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Re: <nettime> The Return of DRM
Brian Holmes on Thu, 29 Apr 2010 00:02:33 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> The Return of DRM


Felix Stalder wrote:

> Increasingly, our data is up in the clouds. The decentralized
> architectures for digital production of the 1990s are being
> phased-out. Google is pushing an operating system (Chrome) were all
> data is being stored online and virtually nothing remains on the
> computer. The device which individuals own is being reduced to a
> relatively dumb terminal. The apple IPad, it seems, is optimized
> for consumption (and thus hailed as the savior of the old, consumer
> oriented media industries).

That's an excellent summation of the meaning of Web 2.0, thanks
Felix. After the highly experimental, expansionary phase of the
90s, the corporations want to get their money out of large research
investments. The so-called cloud is their key to regaining direct
control. It was interesting at last winter's conference on The
Internet as Playground and Factory to see how little this change is
publicly admitted, even though it is now solidly established and has
been for at least five years. We've moved into a phase where the
hazy euphoria of the Internet as playground is doubled by the crude
and sinister strategies of the money men, which are obvious and
perfectly legible but imposed anyway. The networked entertainment
environment of Web 2.0 is a factory, that's right, but as in the case
of television, the product that it delivers is you. The new wrapper is
more sophisticated, more proactive and self-reflexive, but the core
value up for sale is still the working consumer, his or her capacity
for self-delusion and the money s/he will earn and spend. This is what
happens when new media inventions are absorbed and made to fit the
systematic patterns of capitalist exchange.

The 2010s will see very different forms of revolt than the 90s, as
well as very different forms of political invention. The idea that you
could help to shape the protocols of a radically open public space -
the tremendously productive idea of "open flows" - is over. That's not
to say it wasn't a great project at the time, or that it didn't change
many people's worlds.... But it is to say that another great project
awaits.

best, Brian





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