(Please consider for Rare/Digest to correct factual errors.)
A few days ago Jon Ippolito posted a sort of manifesto positing
Internet2 as a threat to the kind of internet artists and academics
would like to continue to use.
I know Jon a bit from my MARCEL involvement and elsewhere. Jon's a
really smart guy with a keen gift for deft rhetoric, and I am sure he
Unfortunately Jon's post invokes several basic misunderstandings of
the related technologies. These confusions are no mere technical
quibbles. They are fundamental to the central thesis that somehow
the Internet2 effort may bring about the death of the internet.
This couldn't be more wrong.
I'll let the basic facts, as corrected in the following, speak for themselves.
>By this July, every DVD player and TiVo box will sniff for a
>"broadcast flag" that prevents it from copying digital TV
>broadcasts. This hardware intervention effectively destroys even the
>possibility of fair use, since artists and educators cannot
>transform, parody, or criticize what they cannot record.* The
>broadcast flag does not prevent making recordings for time shifting
>or other personal "fair use".
This is simply not true. There are hairs to be split, but basically
(1) the broadcast flag only applies to over-the-air broadcasts (not
cable, satellite, or internet streaming), and (2) it will not prevent
copying for fair use. For example, you will still be able to record
over-the-air broadcast TV shows at home for later use.
The broadcast flag system *will* prevent large scale redistribution,
i.e. massive piracy. But this has always been illegal...even in the
era of videotape.http://www.engadget.com/entry/1234000717032165/
>The technology behind Internet2 *breaks* anything remotely
>resembling a broadcast business model, which is why the MPAA will do
>its best to disarm the technology by installing Digital Rights
>Management directly in its routers to stop interesting content from
>ever getting into the pipeline.
Again, this is simply not true. Router level digital rights
management is not being considered by any of the internet standards
bodies. It's not even over the horizon. However, the current
worldwide internet upgrade from IPv4 to IPv6 *does* make multicast an
intrinsic part of the protocol rather than an add-on. And multicast
is *exactly* the technology a broadcast model needs.
But multicast also benefits "the little guy" because in principle
independent artists will no longer have to pay for increased server
capacity as their audience grows. The shared network, rather than
the server, will distribute the stream to as many viewers as are
So if anything, "broadcast" related technical changes in Internet2
(and eventually other networks) will serve as a democratizing
And by the way, IPv6 multicast has *no* built-in Digital Rights
Management. None. And routers under IPv6 remain "dumb" contrary to
(As a footnote, multicast is also the enabling protocol technology
that makes the Access Grid, MARCEL's current platform of choice,
>For all its talk of community and access, Internet2 seems to be
>offering a backwards-thinking hierarchic model of culture, a sort of
>Great Performances meets Reality TV.
Again...not true. Reasonable people can disagree when it comes to
matters of esthetic taste, but contrary to Jon's central thesis
Internet2 technology remains both content and application agnostic.
Elsewhere he mentions "privileged" isochronous channels. But
isochronous channels don't, and can't, even exist under either IPv4
or IPv6 or on either Internet2 or "internet1".
The ability to quickly create improvised collaborative groups was
recognized as being among the highest application priorities in the
earliest pre-planning of Internet2. Application level efforts such
as the Internet2 Commons, VRVS, and indeed the very Access Grid
technology that MARCEL depends on, are some of the fruit of this
Today on Internet2 non-hiearchical social interaction isn't
speculation...it's already well established standard practice.
And when it comes to Internet2 *content* people are free to do what
they will. If one finds the current crop of artistic efforts to be
wanting the best, and entirely invited, response is to go out and
create something better.
To sum up, there is simply no factual basis for any Internet2 vrs
And I personally look forward to working further with both!