John Naughton turns his eye to the latest attempts by the music industry to stop people sending each other stuff on the interweb:
Through a staggering combination of ignorance, inertia, incompetence and paranoia, the record industry missed the significance of the internet for its business. It continued to distribute its product on plastic disks long after the net became widespread, and insisted on selling albums rather than tracks. In other words, it persisted with a comfortable business model long after it became obsolete. This couldn’t last – and it didn’t. Eventually Shawn Fanning came up with the idea of sharing tracks over the internet and Napster was born. The industry refused to offer a legal alternative, and in doing so embossed its own death certificate. The last convulsive jerk of the corpse is the BPI’s attempt to intimidate ISPs and to lobby the government for legislation which would compel ISPs to become data policemen.