1. On page 22, it talks about the Babel objection to the Internet: when everyone can speak, no one can be heard. Is this really true?
This question was not answered in the book directly; but the book did talk a lot about how the Internet and open-source information are making it so that millions of people are not only heard, but are solving/causing a lot of problems. This was shown the parts about Napster, Linux, etc. Things like Linux solve problems because they allow programmers to put all their heads together to create something better than a corporation alone could make. Things like Napster cause problems because they are blatant copyright violations, while they show the possibilities of sharing data. Benchler is not condoning it; he’s just saying how the world is.
2. The third chapter praises open-source software and “open” copyrights, but does not seem to draw the line anywhere. Where should it be drawn?
After our discussion in class, I need to reword the question because Benchler is not praising all open-source software as much as he is just stating what the state of world is in with the information economy. That being said, the line would have to be drawn, if at all, by the people using the open source software and file sharing services. The question of where it should be drawn is up for debate. I’m a very big advocate for copyright and people getting credit and compensation for work they do. Therefore, I think the line has already been crossed many times over. The problem is that the Internet is so vast and the people on this planet so many that it is virtually impossible to stop illegal online activity from going on. As for open-source software, as long as the appropriate people are getting paid for their work, I have no problem with it.
3. What does all this talk of peer production and sharing tell us about the field we are going into?
I don’t know that we’ve read far enough into the book to answer this question. And I don’t think we discussed it in class that much. I suppose we just need to accept the way things are and adjust accordingly. As for me as a content creator and storyteller, I guess there are things like open-source novels out there. But I don’t know if that will override the professional writers.