TV anticompetitiveness, a la carte

In stark contrast, offline video uses private access networks where authorizations are required because the general expectation is a profit-based market where one pays for what they want.

Fourth, the models have opposite underlying philosophies towards copyright and intellectual property rights.

Online video is based on the “information wants to be free” ethos, which “openly” opposes proprietary ownership or curation of digital content. It defends video piracy as unlimited “sharing” and “fair use,” while it demonizes copyright as greed and censorship of free speech.

The result of this anti-property philosophy is an Internet model that is an insecure copyright ecosystem with rampant piracy and lousy content creator economics.

In contrast, offline video by design is a secure copyright ecosystem, which strongly opposes piracy, and therefore provides the best model for content-creator economics.

Finally, both the DOJ and FTC have already determined that online and offline advertising markets are separate markets for antitrust purposes in their respective antitrust reviews of Google to date.

In sum, property is not free. And freedom is not taking from others without their permission. Free market competition depends on rule of law, property rights, and contracts to function.

Quality content and distribution infrastructure costs big money. No one will invest in it or produce it long term if there is no lawful expectation that their property and contract rights will be respected and enforced by the government.

The Senators’ proposed a la carte legislation is so wrong-headed because it would undermine offline video competition by denying creators and producers the fruits of their labor, property, and capital.

Simply, protecting copyright is pro-competitive; undermining copyright is anti-competitive.

Scott Cleland is Chairman of NetCompetition, a pro-competition e-forum supported by broadband interests and President of Precursor LLC, a research consultancy for Fortune 500 companies. Cleland served as Deputy U.S. Coordinator for International Communications & Information Policy in the George H. W. Bush Administration.