Locked into a system
Change at stake
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.