Sunday, June 8, 2014


This has been the legal scandal that has gripped the nation for the last month or so. It has spawned two CNN specials, and has been the hot topic on sports radio non-stop. This is the story of Donald Sterling. Sterling is the, soon to be former, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, an NBA franchise. Donald Sterling found himself embroiled in controversy when someone leaked tapes of conversations, he had with his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, to TMZ where he made racist comments about African Americans in general, and Magic Johnson specifically. That he made these comments were bad enough. The fact that this leaked during one of the greatest first rounds in NBA playoff history was just horrific timing. The backlash from these comments has been coming non-stop, with the biggest being a potential strike not only by members of the Clippers, but from players league wide. They refuse to play for a man they consider a bigot, and they refuse to play in a league that would allow such bigotry. To quell this potential player uprising and continued media backlash, Adam Silver, the NBA’s commissioner, banned Donald Sterling for life from the NBA, fined him the league maximum of $2.5 million, and promised to get Sterling to relinquish his ownership and sell the Clippers.

This is a story about Netflix vs Verizon, but it’s also about much more than that. Net neutrality stands to perhaps change the way we consume the Internet altogether. In this case Netflix has consistently blamed Verizon for deliberately slowing down streaming towards their customers. Verizon claims that it’s Netflix’s responsibility to ensure quality streaming and customer service. But as I mentioned earlier this argument all centers around the FCC’s ruling on net neutrality. Netflix is a big proponent and supporter of net neutrality. Verizon is very much against that concept. Net neutrality is the idea/concept that all content and usage of the Internet should be treated alike. Those that oppose this concept, like Verizon, say that they should be able to charge by usage.
In what’s seemingly becoming a trend, this is a story about a bigger company attempting to bully another company into succumbing to their demands, to get them that much closer to becoming a monopoly. Pretty much what this equates to is that Amazon is attempting to bully publisher Hachette to accept their terms for e-book pricing (retail and wholesale). To force Hachette’s hand Amazon has put artificial delays on their books. They’ve made some of their titles unavailable fro pre-order, increased the shipping time on books they already have available, and have even blocked certain titles from showing up in search the way that they should. Stephen Colbert, one of Hachette’s authors that this affects, gives his take on this situation far better than I ever could…