WikiLeaks and Napster

7 August 2010 at 6:53 am 2 comments

| Peter Klein |

Apropos my WikiLeaks post, comparing the recent data dump to the data-sharing and data-mining practices increasingly common in academia, a Thursday New Yorker post by Raffi Khatchadourian takes the New Economy framing even further, comparing Wikileaks to Napster. “Shutting WikiLeaks down — assuming that this is even possible — would only lead to copycat sites devised by innovators who would make their services even more difficult to curtail.” The recording industry shut down Napster, spawning Bittorrent — a far more dangerous competitor. Khatchadourian says the Defense Department should “consider WikiLeaks a competitor rather than a threat, and to recognize that the spirit of transparency that motivates [Wikileaks founder Julian] Assange and his volunteers is shared by a far wider community of people who use the Internet.” Had the DoD had released the footage of the 2007 Apache helicopter attack itself, rather than waiting for WikiLeaks to publish it on YouTube, it could probably have contained the damage much more effectively. Naturally, I wouldn’t expect the DoD — or  the RIAA — to be that smart. (HT to TechDirt via David Veksler.)

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Entry filed under: - Klein -, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Institutions, Public Policy / Political Economy.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Steven Handel  |  7 August 2010 at 9:37 am

    This is a very good point!

  • 2. FC  |  7 August 2010 at 11:08 pm

    If WikiLeaks were motivated by the “spirit of transparency” (wasn’t that a Dickens character?) then they should reaveal their identities and those of their sources.

    Actually they say they want to “end war.” Yeah, good luck with that.

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