Inventor of the Web: The Internet is bigger than the music industry

Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, on copyright legislation and the Internet: "Record labels have a very strong voice when it comes to arguing for their particular business model, which is in fact out of date. The result is that laws have been created which make out as if the only problem on the internet is teenagers stealing music. The world is bigger than that. The internet is bigger than the music industry. The economic impact of the internet is bigger than the music industry. [The entertainment industry musn't] take away the rule that you should only punish someone after appropriate court proceedings."


  1. And legislators have absolutely no responsibility to ensure that any business remains in business when the times they are a-changing…. The government isn’t there to protect anyone’s business model or paycheck.

    1. I’m afraid that hypothesis appears hopelessly invalid.

      The evidence can only lead you to conclude otherwise. Berners-Lee may be stating the obvious, but the facts conspire to make it sound like naive bleating.

      So: faced with the reality that the elite are turkey-slapping us with impunity, what now? There’s no redress within the system. We can’t hope to rely on the occasional good apple.

        1. Incorrect:

          We use what time we have before This network is locked down into uselessness to build a new network. One that cannot be shut down. Ever.

    2. What if the ‘business’ that is going out of business is the Internet itself? Just a thought

    1. …an industry that seems to weather quite well all that piracy thing, by the way. The biggest name in porn right now is Manwin, who owns the biggest free pornographic-content site in the business (Pornhub) and recently bought off some of the biggest “classic” porn studios (Brazzers, X-art).
      The music industry could do worse than steal some ideas and tactics from the porn industry.

      1. In fairness, that’s not entirely true. The porn industry is still OK, but the artists lost out at first and are still learning to make a living.

        There’s some evidence that unlike music piracy, porn piracy is bad for the income of the actual performers. (The difference, of course, is that increased fanbase for, say, musicians or painters leads directly to increased ticket sales or art purchases.  Porn stars have… more trouble giving live performances.  Not on a regular commercial basis.  And the ‘if you liked it, pay the artists somehow’ mentality doesn’t seem to kick in as much with porn videos.)

        The massive expansion of potential audience should offset this, of course.  But it can hardly be good news for the artists that one company owns so much of the industry.  Healthy industries with well-paid performers are diverse.

        Rule 34 makes for some tough competition.

        1. Amateur porn has done far more damage to the porn industry than piracy. You are competing with people making movies in their bedrooms, and the quality is often far better with amateurs (as far as believability and eroticism go).

  2. The internet does not have lobbyists filling the coffers of politicians like the music industry has.

  3. The internet *is* industry. All your hopes of a free internet died when you let ex-hippies turned libertarians talk about getting the government out of the internet.

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