Access v Ownership

I was at a gig the other night (oh yes, I’m still a rock chick at heart!), and noticed the number of people holding up their mobile phones and digital cameras to record their favourite bits of the performance.

It took me back to the days when cameras were banned from gigs. Your bag was searched on entry to the venue to ensure you didn’t take in any recording equipment. (Now, it may be searched for bombs, but that’s another story.)

With cameras on every mobile phone, I guess that kind of photographic control has become impossible to implement.

We’re not like a remote tribe, who believe a photo captures their soul. These days, we don’t own the rights to our own images any more. You, your family and your friends can be unwittingly ‘tagged’ on Facebook, by anyone that’s ever photographed you. If you want another example, witness the number of gossip magazines filled with paparazzi pictures of ‘celebrity’ cellulite or armpit hair. Not sure why anyone really wants to look at that, but hey, the publications seem to sell OK!

That’s images. As for music and voice recordings, tapes and disks have evolved to CD and now MP3 format. With the advent of resources such as Spotify, you no longer need to pay to listen to what you want. Just sign up, and you can search or be presented with the music of your choice.

When it comes to software, instead of everyone across the world buying the latest version and having to upgrade all the time, with cloud computing there is one version stored centrally that you pay for the right to access via the Internet.

I predict that we won’t even have to own a TV set in future. Instead, we’ll watch whatever we want, thanks to a monitor wirelessly linked to our computer, and pay as we go.

I think it’s a good thing. Do you think the same?

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