I completely agree with . And when I look at the recent #ACTA protests, I get the feeling that we're not the only ones who are of this opinion.
The internet’s not broken.
So then why are there so many attempts to regulate it? Under the guises of piracy, privacy, pornography, predators, indecency, and security, not to mention censorship, tyranny, and civilization, governments from the U.S. to France to Germany to China to Iran to Canada — as well as the European Union and the United Nations — are trying to exert control over the internet.
Why? Is it not working? Is it presenting some new danger to society? Is it fundamentally operating any differently today than it was five or ten years ago? No, no, and no.
So why are governments so eager to claim authority over it? Why would legacy corporations, industries, and institutions egg them on? Because the net is working better than ever. Because they finally recognize how powerful it is and how disruptive it is to their power.
And that is precisely why we must fight against their attempts to regulate it, to change it, to throttle it, to oversee it, to insert controls into it, to grant them sovereignty over it. We also must resist the temptation to compromise, to accept the lesser of evils. Last week, Federal Communications Commissioner Robert McDowell warned of the danger of the U.N. asserting governance over the net, but then he turned around and argued that “merely saying ‘no’ to any changes to the current structure of Internet governance is likely to be a losing proposition.”
Why? I repeat: It’s not broken. This is why I urged French President Nicolas Sarkozy to take a Hippocratic oath for the net. This is why I have come to side with Sen. Al Franken on at least this: Net neutrality is not regulation; it is protecting the net from companies trying to change it. This is why the Reddit community is writing the Free Internet Act.
This is why I argued in Public Parts that we must have a discussion of the principles of an open society and the tools of publicness that enable it. This is why I wrote Public Parts. And that is why I’m posting the last chapter of the book, which argues that governments and companies are not protectors of the net and that we must be.
It’s not broken. Don’t fix it. Leave our net alone.
Post with many embedded links here: http://www.buzzmachine.com/2012/02/27/leave-our-net-alone/
Last chapter of Public Parts here: http://www.buzzmachine.com/publicpartsconclusion/
* Sung to the tune of: Pink Floyd - Another Brick In The Wall (HQ)
We don’t need no regulation.
We dont need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the network
Government: Leave our net alone
Hey! Government! Leave our net alone!
All in all it’s just another brick in the wall.
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.
In March, Valve – the company that gave us Half-Life, Team Fortress, Counter-Strike, Portal, and Steam – finished its "Handbook for New Employees". Yesterday, the PDF version was leaked (published?) onto the interwebs. I just finished reading it in its entirety, from the title page to the glossary, and it's jaw-droppingly amazing.
* Valve's internal company structure is completely flat. There is no hierarchy. There's no management at all! (Mind you, they currently employ around 300 people, and their revenue is estimated at more than 1 billion USD.) There are no appointed team leaders, product managers, or anything like it. Cave Johnson would not agree.
* All desks have wheels. If you'd like to relocate, unplug your computer, push your desk to the desired location, and plug it in again. That's it. They even have a page on their intranet that lets you look up where your colleagues are currently plugged in. If they're not working from home, that is.
* Compensation is determined by your peers and their assessment of your skill level, output, group contribution, and product contribution. How cool is that? Just think about it: If you're a mean, selfish bastard, you automatically get paid less! I still need to bend my head around this one.
To summarize, Valve's corporate philosophy is absolutely inspiring. There's a lot that other companies could learn from them, and in my opinion, sooner would be better.
And now, please go and read Valve's employee handbook. You won't regret it.
First, if you haven't already read it, enjoy 's latest brilliant Oatmeal comic at theoatmeal.com/comics/game_of_thrones.
Now, let's have a quick look at the current situation in Austria:
1) There is no Netflix or equivalent service.
2) There are no TV shows available in iTunes.
3) Instant Video is not available on Amazon.de.
4) Hulu? Not available, of course.
5) "To access HBO GO℠, you must reside within the fifty states of the United States of America." Who'd have thought!?
There are many people outside the US of A who'd gladly pay for some decent and legal streaming of their favorite TV shows. I really wonder what the copyright holders are waiting for …
On a related note, check out boingboing.net/2012/02/13/bittorrent-doesnt-hurt-us-bo.html. Summary of the study presented there: The longer the release of a movie is delayed in a country, the more people will turn to piracy instead of watching the movie in the cinema some months later. Surprise, surprise!
- Know-CenterResearcher, 2012 - present
- Know-CenterTechnical Executive Assistant, 2007 - 2011
- Graz University of TechnologyScientific Project Staff Member, 2010 - 2011
- Graz University of TechnologyComputer Science, 2007 - present
- FH JoanneumInformation Management, 2001 - 2005
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