So then why are there so many attempts to regulate it? Under the guises of piracy, privacy, pornography, predators, indecency, and security, not to mention censorship, tyranny, and civilization, governments from the U.S. to France to Germany to China to Iran to Canada — as well as the European Union and the United Nations — are trying to exert control over the internet.
Why? Is it not working? Is it presenting some new danger to society? Is it fundamentally operating any differently today than it was five or ten years ago? No, no, and no.
So why are governments so eager to claim authority over it? Why would legacy corporations, industries, and institutions egg them on? Because the net is working better than ever. Because they finally recognize how powerful it is and how disruptive it is to their power.
“It’s all about choice. See, by only providing content through locked down, time limited, location restricted methods, the studios are actually giving us a lot more choices in how we consume our content. Dirty pirates can only consume their content in one way: no encryption, HD, and worldwide. But the studios give us an unending stream of different choices that provide real value to their content. Maybe you want DRM that requires a constant connection to the internet. They have that. Maybe you DRM that limits you to only certain devices. They have that. Maybe you want content that’s purposefully degraded. They have that. Maybe you want to be able to watch content only in the US. They have that. Canada? They have that too. Content that expires after 48 hours? No problem. Maybe you want to have to watch it in the theater? They got you covered. The depth and breadth of choices that the studios provide is something that the evil pirates just cannot cover. The other day I asked someone at the pirate bay for an encrypted copy of The Grey that would only play on my computer for a week and they couldn’t do it!”—Comment by an Anonymous Coward at Techdirt: Yet Another (Yes Another!) Study Suggests Hollywood’s Problem Is Dumb Release Windows That Cost It Money (via wilwheaton)