Sunday, September 11, 2005

Access denied

Bloggers have already been harassed and imprisoned by repressive regimes around the world. China has successfully walled off the entire internet for millions of users. The technology that enables governments to hoard emails and trace every click of the mouse across the web is too alluring for liberal democracies to ignore. Web snooping will almost certainly form a part of UK anti-terror legislation later this year.

Then there are the big media and entertainment corporations of the US. They are peeved because their audience is being poached by a DIY army of online publishers and broadcasters. Big Media also own the copyright to most of the English-speaking world's popular culture, a resource that is systematically plundered, mashed up, remixed, copied and passed around the web.

Not surprisingly, the owners don't like it when people share their intellectual property around without paying dues. Stealing, they call it. They will sue if they catch you. If you are too young, they will sue your parents.

From Access Denied, Rafael Behr's important article in today's Observer.

Read it ........... The real gold rush has barely begun. To experience the sharing culture of the blogosphere today is like living in a commune built on an oil field. One day, the diggers will move in.

I listen to today's web gurus, the people who preach freedom, and am fired with enthusiasm for the new digital society of the future. But I fear the odds are against them. An excess of idealism only seems to prove that the golden age of the web is, in fact, right now.

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