Friday, January 20th 2012
News: How We Got Here
Clay Shirky is an American writer, consultant and teacher on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies, which I am able to tell you now that Wikipedia has ceased its blackout in protest of SOPA. He is also the namesake of the so-called “Shirky Principle,” which essentially states: Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution. Which sums up what’s been going on in the music industry quite well.
Bob Lefsetz emailed us a phenomenal TED talk Shirky very recently filmed discussing SOPA & PIPA, and summarized it as follows: “Just consume, don’t produce, don’t share.” That’s what the content industry wants from us.
You’ve got 15 minutes to watch this.
The whole business of actually suggesting that someone is breaking the law, and then gathering evidence, and proving that? That turns out to be really inconvenient. ‘We’d prefer not to do that,’ says the content industries. And what they want is not to have to do that. They don’t want legal distinctions between legal and illegal sharing. They just want the sharing to go away…
That’s the real message of SOPA. Time Warner has called. And they want us all back on the couch. Just consuming. Not producing. Not sharing. And we should say no.