Sir Tim Berners-Lee is widely acknowledged as the ‘father of the internet’, he wasn’t just there when it was born he delivered it.
When Sir Berners-Lee talks about the web, those who understand sit up and listen, so when he warns that the planned Media Code will hurt the internet, Australian politicians should pay attention.
However, will our politicians move beyond their backroom deals with their friends like Rupert Murdoch and stop this madness before it’s too late?
The arrogance and hubris displayed by the Prime Minister and Treasurer that somehow their ill-conceived legislation will solve the sustainability of journalism issue (which is a very real issue) with no negative side effects are just astounding.
Mr Berners-Lee has made a submission to the parliamentary committee charged with reviewing this proposed bill alongside 50 other respondants.
In his submission, he writes “On the web, the sharing of content rests on the ability of users to do two things: to create content, typically text but also other media; and to make links in that content to other parts of the web.” He argues that “links are fundamental to the web”.
In conclusion, Sir Tim calls for action from the government:
“It would undermine the fundamental principle of the ability to link freely on the web, and is inconsistent with how the web has been able to operate over the past three decades. If this precedent were followed elsewhere it could make the web unworkable around the world. I therefore respectfully urge the committee to remove this mechanism from the code.”
You can read Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s submission along side 49 others on the parliamentary committee website.
In the spirit of full disclosure Ausdroid Media, officially made a submission to the committee calling for a rejection of the code as it stands.
When the inventor of the internet warns you your plan is stupid and dangerous maybe it’s time to listen.
While we genuinely agree that the viability of media is a concern, the proposed code is not a solution we support.
Perhaps a solution is to look at the market effects of the advertising revenue sharing model that funds the majority of journalism would be a good starting point.