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Hey, BitTorrenters are People Too!

December 29, 2009

FirstAmendmentCenter.org has been following an AP Story on the class action suit against Comcast for data discrimination(!)  Seems Comcast didn’t like those bandwidth hogs using P2P networks like BitTorrent to download huge files; so it delayed or aborted their data transfers.  Seems the FCC thought that kinda flew in the face of its policy guaranteeing unfettered Internet access to users.   Seems that wasn’t helping their defense against the class-actioneers.   So Comcast settled the class action — to pay up to $16 million.

Of course, Comcast denies any wrongdoing, and has ceased the complained-of practice.  And here we have a fine example of the settlement mad lib that goes:  [Defendant] denies any wrongdoing, and did not discriminate against [class] on the basis of [trait].  [Defendant] ceased [offending action] independently of [claim against Defendant], but will pay [=MULA] to make this go away.

* * *

Then there is the question of Data Discrimination.   What if that were to become a protected class?  Kinda doubt it.  Obesity discrimination hasn’t really taken hold … yet.  They’re both about volume.  (Hey, this ties into my 12/12 post about the massive amounts of data we consume daily and ways to data diet.)  But who’s to say either won’t find its way into the ranks of other protected classes, like, you know, race, religion, gender, etc.?

Maybe we’ll see a grassroots movement — obese data gluttons virtually descending on the Capitol to march bit by bit for their rights to equal treatment despite their digital and analog consumption.  I’d totally download that.

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