Setting Fire to Hollywood's Plans for the Net: The GeekPAC Story
As a creative commons, the Net suppports countless new opportunities for Hollywood. But three of Hollywood's leaders--Michael Eisner of Disney, Hillary Rosen of the RIAA and Jack Valenti of the MPAA--have chosen instead to regard the Net as a threat and its citizens as thieves. They want to replace the Net's commons with a plumbing system for "content" entirely managed and controlled from the supply side. They are not interested in seeing billions of passive and voiceless "consumers" turn into active and vocal customers.
And so we find ourselves in a kind of war--not just between two interest groups, but between two fundamentally different ways of understanding the Net itself. One sees it as a commons. The other sees it as a distribution system. One wants to protect it and let it grow. The other wants to manage and exploit it. One expects innovation and market forces to solve the business problems that naturally accompany growth. The other wants government to protect established industries against exactly those kinds of problems--by restricting the very operations of the Net itself, and the devices that allow people to use the Net.
As I said below, the war is not new; but maybe we have the possibility of an end in sight.