Friday, April 08, 2005

Mobile phone content control

I blogged previously about the problem for the release of the Motorola iTunes phone being the carriers not wanting to give up the over-the-air download revenue stream.  Here’s some more interesting information from this post on TechDirt:

Verizon Wireless' decision to cripple Bluetooth on its phones to stop people from transferring content directly from their phones to PCs (or other phones) and require them to use their cellular connection (which, oh yeah, costs money). Verizon Wireless tries to defend the practice by claiming the entertainment industry made them do it. The quote comes from Jim Straight, vice president for wireless data and Internet services at Verizon Wireless, saying: "When it comes to the cell phone I have to abide by the rules of the content houses."

Did one of the record labels purchase a majority interest in Verizon Wireless?  I don’t really see why Verizon has to abide by content house rules unless the content houses have specifically threatened to cut off providing content if Verizon does not play ball.  As the cellular carrier world continues to shrink, it seems like it will be harder and harder for the content houses to dictate terms to the carriers, although I suppose that if there were 3 carriers and 1 didn’t serve up content, that might be a differentiating factor for consumer to switch to one of the two that did.  Seems a little scary.

As a side note: I’m sure that Verizon had no other motivation for disabling the Bluetooth on their phones . . . yeah, right.

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