I posted this over on website666 and thought it would fit here, too.
I noticed this over the past few weeks as I read various coverage of iPhone apps that Apple was and was not letting get through. Check out these headlines:
In short, Apple seems to be using it’s position to stop certain information from getting onto it’s devices. Want to listen to your favorite local radio station now that you live in a different city? Sorry, you won’t be able to on your iPhone. That’s a shame since it’s just a little station with a tiny budget and not much ability to reach a national audience. Now, thanks to Apple, a great (and inexpensive) channel for reaching a national audience is gone.
Then, we’ve got Apple deciding whether or not you can read about competitors to Apple on Apple devices. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like Apple telling me what I can and can’t read on my iDevice. Sure, I can always pull up that Android magazine’s website in Safari, but then, what’s the difference between Safari and an app?
Finally, that last article I link to above talks about how Apple has stopped accepting apps that allow in-app donations to charity orgs (or anyone else). Why is this? It sure seems like it’s because it means money passes through Apple’s infrastructure without them getting a cut.
Over all, I feel that it’s this kind of “walled garden” mentality that makes us less free as consumers. When we start accepting limits on what content we are allowed to consume and how we consume that content, I think we become less free as a people, too.
You don’t really appreciate how important Net Neutrality is until you don’t have it anymore.