While the Netroots have created some real momentum for language protecting the edge from the center, advocates were hit hard today by the (what should have been obvious) news that hardware companies — the Bells’ suppliers — don’t like the idea.
Many net neutrality advocates insist that law is not the answer. Some look to open spectrum. Others look to something simple — trademarks. When I wrote that no such trademark holder was available, I was told, wait a minute, what about The Internet Society.
So I asked Terry Weigler, the press aide for the society, about this.
Click for the answer:
As explained in the pages of the Internet Society web site:
DEFENSE OF "INTERNET:" The Internet Society is working to ensure that the
term "Internet" remains generic or descriptive and cannot be trademarked. Action
has been taken to protect and free the term "Internet" from commercial
This has been a major effort conducted by the Internet
Society since it’s earliest days in 1992.
Trouble is, if there is no trademark, there is no legal meaning to the word Internet. And if there is no legal meaning, commercial groups can abuse it. There is no one to defend it.
If AT&T decides to sell what are, in effect, private network services and call itself an Internet Service Provider, who will defend the Internet’s meaning?