At SXSW, I sat in on a session “Web Hacks” which ended up being nothing about web hacks. The panel discussion was allowed to spiral into politically laced commentary on copyright law. One of the panelists, Kent Brewster from
Yahoo! Pipes Yahoo Developers Network , had a great response to a audience member who wanted to know what the big companies like Yahoo were going to do about the lack of societal ethics which led to copyright infringement. The question was phrased ambiguously enough using “you” as a reference to Yahoo, but Kent promptly responded to the “you” as a personal reference.
“I take time with my kids, each one of them, every day and every night to teach them the morally guiding principles of life that I want to have instilled in them. It starts in the home.”
While this is not a direct quote, this is the essence of it. I side with the questioner who was looking for some kind of assurance from the big corporations that their weight would be used to help stop content scraping and publisher rights infringement. However, Kent is completely correct in assessing the issue and determining that this is truly not an issue that can be dealt with at a societal level – that the morals and ethics that cause people to steal and cheat to get ahead are morals that were instilled in their own homes and environments. In order to “save” the next generation and “right” the ship, so to speak, the morality of the parents of today should be at a level that will positively instruct the parents of tomorrow.
Kent, I tried to talk to you at the conference, but unfortunately got sidetracked. Would love to talk more with you if you happen by this entry.