Whiners, mercenaries and alternatives

Large telecommunications companies, copyright stock owners and some content producers complain that large centralized content sites now concentrate a large share of Internet usage, creating unbalance in the traffic. These centralized sites are accused of free riding without contributing to financing infrastructures nor remunerating artists (read producers and distributors). Mercenary politicians1 sing the same song and plan to destroy the good properties of the Internet (neutrality, equitable service and peer-to-peer architecture where intelligence and innovation lie at the periphery). Whiners and mercenaries list Facebook, Google (read YouTube), Spotify ou Megaupload as examples.

This triggers three remarks:

  • The complaining parties powerfully contributed to install the situation which now claim to deplore. Conducting a stubborn war against the distributed sharing of digital works between individuals, in particular its P2P form, they are among those to blame for the increased concentration of Internet usage on a few centralized sites. They also are to blame for part of the development of streaming, this impoverishing form of access to culture that turns the Internet into a TV (or radio + advertising)2.
  • As for music producers, they should not be surprised that “100,000 listenings bring only € 150 ($ 210)”. If one compares this remuneration to the one arising from a similar radio single broadcast audience, one is in the same range. When one sells something of little value, one earns accordingly.
  • Those of us who see the Internet as the arena where a many-to-all cultural society develops also regret the excessive share of centralized sites in distribution. The difference is that we work out alternatives (see also this). Yes, centralized social networks can for a large part be replaced by distributed, self-hosted systems. Yes, each of us can host and distribute (using P2P protocols) the contents s/he wants to share. Thanks for helping us do so, or at least for no longer trying to prevent us from doing it.

This post is also available in: French

  1. one will note that the one quoted posts its speeches on Facebook. []
  2. As for telecommunication companies, not all of them are guilty of conducting or asking for a war on sharing. In Europe, it is mostly former phone monopolies (the “incumbents”) that are in this case. []

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email is never shared.Required fields are marked *