22 November 2010

On web openness and net neutrality

Tim Berners-Lee makes the case eloquently. Somewhat related, Steven Johnson argues at Web 2.0 summit for 'web redundancy', the mirror indexing of the pages of e-books (and possibly some apps) on the web, even if behind a copyright wall of some sort, so that they could be accessible to and citable and linkable. Without this access route, the scholarly traditions of referencing and citation, which have stood for centuries (starting with the indexing of the earliest printed books which, Johnson claims, underpinned the development of ideas in the enlightenment) lie at risk with the rise of 'stand-alone' e-books.

Berners-Lee makes specific mention of the stranglehold iTunes now has on music distribution. The final capitulation of Apple (records) to Apple (iTunes) last week is lamented by Christopher Caldwell in the FT. I would probably disagree with Caldwell about most things but understand why he finds this business so dispiriting.

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