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Free Speech And The Myth Of The Internet As An Unintermediated Experience, Christopher S. Yoo Sep 2009

Free Speech And The Myth Of The Internet As An Unintermediated Experience, Christopher S. Yoo

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In recent years, a growing number of commentators have raised concerns that the decisions made by Internet intermediaries — including last-mile network providers, search engines, social networking sites, and smartphones — are inhibiting free speech and have called for restrictions on their ability to prioritize or exclude content. Such calls ignore the fact that when mass communications are involved, intermediation helps end users to protect themselves from unwanted content and allows them to sift through the avalanche of desired content that grows ever larger every day. Intermediation also helps solve a number of classic economic problems associated with the Internet. In short ...


Subsidizing Creativity Through Network Design: Zero Pricing And Net Neutrality, Robin S. Lee, Tim Wu Jan 2009

Subsidizing Creativity Through Network Design: Zero Pricing And Net Neutrality, Robin S. Lee, Tim Wu

Faculty Scholarship

Today, through historical practice, there exists a de facto ban on termination fees – also referred to as a “zero-price” rule (Hemphill, 2008) – which forbids an Internet service provider from charging an additional fee to a content provider who wishes to reach that ISP’s customers. The question is whether this zero-pricing structure should be preserved, or whether carriers should be allowed to charge termination fees and engage in other practices that have the effect of requiring payment to reach users. This paper begins with a defense of the de facto zero-price rule currently in existence. We point out that the ...