|| CHAOS 1/2 ||

••• Along with mobility and portability, the internet generated exciting disturbences at first, which then turned into major havoc before anyone could understand what was - and still is - happening; and ever since, it has been fostering the most contradictory speeches, the most extravagant stances and unexpected antagonisms, the most simplistic arguments and outright populist politics, in regard to the so-called 'record industry crisis', paralleled to the advent of massive peer-to-peer exchange, but never fully proved to be triggered by the latter. All of a sudden, the unthinkable became reality: one could be deemed artist-friendly or ennemy of the arts, depending on which side one was to defend, offically or not. War had been declared, in all paradoxial terms, between artists and internet users, between artists and major labels, between major labels and the collecting right societies, within the artist community, the internet user community, often making use of the adversary rethoric ! Artists, once irrevocably deemed 'freedom fighters' in this world, could suddenly be perceived as repressive totalitarianists ! And the world of internet users had just turned into a massive bunch of thieves overnight !

••• It is high time we learn, from what we can't ignore any longer, from the lessons the digital age has brought in redefining - if not abolishing - the frontiers between genres, between 'original' and 'copy', between 'creators' and 'users', between 'demos' and 'masters', between 'raw' and 'polished', between the nations, between the eras, hence, in a more specific way, between public storing, hosting and broadcasting. Cybertime and cyberspace are not just transpositions of their counterpart in cyberworld. They mean new dimensions in their own right, forever blurring the limits between the 'inside' and the 'outside', the 'before' and the 'after', the 'real' and the 'virtual'. Nothing valuable nor durable can be achieved as long as the specifics of digital exchange and their inherent consequences are ignored. The only frontiers that digital might never manage to alter are those set between the rich and the poor, between the fair and the unfair.

••• It is high time we remember that, both radio and TV broadcast (ironically reincarnated in streaming) did looked like offering free access to art and culture; but remember that this was never free in reality: beneficiaries were to get their fair part systematically, generated by the wealth of subscriptions, advertising and/or grants the broadcaster was to receive. This remains true today, even with the advent of digital TV and radio. It just means that there is nothing like free lunch in this world, and someone down the line has to pay the cost. Beneficiary income has always been generated even when the broadcast turned out to be promotional: music and broacast economics found balance in the system; and no one felt like, radio and TV broadcast just going digital, the logic behind it was to vanish: freedom came and still comes with a cost.

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Sun, Jan 3, 2010

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