Monday, October 01, 2007

Professor Reed's manifesto for Web 2.0

Chris Reed's manifesto for the regulation of Web 2.0 has been doing the rounds and cheering up some geeks and bloggers.


To: All those concerned with the regulation of Web 2.0 who know enough
to know that they know nothing.

1. When, as they will, politicians take up the cry of commentators that "This is awful. Something must be done!" we must resist them to our last breath. Laws about the internet made this way have consistently failed to achieve their aims and produced unintended, unfavourable consequences. It always ends in tears.

2. For the time being we must preserve the liberties of online intermediaries so that Web 2.0 can continue to evolve. One day we will understand what responsibilities they can fairly be asked to shoulder. Meanwhile we must muddle along, extending and adapting our current laws to new problems as best we can. If something really must be done, we should question and question again until satisfied that it will not do more harm than good.

3. So far as we are able, we must divert lawmakers into fixing problems that we at least vaguely understand. The most pressing of these are online privacy and intellectual property rights in the new Web 2.0 creations. Fortunately both these require years of international negotiation, which will give us time to identify the best solutions.

We owe it to the future to prevent the mistakes of the past. Aux armes

My 'Future of Content' co-conspirators will note Professor Reed's perspective on the centrality of IP and privacy in the mix.

Meanwhile whilst we were in the midst of our blog debate last week, Gilberto Gil, Brazil's minister for culture, was calling for a version of Martin's free digital society.

"Today's digital technologies represent a fantastic opportunity for democratizing access to knowledge. We have found that the appropriation of digital technology can be an incredible upgrade in skills of political self-management and the local political process."

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