The environmental case for keeping the Internet and its markets free

The Generative Internet is more than a seminal brief on behalf of the Net. It provides the intellectual and legal foundations for many arguments to come.

The response to "Saving the Net", posted here last Wednesday, has been overwhelming to the verge of embarrassment. Bret Faucett called it "The Internet's Lexington Green" Geek News Central said I deserved "some sort of award". Phil Windley wrote,"if you take the time to read just one essay on the ‘Net and the politics surrounding it this year, read this one". It even got Slashdotted. There are 54 comments under the piece so far, many of them thought-provoking and helpful. (And I promise, when I'm back from the road trip I'm on, I'll respond to as many as I can.)

Meanwhile, there have only been 61 downloads so far of The Generative Internet, by Jonathan Zittrain in the Harvard Law Review. We need to change that.

The Generative Internet is entirely consistent with what I wrote in Saving the Net, and describes in much greater depth the fecundity of the Internet as an environment that supports commerce, culture and governance. It also makes a reasoned and passionate case for protecting it from those that seek to limit its services in their own selfish interests.

It is also something we desperately need: a case anchored in an understanding that works across all political sympathines. For those on the left, it makes the environmental case. For those on the right, it makes the free market case. For all of us, it makes the case for keeping a place we all share as open and free as it was designed to be in the first place.

It is, in short, required reading.


Doc Searls is the Editor in Chief of Linux Journal


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

I really like this entry

Online Wong PoKér Hu's picture

I really like this entry based on what I have read. I do agree that the internet should be free. Lately, a lot of entities have been very dependent with the internet. Notwithstanding the fact that a lot of technologial retooling must be done. Keeping the internet free will allow the continuity in information dissemination.


Internet pirate's picture

Lol well really reading this was quite fun. As much as the nay sayers and the jittery peps who worry about the internet somehow being turned into somethig that they feer i have a bit of something to calm the mind. What is suggested is not econmicly viable so be it that SBC and others want to control everything it wont work. People will indeed stop using the service. Cox is a good example. A few years back there was talk of cox charging people more if they went over a cirtin GB per month quota. They did a pratice run in nevada and it failed like the spruce goose. Pleople dident put up with it and finannly it was canned like a jar of rotten fish. If they want to limit content ohh well if you cant run a FTP server out of your home to distribute illeagal material too bad for you. Why does the avarge person need to have a FTP server with 3gbit uplaod anyway??? Unless you program your own stuff then your probably distibuteing something illegal anyway. you pay for a service from an ISP they limit your bandwith they always have and always will no mater how much whineing you do. Because they paid for the damn line and the power to run them. If they limit Yahoo or Google then google will simply stop paying them for bandwith and pay for there own lines an such and if COx wont let me into that network then ill stop paying them and start paying Google. Freedom to go whereever and do whatever drives the internet economy COX and others may want to put phone line service and movies and every damn thing else on there network but that doesent mean that the consumer will pay for it. I say let it happen and watch how fast it stops. It will happen because these people are greedy and this will not change. But there is hope and it is with wireless and private networks. Us that are prepared will not care when the access is gone because we would have found a way around or we will have our own personal content to use. People have computers with massive space nowadays. I have much much content saved from my personal collection paid or unpaid :P if i lost internet i wouldent care because i have my own network with my own content that i can give to anyone or sell to anyone inside my own personal network. They cant ban my personal property or break in because of the same laws they made to protect there own networks. Being a pirate is not about being evil its about using what they think is an atvantage into there disatvantage. The more they try and make it secure the more they fail. So join the ship with me and lets plunder some cargo ships :P See you in the digital sea ill bring my guns better have yours.