Principles for an ethical and sustainable internet

The internet is just a tool. And it is far more robust than technological utopians say it is. We should never be slaves to a tool, or allow our best interests to be ruled by a few monopolistic gatekeepers who deliberately confuse their own narrow interests with hard won basic human rights and democratic freedoms. The internet cannot be broken, or even meaningfully impaired by regulation to control runaway copyright infringement. Effective means of regulating content online already exist. How do we know this? Has anyone ever found hardcore porn on Google’s YouTube? No. They can keep it off. They do keep it off. And the internet hasn’t broken.

Creativity flourished before YouTube. Music artists, writers, and many film makers could make at least a modest living. Now they can’t. The only thing that’s getting broken now is the principle that the products of person’s ingenuity and labour are their own, to dispose of as they see fit.

That is a pretty basic human right to break. There’s no moral or ethical excuse for it. Yes, things change, and technology moves on. New ways of doing things disrupt and supplant old ways. I get it. But where is the sustainable economy in using the internet purely to consume, without rewarding the creators of the products that are consumed? It’s a grim slide to a social precipice.

About Costa Botes

I'm a freelance film maker based in Wellington, New Zealand. I make mainly long form independent documentaries about characters I find interesting.
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