You Don't Encourage Innovation By Hobbling The Innovative Platform
from the ah,-politicians dept
We’ve pointed out in the past, that the internet has always been a communications platform, not a broadcast platform, and that distinction is actually the key to understanding many of the “conflicts” you see online these days. The internet was built with core principles based on being a communication platform, and it was only much later, when the big broadcast content providers realized what was going on, that they started acting as if the internet must be a broadcast platform. That’s why they freak out about file sharing — because while it fits perfectly with the “communication” aspect, it violates their sense of what a broadcast platform should be.
The problem, though, is that the big media companies have simply decided that rather than change to reflect the nature of the platform, the platform should change to reflect the nature of that ONE industry’s business. Unfortunately, at times they’re somehow able to convince politicians that the platform should change to adapt to them, rather than the other way around. That’s evident from this story submitted by SteveD about comments made by the UK’s “culture secretary” about “tightening up” online regulations to make them match TV regulations. This is really code for saying that we’re going to hobble the internet to make it act more like a broadcast medium, to keep those media companies happy. The column at the link above, by Bill Thompson, does a pretty good job destroying this argument, but it’s still worth noting that it’s even being made.
It’s amazing how clear the strategies are of the various companies when you view it through this lens. As a communications platform, there’s little reason to change most of the way the internet works. It does a great job. The only issue is how other companies should change to work with it. But too many politicians and industry insiders seem to think that they should totally inhibit this communications platform because they’re not able to simply wedge their existing business model onto that platform.