helped to drive the growth of the internet, although that’s beside the point. While it’s great to see a big content industry on our side of the Net Neut debate, the MPAA’s stand is little more than a thinly-veiled attempt at regulatory capture. The MPAA’s history of rallying against new technology (“the VCR will destroy the industry!”) is evidence enough of their insincerity. Unfortunately, there are real arguments to be made against government regulation of the pipes and the airwaves, and the phony arguments put forth by the film and music studios will only cause Neutrality supporters to conflate economic reasoning with sheer nonsense.