Knocking Docherty

I think Danny’s wrong to knock David Docherty’s ‘Cookie Monster‘ analogy. David may have been on a hiding to nothing from the beginning at Telewest, but the nub of truth in his frustration is that the conduct of Internet users is important (how could it be otherwise?). As actors in the networked economy we have obligations and our good faith will be critical to the success or otherwise of digital music, film, whatever. If a whole generation of users really has decided that it’ll never pay for music again (which is arguable), then music will inevitably be driven off the net.

As usual, I’m mister middle-of-the-road. Where David and the suits see a field of high concept ‘broadband content’ and Danny and the geeks see an untenanted void waiting for settlers to fill it – I see a bit of both. In fact, I think it’s economic lunacy to suggest that either could be sufficient unto itself. No one but no one will bring dark fibre to my curb without some value added ‘content’ to subsidise the utterly commodified pipe and users will never accept the media owners’ vision of content-driven broadband heaven unless it looks a lot like the net. As usual, the outcome is more likely to be a messy ecology than a nice, clean monoculture.