Wednesday, 17 October 2007

From The Law Of God To The Law Of Networks: The RIAA In Perspective

After reading the post the RIAA is trying to pull the plug on Usenet it struck me of the historical implications.

Since the creation of the phonetic language, there has been a consistent struggle of power between those that see themselves as the owners of language and those that pose a threat to that control.

It started with the Catholic Church whose priests maintained order over the huddled masses in part by controlling the written word. But with movable type, the ability to create a bible went form 20 years to 2 years thereby allowing many more people to have the word of God and therefore their own interpretation of those words.

Ironically, the emergence of the individual came with the posting of Martin Luther's Ninety-Five Theses on the 1st bulletin board challenging the Church.

From the rise of the middle class to the acceleration of the digital networked world our cultural has been shaped by a shift of power from the power of God, to the law of networks.

And yet, here we have the RIAA, who continues to attempt to have a few control the masses through legal means (and laws that frankly have not been able to socially and culturally catch up to the very system that they attempt to protect) by attacking one of the greatest electronic bulletin boards, usenet.

The RIAA is playing a losing game. If we think about in historical terms, the RIAA would be the equivalent of the monks up there in their monasteries attempting to throw some rocks in order to stop the printing press. Like going into Russia in the winter, it just isn’t going to work….


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