Is The Listener License Coming? on Mashable introduced me to Tales from the Afternow, a pretty dark look at a future ruled by mega-corporations and powerful governments. I really encourage you to listen to the first episode, a sort of podcast from the future that looks at the rise of this dystopia with a frighteningly plausible fiction at its heart: the Listener’s License.
Mark Hopkins writes that there are a lot of positive developments, but that the silvery cloud has a dark lining:
Then on the other hand , you have weeks like this week that truly give you pause to wonder where exactly it is we’re headed, as global media companies tighten their grip on the freedom of humans to communicate and share information … Just in the last few clump of days, France’s President Sarkozy has vowed to criminalize file-sharing and America’s Congress has decided force Universities to enforce copyright law in order to receive Federal funds, and while Canada has OKed piracy for personal use, the announcement comes hot on the heels of a number of high profile take-downs.
Now the MPAA has created a very invasive piece of software designed to target illegal copyrighted materials on a university’s network and servers, a release that very suspiciously coincides with the proposed legislation currently before Congress. I’ve got good money that should the Federally mandated copyright enforcement become law, a mandate to use this MPAA software (that, incidentally, opens up the entire university’s private data to the MPAA) will be soon to follow.
Mark writes that though he doesn’t wear a tinfoil hat and that he’s not tryng to shill for any organization that will end legal abuse of humans trying to communicate. He says:
I think, though that we are at the dawn of a new age where everyone is not only a consumer of media from creators big and small, but also creators themselves. Right now is a pivotal point where we can either take ownership of what we create and consume, or see that ownership taken away from us by either corporations or governments acting on behalf of them.
I’m not a tinfoil hat wearer, but I do think that speech – communication in text, images, video and music – is the vital heart of our freedom and we all need to work where we can to expand our rights to speak freely and share our speech all over the world. A new world is being born, and the last thing we need to do is allow elected officials who couldn’t surf their way out of their default homepage to lay the foundation.