Earlier this year, we wrote about a long line
of politicians fearing the impact of new innovations -- from video games to the waltz -- and how they would harm the morals of children. These were classic "moral panic" quotes from politicians. As a bunch of you have sent in, Ars Technica put together a similarly nice list of moral panic quotes concerning pretty much every major new technology innovation
from the past 100 years. From the days of the grammophone and the player piano (which was the main reason behind much of the 1909 Copyright Act), the big copyright holding industries have pushed out fear mongering quotes about how some new technology would absolutely destroy the ability to make money from content, unless Congress acted quickly to put in place some new restriction, tax or extra right for those copyright holders. In every single case
the fears and complaints from the industry weren't just wrong, but were stunningly backwards. Every technology opened up new markets and new opportunities.
And yet, where are we today? We're still listening to the RIAA, MPAA, BSA, NMPA, ASCAP and others spewing the same nonsense about the internet. And almost no elected official or reporter calls them on this. They may claim that "this time it's different," but shouldn't the burden be on them to actually prove
it for once?