My son and I were watching a movie recently, one that had just that day (or the day before) been released on DVD. My daughter arrived home with her mother, and when she noticed what we were watching remarked that she herself hadn't cared much for the movie. I asked if she had seen it in a movie theater, and she said no. So how had she seen the movie, considering it was just released for general distribution? She gave me a look of patronizing disdain: One of her friends had downloaded it off the Internet several weeks ago. I thought of that last week when the Recording Industry Association of America announced it was starting a campaign to target individual copyright violators. Is it too little, too late, or can digital distribution of content still be controlled?
Are these two items connected? I think so, but I don't exactly know how. Except that they also seem to relate to discussions going on around the 100th anniversary of George Orwell's birth, discussions that involve Orwell's concept of Big Brother. Is the Internet Big Brother? Does it encourage Big Brother? Does it discourage Big Brother? I don't know, but it seems that sometimes the federal government reflects what its constituents already know is right, rather than imposing its will from above. And maybe the market will exploit the Internet's advantages no matter how hard certain vested interests try to hold it back.
I don't have a brother, I have two sisters. Which I guess means I missed out on some wrestling matches and guy talk. But I always had my own bedroom! I don't want to miss out on an industry tip, so send it to [email protected] or phone 516-562-5326. If you want to talk about Web filtering, copyright infringement, or Big Brother, meet me at InformationWeek.com's Listening Post: informationweek.com/forum/johnsoat.