Sunday, March 23, 2014

"We Declare a New Enlightenment" - a response to David Lowery's 'A Letter to Emily'

Further on Music Lawyer Chris Castle's view of the Revolution - a link to - and a critique of - a piece by David Lowery - Lecturer at the Department of Economics, University of Georgia, Artists Rights blogger at "The Trichordist", and former guitarist for Camper Van Beethoven:

The Trichordist, June 18, 2012 | "Letter to Emily White at NPR All Songs Considered."
by David Lowery

Interesting article (I suggest read it first; and then my retort below).

I posit that what we*, the internet generation are perusing is an open and free (as in connected) internet; and the problem with David Lowery's take is that it remains stuck in the old broadcast universe. What it doesn't see is that digital copying means that ALL content can no longer be held in a vault and distributed with the rotation of a turn-stile that is held open or closed by a vendor.

To explain I will make the following statement with in the context that I see, we exist in - as an extreme example to illustrate the point.

In order to illustrate how the new architecture of the digital content universe is so inexorably different that of the previous, just passed model represented by the movable type printing press (1440) to broadcast networks (1999) - the architecture of the world wide web - in a form as envisioned by it's founders, and integrated into the base level of ALL computers (the computing system under the Operating System - the computer itself), and the architecture that supports the world wide web - means that:

'All content that hither-to was produced with an eye to pay the creators and their partners via the turn-stile pay-per-view model ... is dead.'

Other-wise the internet will become an undemocratic place where the sum of all human knowledge will be parceled out to those you can afford it.

We stand at a nexus between a great democracy enabled by a world wide connectivity - or on the other hand, a connectivity that serves only an elite with special knowledge; that uses the web's other great possibility - it's ability to act as a two-way portal ... to surveil, and to use this function of the two-way technology to hold down the populace - to continue the 'special knowledge combine'. In short, to enable a global totalitarian epoch; a new Dark Age.

So when David Lowery compliments the internet generation's great moral and ethical stance on a wide variety of social justice issues - and then criticizes their immoral use of the www as it applies to how how they get their music - he does a great disservice to their ethical enlightenment. What they are doing in refusing the DRM, DMCA universe of the dinosaur broadcast (one-way) universe in the new, two-way universe.

It is nothing short of Martin Luther nailing the notice to the Holy Roman Empire's Church door.

'We declare a new enlightenment'.

The stark choice we face is - free all the content that was hither-to sold in order to pay the creators - and begin to find a new way to pay the creators. Creators will still create - we do this becuase we have to - it's not a career - it's like breathing air - all humans need to create - it's a foundation stone of what it means to be human. The cannons of a culture's creative content are crucial inexorable - not something fun, entertaining, titillating.

The recording industry will die, and so too will the TV networks - and the Newspapers - and Hollywood - and the Book Publishers ... But another way to employ creators and keep them crafting us our stories (we all are not the craft-persons we need to be to reflect back to us what we are). In short - the process that defines us - the act that is at the foundation for all other conversations in a culture ... will find a new metric; there is no question about that - and it will happen very quickly.

What needs to happen right now, is that the systems in place that dominate that content production economy, must get out of the way - and permit the new economy to birth and flourish.

The seeds and the sprouts of it are already abundant - they just aren't robust an spread around so much just yet.

Fear not, the future is coming - and it will be much better than the past.

Of this I believe, the digital generation is absolutely certain.

(I note that in this revolution there are a great number who may have little exposure to the philosophy here - but yet play with glutinous glee in this pirate garden that seems to be 'free' content. Nothing is free, the price may be quite steep after - by participating in this discussion I hope to shine some light towards that dark corner as well.)


Via today's email notification from Chris Castle's: MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY | "The MTP Interview: David Lowery on artist rights" - by Chris Castle |

* 'we, the internet generation' - in 2006 - from three newspapers every day, writing on paper, drawing on paper, recording to tape, broadcast TV - I turned it all off in the wake of the propaganda run-up to the Iraq War and the long unfolding of the horror itself; and dove - 'all-in' - into digital communications:
"michaelhollowaysblog" - 2006/12/20 | "The Tension of Life; and the Death of Ease." |


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