From SOPA To Cybersecurity: All About Trying To Control The Internet

from the watch-this dept

Al Jazeera English recently did a very well done episode on its Fault Lines program about attempts by Hollywood and the US government to control the internet. It's about 24 minutes long and includes interviews with a bunch of people who were involved in protecting the internet discussing what happened. The first half is about the SOPA/PIPA fight, and how it was basically about Hollywood trying to hold back the internet:
Halfway through, it shifts to talk about the various cybersecurity bills and attempts to crackdown on Anonymous. Basically, it's about the government completely overreacting to what they believe are "threats" to the internet. Towards the end it also talks about how the government can and does abuse its powers, highlighting the case of Thomas Drake. It's a great video with some fantastic interviews, though it could do without the overly dramatic music. Still, it's good to see more people connecting the dots, and recognizing that much of what we're seeing these days is really just an attempt to "control" a platform that has been so successful because it was so wide open. Many of us believe that it needs to stay that way to remain a powerful tool for speech and for progress.

Filed Under: control, cybersecurity, internet, sopa


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2012 @ 10:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Spotify, Netflix, Apple, etc. Not much anarchy there."

    Well, actually, Netflix and Apple run on the old system, so they aren't alternatives, they are just digital extensions of what was already there.

    "The real issue is that the internet is a disruptive change to the content industries."

    Nope. Piracy is a disruptive force, but not a change. Normal disruptive changes in business are a move from one reasonable successful model to an even more successful one. This is a move from a functional and successful model to no model at all, just give it all away.

    "Now they are no longer needed as Gateway's to culture, the internet, and new companies do a better job."

    Not true at all. What is getting pirated (and purchased) out there? The vast majority (nearly all of it) still comes from the label and studio side, and very little comes from the new companies. The consumption is still the "legacy" product base.

    "Letting the current players adapt or die is better overall for the economy because it frees it from inefficiency. "

    What you don't seem to get is that copyright doesn't stop anyone with a better idea, a better system, and better product to operate in their own ways. If there is a better way that makes so much more money, the labels will climb over broken glass to get to it. What's lacking here is a concrete base, a solid foundation, an actual functional business model to replace the current actual functional business model.

    ". Just like automobiles made transportation more efficient, the internet makes distribution of content much less costly. "

    Yes, but it doesn't change the cost to make what is being transported, and that is still the big end of the deal. Don't get trapped into thinking that marginal distribution costs are the start and the end of it. Even economics professors and theorists agree that the supply demand curve calculations fail when your product is almost entirely an up front cost, not a marginal cost.

    In simple terms, don't believe the hype. Please point to the part of the "new company" music industry that has made even 20% of the sales in the last year (so about 1 billion).

    *crickets*.

    Nothing there.

    So you want the music industry to give up 5 billion (was 10 billion) of business for, what, air?

    Fail whale.

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