As someone who has their brains picked for technical computer solutions I cannot tell you how many times fully grown adults ask me how they get to download music via the Internet.
I take them through the usual options of purchasing via iTunes, emusic, napster etc but am often met with an irritated response in that the idea of purchasing music is a little bit irksome to them. On the whole these are not people who would ordinarily purchase music legally. They just want to download illegally because they can. Once obtained I doubt that the music would be listened to that much.
I’ve been warning parents in particular about the then upcoming and now very current state of play where our own illustrious government is compelling Internet providers to report and ultimately remove the Internet from persistent illegal downloaders of music.As many parents may be totally unaware that their offspring are merrily downloading illegal music it may come as a shock when threatening legal letters drop onto the mat one morning.
ISP‘s are skewing internet access to favour a particular ‘struggling’ industry. That’s a government ordered bias imposed on the commercial sector isn’t it?
The right and wrongs regarding on-line copyright, fair use and whether illegal downloading really impacts on how much music is purchased and whether the music industry is partly to blame for not making music available to all computer platforms and at a price the market wants to pay can be argued elsewhere.
Approved sites only?
The main worry I have is regarding in this altered role for ISP’s and the prospect of an end to the concept of net neutrality. What happens when Internet providers start manipulating what we can and cannot access. Blocking illegal downloads is one thing but what about blocking or slowing access to a specific social networking site but enhancing the experience of accessing a commercial partner’s site instead. We are heading into the dangerous territory of ISP becoming the gatekeeper for Internet content that they approve of only. Indeed we may see ISP’s degrade the easy access and speed experience of sites that they get no commercial benefit from as a matter of course.
In the meantime some ISP’s will begin to intercept our browsing data in order to manipulate our future internet experience.
We seem to be on the slippery slope of losing net neutrality in Britain. The Internet is a resource and should, I feel be as unhindered and unfiltered as possible. Controls and filters should be made available easily to those that require them but decisions about what we can and cannot access is a very worrying and very anti-democratic, anti-freedom move.
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