Locked into a sys­tem

Change at stake

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

So, the hol­i­days are of­ten said to al­low time for re­flec­tion. I took the op­por­tu­nity to do a lit­tle ‘‘surf­ing’’ around the is­sue of Kim dot.com. Il­le­gal searches, in­ter­net lim­i­ta­tions and his po­lit­i­cal party have all fea­tured in the press this sum­mer. Start with the South­land Times. Over the hol­i­days an ed­i­to­rial ob­served that any­one who al­lows an orig­i­nal com­po­si­tion cre­ated by, say, a South­lander, to be ac­cessed with­out pay­ing is wrong. That’s how artists make a liv­ing. But I also came across sev­eral sto­ries else­where about things such as VCRs in the 1980s and mu­sic shar­ing gen­er­ally in the last few years. VCRs (those first de­vices we used to record tele­vi­sion pro­grammes) were go­ing to be the death of the film in­dus­try. In the end they gen­er­ated huge new rev­enue streams for it. And we solved mu­sic shar­ing chal­lenges with tools such as iTunes, Pan­dora etc. Dot.com pre­sents us with the choice of lock­ing in the cur­rent means by which we ac­cess new dig­i­tal con­tent. It’s easy to ad­min­is­ter but it may well mean we don’t ever see new in­no­va­tion. Short-term ner­vous­ness is the cost of the longterm ben­e­fit of new ideas. Which has noth­ing to do with whether Dot.com should be ex­tra­dited to have charges heard in the United States. It was the Amer­i­can court sys­tem that ul­ti­mately said VCRs were OK and I’m sure they can make the right de­ci­sion again. ◗ Dun­can Field owns Li­mou­sine Ser­vices Queen­stown, is a past chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Queen­stown Lakes District Coun­cil and an oc­ca­sional con­sul­tant.

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