AOL May Block Off Content From Time Inc.

from the here-come-the-walled-gardens dept

For years people have been warning that the internet may devolve into a series of “walled gardens” where, on order to get certain content, you need to subscribe to that particular service. AOL-Time Warner, of course, has always been the most likely company to start this trend, and they’re apparently looking to now take Time Inc. magazine material off the web completely and place it all behind the walled garden of AOL’s service – so only subscribers get access to it. I think this is an awful idea that completely misses the point of the internet. I understand the thinking behind it, but it’s coming from some very uncreative business people who can’t figure out how to capitalize on the real beneifts offered by the internet. Instead, they only see how it hurts their old business model, and try to fight the tide by forcing the old business models to keep working. Of course, this just opens up the opportunity for their competition to offer things for free, and to come up with new business models that make sense in an open, connected world.

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Comments on “AOL May Block Off Content From Time Inc.”

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tjcali says:

Re: Saw it coming

It’s true their publications are general interest but you have to remember that publications such as Time are highly respected globally and have considerable readership. Their brands are obviously world-class. When AOL/TW pulls off smooth integratation (not a question of if) with minimal internal conflicts, it will be a most powerful media and entertainment company the world has seen and the only company that can be a major thorn in Microsoft’s global plans.

dorpus says:

The Berlin Wall!

A hundred years ago, the cutting edge in technology was to install razor-sharp barbed wire, to “wire the West”. Then there was a chaotic era of unregulated telephony, which was the then-equivalent of internet. Gradually they became consolidated into monopolies, public or private.

So it perhaps is with the Internet. The pace of advancement is slowing down; we only need so much bandwidth for everyday activities. Maybe we will see a combination of greater regulation, plus economies of scale, to favor consolidation and/or segmentation. Perhaps the internet will evolve into a feudal domain of upper class nets with no spam and high quality information, middle class nets to please the masses, and third class serfnets for the lower classes. We could have state-owned ISPs run by powerful labor unions resistant to change. They could start charging $10/email sent across national borders. Future generations will be taught that the turn of the century was a “terrible” era of unregulated internet, when spam and sex predators ruled the day.

Future dictators could trace our every thought through the internet, and high tech torture devices (e.g. microwave pain rays) installed on every street cam and monitor to zap unruly civilians. Silicon Valley could turn into a sea of dead bodies raining from the sky, when the federal government initiates the final solution to the techie problem.

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