The owners of intellectual property want to get paid for their products. They are threatened by the creative use we make of their artifacts on blogs, on YouTube, via Twitter and will make in environments only imagined today. Note I said "the owners" -- those complaining about our vigorous free use are less the creative artists whose products we share and build upon, more the corporations who buy the artists' work and want to control reselling it to the rest of us. (There's that 1% problem again …)
Rebecca MacKinnon, in an oped article in the New York Times, explains how the proposed "Stop Online Piracy Act" would be as dangerous to free speech in the United States as is China's Great Internet Firewall.
Creators need to be paid for their creations, but our society needs robust free speech. The money barons are closing in and we know they do own Congress …
Meanwhile, there are other threats to our use of the internet that may be even more serious. In the guise of helping us find the results we want or would like, based on our past internet behavior, search engines and web sites are tailoring what we see when we visit them. Think about it: my Google search results for any particular term do not look like yours; the same goes for the suggested articles the New York Times offers me: you get different ones. In many ways, the personalized commercial internet will be more constraining than a government-censored one.
Eli Pariser calls this living in "The Filter Bubble." He explains clearly in less than 10 minutes here.
You can also read Pariser's The Filter Bubble for more. Hint: I found it in an old fashioned information channel -- the public library. Recommended.
This seems an appropriate place to serve notice that Facebook has announced that as of November 22 it will no longer allow import of blog posts.
Apparently they want me to have to visit their useless site daily. Ferget it … I had friends before Facebook and expect to have them after.