a Napster future?

From Aaron Kreider <aaron.kreider.1@nd.edu>
Date Sat, 13 May 2000 00:18:01 -0500

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What do people think about the argument that Napster-like efforts, will
challenge the corporate media monopolies (internet and others)?

We could have services that are run by decentralized networks (distributed
processing) of people who choose to connect to each other.

Practically anything could be distributed (news, entertainment, search
engines, radio stations, software creation, music) assuming that members of
the public are capable of producing it themselves and are willing to share.
 With millions of people setting up websites and writing billions of emails
with strictly non-commercial (a.k.a. "sharing") purposes, and technological
progress that makes it easy to make a video, record a song, or publish a
newsletter/newspaper/e-zine -- it is possible that this realm of activities
may be extended.  What would happen if only 1% of news junkies stopped
watching and started to make news?  If 1% of people who made music for fun
released it on the Internet for free?  What if 1% of poetry writers created
a noncommercial distribution network? 

I normally am skeptical of "Internet=possible utopia" arguments, but am so
far convinced that this seems to have strong potential.  It would be
somewhat limited by unequal internet access (class and race limit it), and
how able people are to produce - but I think it could send a shockwave
strong enough to bring down some very fragile speculation-fueled internet



(who just finished writing a termpaper on internet commercialization)

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