Wednesday, October 13, 2004

There has never been a more pivotal moment in media technology policy. New technologies are emerging by the minute that offer to reshape artist-audience relationship, resurrect independent media, revolutionize the way information moves and is created. At the same time, large and powerful interests are vying for control over these new technologies to reshape them in the image of their own ambitions. Who will create and control the new technological spaces for artistic and journalistic exchange? Who will control older public spaces, like the radio airways, television stations, and newspapers, which are increasingly being given over into the eager hands of fewer and fewer media conglomerates?
I'd like to think that the FCC is spending sleepless night after sleepless night creating innovative new ways to revisit the tragically mired, hijacked, and obsolete ship that is our current body of copyright and media law. I'd like to think that they're drafting plans on how to empower artists, encourage media diversity, and empower our nation's citizens to find a voice through emerging media technologies. I'd like to think they are involved in all these urgent FCC duties.
Their gaze, unfortunately, seems inextricably fixed upon what body parts or words of the English language don't insult their constitutions. IS THIS TRULY THEIR MOST URGENT MANDATE? These sorts of efforts would not ignite my indignation so fiercly by themselves--their role in obscuring the far more pressing duties of the FCC at this time is far more insidious and disturbing.


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