Internet Content In Peril In A Non-Competitive World
from the but-what's-the-threat...? dept
Dan Gillmor, who usually is quite articulate in explaining threats to consumers, has me stumped on his latest column. He’s worried about an issue he says no one has paid much attention to: the idea that the companies that connect us to the internet will also own content. About the best reason he can muster up for being worried about this is that those companies make you use their homepage (which is easy enough to change). He’s afraid that they’ll make it harder to get to other sites. How? I have no clue. No matter what I can still type whatever I want into the URL window and I go there. If I use the home page of my ISP, I don’t see how that changes anything. I’d argue that the connection people should be able to own content. They have a vested interest in making sure the internet is relevant enough to keep people paying them every month – so why shouldn’t they have a say in some of the content that’s out there. In the meantime, the ease with which anybody can publish information online means that there’s always going to be competing (free) content. I’m glad that Gillmor is always looking out for consumers, but I just don’t see the issue here.