Capital Talk: Controlling the internet | punjab$regional-takes | Hindustan Times
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Capital Talk: Controlling the internet

Psychology teaches us that people can live with anything and everything till the time they feel a sense of control over their lives. Even in the most adverse of circumstances, this emotion of being in-charge can do wonders and is perhaps responsible for miraculous tales of human survival that emerge out of calamities.

punjab Updated: Feb 07, 2016 11:12 IST
Just as with the key three elements of creation, a pitched battle has broken out for control over the internet between mega corporations and people who want to regulate its content, timing and delivery depending on the intended target group of recipients, and others who think it needs to be as free of control as possible..
Just as with the key three elements of creation, a pitched battle has broken out for control over the internet between mega corporations and people who want to regulate its content, timing and delivery depending on the intended target group of recipients, and others who think it needs to be as free of control as possible..(Photo: AFP/shutterstock.com)

Psychology teaches us that people can live with anything and everything till the time they feel a sense of control over their lives. Even in the most adverse of circumstances, this emotion of being in-charge can do wonders and is perhaps responsible for miraculous tales of human survival that emerge out of calamities.

In business, of course, most transactions are much more profitably and amicably achieved after the firm is able to apparently give control to one’s customers or clients.

Most of us have experienced how soothing are the words of a business owner who says, “Please select and see our range, sir. We will give you the price you demand.”

This is nothing but a transfer of control to the client and most of today’s businesses know that this is the way forward.

The most apt example of this is the internet. This is the one resource that seems to have been created as magically as the fundamental resources of air, water and health and rivals them in importance in this century.

Just as with the key three elements of creation, a pitched battle has broken out for control over the internet between mega corporations and people who want to regulate its content, timing and delivery depending on the intended target group of recipients, and others who think it needs to be as free of control as possible.

The right path lies in the middle.

One, the profile of internet has changed from a mere information searching tool to one where original content in text, audio and increasingly video is being posted.

Creating original content has its costs and this has to be met from sources beyond the age-old idea of advertising. Users have to pay.

For internet, however, we pay a lump-sum amount for specific speeds and then the content is ours to use. The problem that has flared up over the past two years, especially, is that content creators have started demanding that they want to be paid for people to access their ‘product’ and internet is different from the content. This goes against the general perception that once you have internet, the world is at your fingertips.

The closest analogy to this can be that roads are for all, but people have separate houses on these. The right to use the road does not automatically grant anyone a right to access houses without permission and the same goes for the internet as well. Very soon, you may have the net but not the rights to surf anything and everything. When put like this, it seems staggering that till now all parts of the net have been ‘freeways’.

Yet, the proponents of freeway claim that there can be no private passages on the internet.

The debate is sure to get shriller and nastier with the result to have a clear impact on the end-user. We might have free rights to log onto to the net with only a few sites free.