This Is Wrong: 'Without The Content Industries, The Internet Would Be Empty'

from the let's-try-that-again dept

One of the annoying things about many in the entertainment industry who want to change the laws and the technology on the internet is that they've shown up late to the party. The internet was originally created as a communications medium, rather than a content one. And, for many years, it worked just fine -- and whatever "content" that was on the web was a part of the communications effort. It's only in the last decade or so (even less for some parts) that the old entertainment industry jumped online with its broadcast media mindset. But, rather than learning to understand and respect the fact that it's a communication medium, where things like sharing content aren't just possible, but the norm and an absolute "good thing," they simply insisted that something must be broken, and that it needed to be fixed.

They looked on the internet not for what it was (and is), but what they wanted it to be. To them, it was just a slightly more interactive version of what they had always done -- and they assumed that everyone would bow down to their wishes, because, obviously, everyone just wants that mass market content.

No statement encapsulates that more than the following, spoken by one Anthony Healy, director of the Australasian Performing Right Association, discussing the various proposals for new copyright laws in New Zealand, where he somehow states with a straight face:
"Without the content industries, the internet would be empty."
Oh really? Why not try it, and let's see. The quote, by the way, was brought to us by Andrew Dubber, who properly calls Healey the "Wrongest Man on the Internet, July 2009." However, this really is how some of these guys think. They don't think that the internet really existed before they discovered it, and they think that everyone logs onto YouTube just to catch the latest TV clips. They don't realize that people use it to communicate and share and collaborate -- and that's a lot more useful than using it to get fed some mass market entertainment junk.

Filed Under: anthony healy, content, copyright, internet, new zealand

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  1. identicon
    Trails, 20 Jul 2009 @ 2:41pm


    Actually, Mr. Healey specifically referred to the Content Industries.

    You seem to be stuck in the old mindset as well. You appear to suffer under the dellusion that content flows uni-directionally on the internet. The internet is not about the masses consuming the works of a few, it's about everyone having access to anything anyone else choses to put up.

    If I write an email or post a blog about some wonderful new chili recipe I've cooked up, am I part of the content industry? And what about all the technical docs I read online every day as part of my job as a software dev?

    I'm certainly producing content, but I'm also pretty sure that neither myself, nor techdirt, nor sourceforge, codehaus, sun, etc... are included in Mr. Healey's definition of the content industry.

    It's pushing the tired old sham/strawman we've heard from the MPAA, RIAA, newspapers etc... that they impart value to the internet, so the internet owes them something. They omit that they benefit from the internet, and they are not the sole/dominant value providers on the internet.

    The internet is not "Digital Paper" (this has to be the dumbest/most self serving definition of the internet I've ever seen), it's a network of computers, designed to facilitate computer-to-computer communication in a redundant, reliable way.

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