Posts tagged ‘firefox’

If you’ve ever been in an Internet argument about the spelling of the word humour, or tried to explain that something vaguely coincidental isn’t “ironic”, you have probably have been told that the Internet is an American invention. (Presumably we’re ignoring the fact that the Web is an Anglo-Swiss one).

So, it’s always surprised me that there’s something decidedly (and I fear to say the word) communist about the modern Internet.

No, there’s no repression of religion, and no, we’re not being sent off to fight the Germans with a broken AK-47 and a tonne of beetroot, but there is something, well, odd, going on.

How, exactly, did America – the land where the dollar rules and capitalism is king – create a system where everything has to be free? Where there is no such thing as paid content? Where nothing belongs to anyone any more?

There are websites galore out there, dedicated to republishing other people’s work. Sometimes the content is licensed under Creative Commons, or constitutes fair use under US law, but all to often it’s just a picture stolen from another website, without attribution or (worse) with the copyright-holder’s watermark overwritten with the name of the new host. There’s sites dedicated to this kind of bollocks.

Then there’s the joys of , a wonderful repository of all things. And, yes, I’ve downloaded stuff from there (normally when I can’t find my original disks or some arsehole music label has copy protected their music, to prevent my fair use of the product), but the thing also houses links to every TV show, film or audio CD you’ve ever heard of. I’m not here to argue the legal or moral positioning of this, but it’s an obvious blow to the glories of capitalism.

How has this happened?

The obvious thing happening right now is the paywalling of The Times and The Sunday Times websites. Now, I actually quite like the Sunday Times… I hate the news, but I hate the news from all sources. What I like is the blogs and features. It’s my ‘Playboy’, if you will. Yes, I know it’s famous for its news, but I read it for the features… Read the rest of this entry »