IP, the Internet, Culture, and the Business of Culture
The most pretentious argument being made in favor of limiting access to and use of the Internet in order to preserve entrenched powers is that grassroots cultural participation and the democratization of creativity will result in the degrading of American culture. While there are many problems with this “argument” (or what may perhaps be more properly considered a condescending worldview than an argument), our essential disagreement with it boils down to two ideas central to American democracy and American culture: inclusion and empowerment. The democratization of the means of creating and disseminating cultural works both includes and empowers more people than do entrenched power centers.
Culture is not something reserved to an elite. No particular business or set of businesses and no particular business model should be protected from the winds of innovation and change in the name of preserving culture. A people’s culture is just that – the people’s culture.