Wednesday, May 10, 2017

What if users could not post content that can be viewed for free?

Back on April 23, the New York Times ran a piece by Jonathan Tarplay that essentially would imply that it should no longer be possible for users to post their own unsupervised content online for free if they could not otherwise get people to pay for it.

I discovered this piece  this morning before a meeting in DC why looking an LTE in a printed New York Times.  “’Safe Harbor’ Online, here.

The original article is titled “It is time to break up Google?”.  While we can reasonably talk about monopolies on the Internet and the “Big 5” who survived the dot-com bust of 2000 (there is a tweet running around about which one you could live without) the article really talks about all of them.
But the writer takes particular aim at the Safe Harbor Provision of the DMCA, without noting the even more powerful sister it has, Section 230, which is even more important in preventing service providers having to preview what gets published. 

And the writer suggests that service companies should pay users for the posts, because they make money off them.  That would mean that most posts would not get published because readers won’t pay for them.  No more could people publish anything that doesn’t “sell”.  Think of the implications for the POD book publishing industry.

But I can see that may be what some observers want  ("It would be a good thing" as my piano teacher would have said in the early 1950s about banning television.).  Let’s bring back the physical world (especially book stores) so people can have low-pay retail jobs again.  Let’s force people (like me) to shut up and actually pay personal attention to others, especially the less gifted in the world, and even things out.  I can see how the reasoning would go, countering our “mind your own business” individualistic world.
We need Reid Ewing’s little film “it’s Free!” back online. 

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