Re: Is Debian a common carrier? Was: package rejection
On Tue, Dec 07, 2004 at 04:48:24PM -0800, Bruce Perens wrote:
> Goswin von Brederlow wrote:
> A mirror operator in general /does/ make choices about the content
> carried on the mirror. The closest analogy that would already have been
> litigated is a Cable TV system. The U.S. FCC decided that Cable TV
> networks were not common carriers /because the subscriber did not
> determine the programming./ This was appealed and the court agreed with
> FCC. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cable_TV
> Now, there might be a way make a mirror qualify. You would have to set
> it up so that the mirror would mirror /everything /that is sent its way
> without discrimination. The mirror operator could take money to do this,
> but would not be able to turn customers away.
> Then, you might have some chance of convincing a judge that the mirror
> provides a communications service in an entirely non-discriminatory
> fashion, which is what a common carrier does. I guess Akamai would be
> the closest example today to a mirror operating this way.
Being a former Akamai employee, I can state (and refer you to the
appropriate people inside Akamai) that Akamai does not and never has
operated in this fashion.
Exactly like a cable TV network, in fact, Akamai redistributes the
content that customers -- content providers -- pay for. Akamai is fully
able to turn customers away, and has done so for various reasons (e.g.
the customer is a spammer).
For an example of a non-discriminatory mirror, consider the many ISPs
which provide general HTTP caching services through Squid. Whether as a
transparent or voluntary proxy, the goal of these caches is to improve
content availability and transfer speed, while reducing bandwidth costs.
Nothing to sig here, move along.