June 25, 2000
(c) is for Corrupt.

News: The United States Government killed Iraqi citizens today, using bombs and famine.

Yet more proof that record companies are evil. Or just capitalistic, take your pick.

"forced consensus and labored manifestoes are fading into the background, replaced instead by a culture of constant, loosely structured and sometimes compulsive information-swapping."

Mouse Trapped, an article from Law.com about the changing face of copyright (via CC. The current reasoning: the only purpose of copyright laws is to create more (financial) incentives for authors et al to churn out material, so any increase in the control over the work (and how it gets paid for) is an incentive to create more content goodness.

The irony, of course, is that corporations are simultaneously lobbying to have artists' work be considered a 'work for hire', so that the incentives go directly to the people who control the distribution channels, not those that are responsible for the actual content.

It seems there is a growing rift between two sides: The first is characterized by the net and open source, where content that is created gets distributed as widely as there is interest, and there is little or no payment or control over the work.

The second is every other corporate medium (software, music, books, magazines), where distribution is controlled in various ways by institutions that wants to make money.

One is strengthening its control over what it does, while the other is contantly finding ways to de-emphasize control and payment.

I've long wondered what will eventually happen; it seems unlikely that both models will continue existing independently from each other, yet it doesn't seem plausible that one will kill the other off. So what will happen?

When I wrote Rethinking Micropayments, I thought that creating revenue while not asserting total control might be one component of a way of eventually resolving these two opposing forces. However, as they drift farther apart, I have more trouble seeing how they will ever come together.

It occurs to me that looking at analagous historical examples might be a way of better understanding how things will eventually resolve, but none come to mind. Any suggestions?

posted by dru in blog