ZDNet opinion leader uses an excellent metaphor for the Conservatives’s attitude to things digital and online.
..when it comes to being digital, standing with the Conservative party is like dancing with a hippo on a bouncy castle. You’re not going to be in the same place for long.
I have heard George Osborne pontificating on open source and its use in public sector. It was a politician’s speech, after all he is one so no surprises there. I was not as impressed by it as others in the audience but agree that it was a Good Thing that a member of the opposition front bench was talking about open source positively. But as usual for political parties, the left hand does not know what the right one is doing…
David Cameron told the British Phonographic Industry:
We need you in the music industry itself to continue to innovate and make the sort of technological progress that makes pirating CDs more and more difficult.
Oh dear. It gets worse:
… it is only right that you are given greater protection on your investments by the extension of copyright term.” He went on to suggest that the industry could earn this increase in monopoly rights by providing “positive role models” for children. Regulate and legislate; tame and control.
The ZDNet article sums it up perfectly:
Cameron may be telling the industry what it wants to hear, but it’s as nonsensical as curing alcoholism with whisky. If we have learned anything from the past decade, it is that the music industry — indeed, the old intellectual property-based industries as a whole — has grown lazy and defensive through being given too much control, by being allowed to write the laws to suit itself and then demand deference. Now that such an approach is technically impossible to maintain and the customers are in open revolt, merely demanding more of the same is beyond satire. It’s negligent, lazy and harmful — and in direct conflict with the facts.
Wholesale reform and new approaches are needed, not digging in to defend the ancient regime. The shadow chancellor affirms this. The leader of the opposition denies this. The rest of us have no idea what they think. Time to de-hippo that castle.