I’ll give you a hint: It’s not you.

The AP is making a big hubbub about fair use of its material.

The music industry is waging war against the Pirate Bay.

What the people behind these headlines fail to realize is that, on the web, information cannot be contained. It flows and propagates, spreading across the globe at the blazing speed of a billion internet connections.

Can you track a lightning bolt with the human eye? Can you catch it in your hand? No? The same goes for information. The second it’s out in the world, it’s gone in a flash.

This isn’t about right and wrong, copyrights, fair use, or anything remotely resembling legalese. Like it or not, the internet is too big for that. Fight it with law suits and legislation all you like; you can’t kill a billion-headed beast by cutting off one or two heads, especially when a million more grow back in their place. It’s futile. You’ll just make it angry.

The way to survive in the information economy of the 21st century is to create free products and services that can be monetized in other ways, to generate information that benefits you as it spreads, to embrace the free flow of information rather than try to strangle it.

Not lucrative enough, you say? People have to pay, you say? Keep embracing your outdated business models and see just how much money you’re making in 10 years. That is, if you’re even around that long. 😉

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