Tag Archives: Competition

Google, ARA and Open Source Licensing

(This post was earlier published on SpicyIP)

Google, ARA and Open Source Licensing

Motorola’s-take-on-Phonebloks-Project-Ara-2When Google sold Motorola, which it had bought only a short while ago for a certain amount, there was a considerable amount of speculation over the sale. One of the most curious points about the deal, though, was that Google had retained Advanced Technologies and Projects group, the Research and Development wing of Motorola. This division was tasked with developing one of the most revolutionary technologies of the century – the modular smart phone, known as Project ARA. The project aims to build a free and open hardware platform for creating modular smartphones. Google released the Module Developer Kit (MDK) for the project in early April this year, giving the developers whatever they need in order to start making modules for the device. This post will focus on the MDK’s IP licensing policy and its implications. Continue reading Google, ARA and Open Source Licensing

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On the Need for Network Neutrality

(Image Source: https://flic.kr/p/ciEBXf)

(This post was published earlier on SpicyIP)

Network Neutrality

The debate around Network Neutrality is a decades old debate, but it is not any less relevant for it. The idea of ‘Network Neutrality’ is, simply put, that ISPs do not price-discriminate between their consumers. Thus, under the Net Neutrality regime, an Internet Service Provider (ISP) cannot charge different consumers different prices for different speeds, shifting those that pay more to the ‘fast lane’ and the others to a ‘slow lane’. This is especially relevant in the case of service providers which rely on the internet to reach their customers, such as Google, Amazon, YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, et cetera. The argument made in favour of Network Neutrality is that this model is the only way to ensure the innovation and openness that the internet is known for, and one of the core ideologies that stands in the way of the internet following the path taken by other innovations such as the radio, the television, and the phone, and ending up as an integrated and essentially monopolised and commercialised technology. The argument made by the ISPs, against Network Neutrality, is that without the freedom to charge higher prices for faster services, they have no incentive to upgrade their infrastructure to provide for faster services. And even before that, they argue that the network neutrality system does not allow them to fully capitalise on their existing infrastructure itself, something they have expended immense amounts of capital on.  Continue reading On the Need for Network Neutrality