Inside Inside Jokes

Lots of stories in today’s Times that prompt thoughts about the future of UCG — User Generated Content:

Warner’s Digital Watchdog Widens War on Pirates

Sports Organizations Try to Limit Online Reporting

Hoping to Move Guitar Notations into the Legal Sunshine

And then there is yesterday’s edition of C/Net (“Moore’s Law overturned by Supreme Court”), and the discovery that history is, of all things, inefficient.  Who knew?

All of these things, UGC included, are in a fundamental way about being an insider rather than an outsider.  “Insider” content is cool and funny and nonthreatening and noninfringing — at least to other insiders.  How many of those C/Net headlines and stories did you “get”?  “Outsider” content is the opposite of all of those things.  The future of copyright law and UCG is the future of managing that insider/outsider boundary:  Where is it, who gets to decide, and how?

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