Seeing the Internet as an Ecosystem


Posted by Pamela Passman 
Corporate Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs

Earlier this week I participated on a panel about the future of Internet content and services at the Silicon Flatirons annual conference at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Rocky Radar did a good job of reporting on the conference.  Stacey DoganEric Goldman, and Pamela Samuelson presented papers covering on-line trademark issues that may arise as a result of searches, the future of Wikipedia and the challenges of open and editable sites, and emerging on-line copyright issues respectively. 

In my summary remarks, I highlighted the common theme that emerged from these papers:  the need to create a healthy and vibrant ecosystem in which the interests of all stakeholders – content owners, content creators, technology and telecom companies, new and traditional business models – are considered. 

It seems to me there is an under-appreciation of the interdependent nature of the Internet ecosystem, and the positive impact of approaching policy debates with the ecosystem in mind.  One example, already in existence, where stakeholders came together for the benefit of the ecosystem is the industry’s development of the Principles for User generated Content Services.   

I’ve been pleased to see some discussion of these ideas in the days following the conference by Phil Weiserof Silicon Flatirons and Pierre de Vries.  I hope we continue to consider how an ecosystem approach can help firms succeed and all of us solve public-policy challenges.

Comments (2)

  1. Anonymous says:

    So Disney defines rules what users should do with their copyright? The whole phrase user-generated content is so flawed. Production and authorship of content is not the privilege of these companies. In fact we don't really need them anymore. The copyright system as we have it today needs reforms Disney won't like. We need broader fair dealing rules. We need to cut copyright protection periods.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hey Funny – let's play out your scenario.  If we were to abolish copyright protections what incentives would we be providing for content generation and creation?  None.   And do you think we would continue to enjoy a high level of quality content (prose, journalism, music, movies, video games, etc)?  Prbly not.  And worse content creators/owners would revert to others means to protect and monetize their content (technology and contract law) which would be less convenient for consumers and more intrusive.  I agree with you that the Disney copyright extentions are distasteful and counterproductive.  Having said that content creators should continue to have the right to define how their content can be used and licensed.  And its only when we consider the ecosystem as a whole, and all stakeholders' positions are considered (including ones like yours) can we reach a viable solution that benefits all.  What I think is interesting with the above post is that Microsoft is the voice of reason in this discussion.  Perhaps its their DOJ and EU experience, perhaps its that they straddle several worlds, perhaps its purely self-serving… Regardless its a little surprising and frankly refreshing.