Read/Write Web Under Threat

Is the read/write web moving toward extinction? Lawrence Lessig argues the negative position from his unique legal perspective. His focus typically involves commercial moves to block creative repurposing of content. The example in this article is kids being asked to desist from creating music videos by adding their own art to commercial music. To tell the truth, I can see the position of the music companies – if I can access a music video and I can strip the music why should I not anticipate that the people who invested to produce the music would not object. I assume this is the concern. Should the companies be concerned? I can’t say – the work to create these products would seem to limit how many are actually available, but perhaps the concern is that such student activities will spawn related ventures and where will the line be drawn?

I think the real threat, if threat can be considered the correct word, is that of commercial resources – e.g., blogs, podcasts from CNN, New York Times, etc. Those individuals hoping to “have a voice” and “participate in the dialog” will likely receive less attention. I am not sure this would bother me. I am still of the opinion that we produce content because we value the experience and, if we feel the need, we find ways to generate our own audience – perhaps by interacting with others who value the social experience as much as accessing the content provided by commercial “experts”.

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