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RE: <nettime> Internet2: Orchestrating the End of the Internet?
Jon Ippolito on Wed, 2 Mar 2005 09:19:33 +0100 (CET)


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RE: <nettime> Internet2: Orchestrating the End of the Internet?


Benjamin,

You're right, American consumer culture is largely self-referential. But 
that doesn't mean that all non-consumer repurposing of that culture is 
stuck in the same groove. Remixes like John Oswald's take on Michael 
Jackson, Pat O'Neill's Humphrey Bogart, and Brian Provinciano's Grand 
Theft Auto break the expectations--not to mention the law--of mainstream 
culture's vicious circle.

That said, the worst-case scenario isn't that media conglomerates would 
put a stop to remixed audio and video. It's that they will lobby for 
DRM-enabled routers that can lock out *any* rich media file that doesn't 
meet their approval. It's useless for the MPAA to wrap a Warner Bros DVD 
in Internet2-proof DRM, if someone with a miniDV camera can upload a 
bootleg of "Monsters Unleashed" onto a network that zaps it to a dozen PCs 
across the planet in 5 seconds. Ruh roh, Scooby--there goes your business 
model.

I'm afraid Hollywood will respond by browbeating Internet2's engineers 
into requiring authentication before a user can transfer any .mov or 
.avi--authentication either for the movie or for the user. (Hence the 
Internet2 consortium's preoccupation with biometrics and "security.")

Want to netcast your video expose on the MGM-Credit Lyonnais scandal or 
your documentary on Iraqi casualties? Stand in line--you'll need 
Hollywood's digital watermark (and hence blessing) before you can get it 
through Internet2's routers.

This conspiracy theory is just my extrapolation of Hollywood's current 
strong-arm tactics in cases like MPAA v. Grokster. Referring to the 
latter, Will Rodger, director of public policy for the Computer & 
Communications Industry Association, said "If Hollywood gets its way, 
they'll be granted de facto control over, frankly, the vast majority of 
communications and technology today." 
(http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2005/02/28/file_sharing_case_unites_unlikely_allies/)

I'm all for copylefting art. I've even argued elsewhere that all online 
culture should have a default copyleft. But no Creative Commons license is 
going to defeat DRM if it becomes the default rather than the exception.

Cheers,

jon




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