Spokesmen for the 3 largest corporations owning the internet infrastructure in the US, said, last week, that The Spoof (an online web site, offering amateur satirists an opportunity to express their views), will not be among their slate of offerings to the public, following defeat of legislation pending in Congress.
A bill mandating 'net neutrality'...which would continue to allow unlimited access, by the public, to any material on the internet...was defeated by House Republicans, and is now being debated in the Senate. If it is defeated in the Senate, and the content of material available on the internet, is left entirely up to the discretion of the internet providers....the same bland and non-controversial news coverage produced by the corporate media in America, will become the only perspective accessible by most users, on the Internet.
A recent op-ed in the Washington Post by Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig and Robert McChesney stated "Without net neutrality….a handful of massive companies would control access and distribution of content, deciding what you get to see and how much it costs……. More than 60 percent of web content is created by regular people, not corporations. How will this innovation and production thrive if creators must seek permission from a cartel of network owners?"
When contacted by The Spoof, a spokesman for Verizon was more direct. "We won't have room for amateurish stuff like The Spoof. We have contracts with big producers like the Disney Corporation. So, we will be catering to the Mickey Mouse crowd. This abrasive political bantering, that we see on The Spoof won't bring any revenue our way."
A representative for Comcast agreed, "We won't have any place for The Spoof .This outlandish and offensive spoofing just drives down the value of the property in the neighborhood. We are going to have to maximize our profits if we are to compete in this new arena. That means we are going to have to filter out the material that might offend someone, like we see constantly appearing in The Spoof."
"We are really trying to discourage this stuff," said Whitehouse Spokesman, Tony Snow. "We'd like to know how these spoofers and bloggers, have so much time on their hands, that they can keep putting out all this adle-minded commentary. We would like to see them volunteering to serve their country, by filling some of our openings for soldiers in Iraq. We have openings for positions that constantly need to be filled."
"There is still hope for a free internet, if the netroots activists join together and recruit their friends," said actress Alyssa Milano. "Do a Google search for 'net neutrality', and you will find thousands of people uniting to fight for this issue."