Re: Common carriers Re: A letter to Joe

Mike Masnick (
Sun, 17 May 1998 20:15:57 -0400

At 07:20 PM 5/17/98 -0400, Mark Baker wrote:
>At 02:22 PM 17/5/98 -0700, Dr. Ernest N. Prabhakar wrote:
>>This really isn't as shocking as it sounds. The technical term is
>>"common carrier." I believe it originally applied to railroads. If
>>someone owned all the rails in a region, they were designated a common
>>carriers, and required to carry trains belonging to someone else. This
>>reduced the benefits of a vertical monopoly. Of course, it only worked
>>if everyone had standardized on the same track sizes.
>Good point.
>Wasn't the x86 architecture recently deemed such by some court? I believe
>the term used was "public good" - not sure. Intel has appealed of course.

I believe the term used was "essential facility". I doubt they used
"public good", but if they did, that would be somewhat funny. A public
good is a good that *cannot* be exclusionary.