Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Download: The True Story of the Internet

After watching the Search and People Power segments of Download: The True Story of the Internet, I am glad to say that I learned, as well as confirmed, a few things that have been stirring in my subconscious for who knows how long.

The Search video really opened my eyes to the magnitude of the power and importance of search engines; most importantly, Google's power. I really had to stop and think, "Where would I be, where would we be without Google?" It's become such an important part of our lives that we don't even think twice when consulting it. If I had to guess how many times a day I Googled something, it would very likely be upwards of 30 times a day, and that's probably being generous to my inner-nerd. I'm very curious to see what, if anything, will be able to stronghold Google from its place as the number one source of of all things search-related. Another thing I observed in this video was the dominance of Stanford entrepreneurs. From Yahoo to Excite to Google, Stanford students (students, people!!) had a hand in the creation of some of the most important technological advances of our time. Something tells me that's not a coincidence.

The People Power video was also incredibly informative. I had a great time learning about the creators and pioneers of the MP3, YouTube, WinAMP, Digg, and especially Napster. I've always heard of the nightmarish lawsuit stories behind Napster and never really knew how it started, or how far it truly escalated. It's pretty scary to think about being hunted down by your favorite artist for simply trying to help spread their work, albeit in an illegal fashion. As I was watching the Napster breakdown, I was able to draw a comparison to my own experiences. Just a couple of weeks ago, a video that I uploaded three years ago to YouTube was taken down for copyright infringement. When I uploaded it, I didn't think it would be an issue, because it was simply a video of an artist performing a song at a concert. I learned that the artist had just released an official video for the very song being performed in that video from so long ago; consequently, mine and countless others had to come down. I was peeved, but found the situational comical. That is, until I was forced to watch a 5-minute cartoon video on copyright infringement, and take a quiz about what I had learned, courtesy of YouTube. I was absolutely dumbfounded. I still feel as though I did nothing wrong. Unfortunately, I'll probably hold that artist and YouTube at a slightly lower level of regard for a while to come. This incident just goes to show that the consequences of Napster are still rippling across the country, years later.

Overall, the segments that I watched were pretty cool. It was great to get an inside look at the full story behind topics that I had always wondered about.

P. S. - That John Heileman. What a guy.

No comments: