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The Big Bad Scary Internet

Because the internet has evolved into becoming a powerful tool for the creation and sharing of information and content such as texts, videos, music, images and software or applications.

Because of this ability to easily share information between you and I from basically anywhere in the world, the biggest issue that is constantly debated is copyright and the piracy of content.

My early teenage years was based around the time of when online file sharing began to become extremely popular through online tools such as Napster and limewire. One of my earliest memories of using the world wide web was for purely downloading music through Napster. Ever since file sharing online has exploded with popularity policy developers, politicians/governments and major corporations have all attempted in some way or another to control the flow of content online. As how both Zittrain and Doctorow discuss, the use of Digital Rights Management (DRM) on various digital products but more commonly on music. Many attempts at utilising DRM on things such as music have failed largely due to the fact that savvy users have cracked the DRM code or the market simply rejecting the product due to the restrictions that were put in place.

What both Zittrain and Doctorow both explore in their writings on this issue and it is something that I myself agree with, is the fact that the current rules and regulations that we have in place to enforce copyright and non-piracy of non-digital content has been molded to be used within the digital realm unsuccessfully. Basically they trying to shove a square peg into a round hole, when in reality they should be using a round peg.

Doctorow puts forward a relevant point in which I find it hard to disagree with. He states that:

“The reality is that copyright legislation gets as far as it does precisely because it’s not taken seriously. It’s why the World Intellectual Property Organisation is gulled time and time again into enacting crazed, pig-ignorant copyright proposals, because copyright is just not as important.”

It is far easier to rely on the archaic legislation than it is to create new legislation. Far scarier to embrace technology and its freedoms than to try and outlaw it.


About samhardaker

In my final year of a Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies degree specialising in Digital Communications and Advertising Marketing. Working at University of Wollongong as Content Management Officer (Digital & Web).

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