content creation

California could play an important role in restoring net neutrality, something that impacts content creation.

For anyone involved in content creation, including those in custom content creation, the debate over net neutrality holds a lot of importance. So we’re paying close attention to what’s happening in California, because a proposal there could mean the principles of net neutrality remain in place despite an FCC move to get rid of it.

Several states and cities have made moves to enshrine net neutrality principles on a local level. Washington recently became the first state to pass a law prohibiting Internet Service Providers from blocking or throttling Internet traffic, and from charging online services to prioritize traffic. The FCC has repealed federal rules with similar requirements, and has argued its action preempts the Washington law.

The sponsor of the Washington bill, state Rep. Drew Hansen, though, says, “The FCC doesn’t have preemption authority just because it says so.”

Washington’s law is important to Internet users of all kinds, including those involved in custom content creation.

But a proposed law in California could have an even larger impact. The state’s laws can have a broad national effect, because of its population. That has been true of many environmental laws and regulations. It could also be true of laws affecting the Internet, not just because of its population, but because it’s home to some of the largest tech companies, April Glaser argues in Slate.

She writes:

California’s net neutrality law may have ramifications that stretch beyond the state’s borders, since applying rules within one state’s lines alone isn’t always feasible when it comes to the relatively borderless internet. This is what happened in 2003 with the passage of the California Online Privacy Protection Act, which required websites to publish privacy polices when they collect data about users. Although California was the first state with such a law and since posting a privacy policy for a website in one state and not others would be difficult to implement, California ended up setting nationwide internet privacy standards. If (the) measure passes and resists legal challenges, California may find itself behind the wheel again in crafting consumer protection laws for the internet that the rest of the country ends up living with. And in the case of stopping companies like Comcast an AT&T from blocking or slowing down access to parts of the net, that could be a very good thing.