Earth to Cable: You don’t control us.

Just got stopped in my tracks by this passage in Plans for ‘TV Everywhere’ Bog Down in Tangled Pacts, in The Wall Street Journal:

Nearly three years after Time Warner Inc. and Comcast Corp. kicked off a drive to make cable programming available online for cable subscribers, the idea of TV Everywhere remains mired in technical holdups, slow deal-making and disputes over who will control TV customers in the future.

Say what? Control?

Excuse me, but no. Cable doesn’t control us now, and won’t control us in the future, either. As long as Cable keeps trying to choke us, we’ll keep cutting the cords.

Not surprisingly, Cable calls Internet-based distribution of content “over the top,” or OTT. Up here, over the top of cable’s clutches, is the everywhere we call the world.

Whether or not cable and phone companies succeed  in building out the fully licensed world (that is, sucking everywhere down under the lids of their closed systems), we will remain free. We can live without you if we have to. Always could, always will.




  1. Tim Jarrett’s avatar

    Both a comment on the way cable looks at the world (and why I fled for Verizon long ago), and the way the business press likes to cover tech stories. It’s not a story unless there’s a battle that someone can win. And the users don’t count as “someone” in the metanarrative.

  2. Terry Heaton’s avatar

    Excellent note, and I loved your “fully licensed” essay.

    Here’s what I see (and want to write about some day): Watch AT&T’s “network” ads closely, and you’ll hear the language that “the network” belongs to them. The Web was born of phone calls, which used to be the Telco’s business. We paid for the calls, but accessed the Web from within them. Now that these deep pockets have seen what’s going on, they’re trying to take ownership of whatever happens within their pipes, the cable paradigm. AT&T’s “network” is a mirage, and a damned dangerous one.

  3. Garagentoröffner’s avatar

    Excellent article.
    I liked your very licensed sketch.

  4. Daly @ Shade Seed’s avatar

    We should really take care of the Internet, because it seems to me more and more that it’s our freedom.

  5. Delixianne’s avatar

    As soon as we talking about big business the owners of those big companies see the customers like sheeps they can shave anytime, and of course as much as possible.

    But you hold a good point here : we can survive without them. And I encourage anyone to give it a shot. I personnaly lived without a tv set for a whole year. And guess what … ? I didn’t die … nor got bored for that matter!

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