The digital dark ages

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The golden age of Ireland could arguably have been from the 5th century through to the early Middle Ages where the Irish went out across Europe setting up centres of learning and recirculating ancient Greek and Roman knowledge that would have been otherwise lost during the Dark Ages and helped to kickstart innovation.

I believed that we have entered into a similar Dark Age now. When the Digital Economy Act 2010 came into power, I talked about how this would restrict innovation and creativity. Adam Liversage of the BPI disagreed and poo-poo-ed both mine and Stephen Waddington’s take on this. Some 12 months on and you have the UK government hosting a secret committee with vested parties to implement web censorship to protect certain commercial interests.

McKinsey recently did a report that looked at the amount of money that innovation online put back in consumers pockets. This has been quoted from by US VCs facing the The PROTECT IP Act in Congress.

The solution would be to recover this innovation dividend from the traditional media industries which are favoured by this legislation. However given the inability of these companies to adapt and run their businesses successfully these laws are little more than the kind of pointless intervention like British Leyland that governments are particularly good at.