Who Speaks For The Internet? Do Artists have No Voice Online?

Does the internet speak for Artists? This doesn’t appear to the case. Who is the internet anyway?

We’re always kinda amazed when a singular entity or point of view “speaks for the internet” as if there is no social, economic, geographic or political diversity. Is the “Internet’ a demographic onto it’s own, and if so, what defines that demographic? Which begs the question, does “the internet” speak for you (as an artist, as an individual)? Though this entry is somewhat cute, it is also disturbing to see “the internet” as a single block with a Borg like hive mind… TechDirt reports:

In another example we find it amusing when any ONE group alleges to speak for the internet. In the latest of what appears to be another round of Tech Funded astro turf and sock puppet groups enter the “Internet Association.” Why are we not surprised that Google, Facebook, Amazon and Ebay lead the list of members whose mandate is to represent “the interests of Internet companies.” Oh, ok, I get it now… the internet is a business and those who speak “for the internet” are really speaking for “corporate interests.” Phew, I’m glad we’re clear about that now… read on at Digital Media Wire:

What do you think? Does the tech lobby own the voice of the internet? Does no one but the internet and tech lobby have a say in the future of our online and digital lives?

Let us know what you think.

6 thoughts on “Who Speaks For The Internet? Do Artists have No Voice Online?

  1. Given that those signed up include Google, and Facebook the claim that they speaking for internet communities is pushing it a bit. Especially given that Google has recently been fined for the breaching the privacy of its users, and both it and Facebook are notorious for misusing user data. Taking the precedence of the “Fat Cats Defence League”, this organisation should herewith always be referred to as the “Internet Association of Fat Cats”.

  2. A guy named Bill Herman did a PhD thesis on a subject very much related to this question called The Battle over Digital Rights Management: A Multi-Method Study of the Politics of Copyright Management Technologies. (No need to read the whole thing, just read the introduction. And/or read my analysis of it here.

    It’s an examination of how various types of communications – lobbying, mainstream media, and online – influenced legislation related to digital rights, such as the Audio Home Recording Act and the DMCA. He comes from a strong copyleft background (e.g. interned at Public Knowledge) but the methodology is solid and the results are given dispassionately. This is nothing less than a presaging of how “The Internet” torpedoed SOPA/PIPA. It also serves as a guide to what creative artists have to do in order to get their voices heard – such as this blog.

    As for Mike Masnick, he’s the Rush Limbaugh of the Internet – he and his Dirtoheads…

  3. That’s the beauty of the internet. No wonder it’s kind of like it’s own religion. “I speak for the internet! (Prove me wrong)”

  4. Mine is an observation concerning the repeated use of “internet” and “world wide web” as one in the same. Most definitely they are not. The “internet” is merely an array of interconnected hardware. In contrast, the “world wide web” is a collection of “software” that utilizes the “internet” hardware to facilitate the communication of information from one location to another connected to the “internet”.

    Hence, those who may purport to speak for the “internet” are in fact speaking on matters associated with the “world wide web”. Even this, however, is a bit simplistic because the building blocks of the “software” are content-neutral “protocols” (e.g., HTTP, SMPT, etc.) that are necessary for information transfer to even take place.

    I can accept, even though at times they may be overstated, that certain proposals regarding the “world wide web” may have a negative effect of the functioning of “protocols”. What I do not accept, however, is that persons using these “protocols” to communicate information associated with infringement have the inchoate right to facilitate the transfer of such information when and as they see fit to whomever they see fit without any form of potential, legal liability for doing so.

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