It's time to talk about Digital Distribution, and how it's made renters of us all. How many of your digital belongings do you actually own? Write out a list of the shows and movies you've watched, the eBooks you've read, the games and apps you've played, and the music you've listened to in the last week. Now count how many of those things you would have full and legal access to without an Internet connection.
Sometimes it isn't the government that's to blame for back door deals. Back in 1869, two wily financiers, Jay Gould and James Fisk, thought they could outsmart the government and corner the gold market, but were foiled by the administration. Gould and Fisk tried to buy massive amounts of gold at a low price and then sell high using insider information.
MPAA president Jack Valenti, testifying before the U.S. Congress in 1982 said: "the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone... We are going to bleed and hemorrhage, unless this Congress at least protect[s] one industry whose total future depends on its protection from the savagery and ravages of this machine." We're hearing the same ramblings today against digital media, as Netflix is being called the "Albanian army" by TimeWarner CEO Jeff Bewkes. The same apocalyptic tone as in past scuffles surrounds Tech vs Media Battle #4, with analog incumbents vs digital upstarts.