This may come as a surprise, but I have a lot of sympathy with artists' rights groups and even entertainment companies that mistrust giants like Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG).
Now, it's not that I hate Amazon or Google, but I do understand that they are fast becoming the intermediary between creators and audiences (and vice-versa), and that this poses a danger to everyone involved in the creative industries.
That danger is that a couple of corporate giants will end up with a buyer's market for creative works, control over the dominant distribution channel, and the ability to dictate the terms on which creative works are made, distributed, appreciated, bought, and sold.
And the danger of that is that these corporate giants might, through malice or negligence, end up screwing up the means by which the world talks to itself, carrying on its cultural discourse -- a discourse that ultimately sets the agendas for law, politics, health, climate, justice, crime, education, child-rearing, and every other important human subject.
So read on, for a detailed outline of this problem and my proposed solutions.
— Cory Doctorow, Internet activist, blogger, co-editor of Boing Boing
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