Monday, 7 July 2008

A little late on this one...

By now you've doubtless heard that due to a ruling in a US court YouTube must hand over an astonishing amount of data about every video ever viewed on its site to Viacom. I seen people say this is wrong for many reasons but the more I think about it the one that is most insidious is the ruling is retroactive.

Perhaps we were gullible and naive to ever treat anywhere on the web as a lawless new frontier. But people have - if we're honest I'm sure we all have to some degree. And I think web-development has benefited from that. Viacom argue they haven't - and, rightly or wrongly, a judge agrees with them.

However, I can't help feeling there's an aspect of this ruling that's like erecting fences and 'We Hang Trespassers' signs after a caravan of honest prospectors have trundled across an unmarked boundary, only to find themselves the centre of a Salem-style witch-hunt. They say 'innovate or die' but perhaps if you don't fancy either of those options you just need to a bigger gun and go hunting!

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