ISP licenses and competition

5 10 2008

Devon Copley in Brooklyn

eMusic CEO David Pakman has begun a bit of a media campaign, pushing back against the as-yet speculative prospect of ISP licensing for music. He told Ars and the Financial Times that ISP-based licensing creates a strong incentive for anticompetitive practices. Should ISPs begin to function as distributors of content, Pakman says, they would have an “economic interest to favor their own services.”

It’s a point well taken. How can a level playing field be enforced when ISPs would have both revenue-side and cost-side incentives to steer users toward their own services?