Friday, 6 July 2007

Still discussing Net Neutrality

Even if the paper mentioned in the previous post is not ready yet for publication, we have already given a few presentations about the European perspective on the network neutrality debate.

First came the Workshop on Commons Theory for Young Scholars, organised jointly by the Max Planck Institute for research on collective goods in Bonn and by the Center for Internet and Society of Stanford University. At the Workshop, Network Neutrality has been the most discussed issue of application of Commons Theory (perhaps also thanks to the presence of Larry Lessig and Tim Wu) and the participants were very interested in the peculiarities that make the European context different from the American one.

The following venue was the Symposium Netneutraliteit in The Hague, of which a report (unfortunately only in Dutch) is available here (note the nice picture at the end of the page) and another one here. An interesting point was made on the connection between Net Neutrality and ISPs liability for the content they carry: when there is no 'neutrality' and ISPs exercise control on traffic, they incur in liability. Would ISPs really want this?

Further presentations were made at the College of Europe in Bruges at the Third ELEA Symposium (European Law and Economic Analysis) and then at the Dutch Competition Authority (NMA).

Lessons learned: the topic is very technical and requires an introduction; what the problem is with network neutrality may not be so clear, hence further introduction is needed; the presentation tends to be quite long; we should hurry up with finishing the paper.

A final note: even if I cannot post the paper yet, I can show a nice picture of the authors:

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