I finished reading Tim Wu’s The Mast Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires last week, which chronicles how new information industries develop over the twentieth century and become closed systems. In short, his argument is that we need to be careful about where the Internet is heading. It has the potential to be an open system that promotes free speech and innovation, or a closed system that companies like Apple, Universal, AT&T, and Comcast control.
Recent example, which I wouldn’t know about except I follow @DJKidAV (great DJ at Indigo here in town) on Twitter. Remix Report posts that some sites that are quite useful to DJs are being taken down, possibly because of a deal the RIAA and MPAA are making with ISP providers like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon. Additionally, the ad agency GroupM has created a 45-page “blacklist” of sites that it forbids companies from advertising on. (GroupM services many record labels.) I like DJKidAV’s video response he made tonight:
This on top of Congress considering the PROTECT IP Act, which would allow the government to force IP providers to block access to sites that have been accused of copyright violations. Eek.