I can’t help thinking that what is happening with Wikileaks and the strident opposition Julian Assange and his cohorts are enduring from governments around the world is a significant moment in history.
While the traditional press have been fretting about copyright and free distribution affecting their business models a much bigger threat has been bubbling up via the Wikileaks model.
It seems to me that Wikileaks is to journalism what Napster was to the music industry.
Sure, Napster was shutdown, but only after interrupting an entire industry and spawning many copycats, some of whom still exist today. The damage was done and the music industry will never be the same again. Out of the ashes rose legitimate business models for easily buying music online, such as iTunes.
Will Wikileaks, which apparently intends to go down fighting despite extraordinary international Government and corporate pressure, lead to a reinvention of journalism? Or will it lead to massive censorship of the Internet with governments using Wikileaks as an example of it’s potential threat to national security?
Today during the Media Panel at LeWeb ’10 in Paris, France, Weblogs SL’s Julio Alonso said, “This is a turning point for the Internet — it’s not just about WikiLeaks anymore. What happens to WikiLeaks will get applied to others later on.”
“This is the first attempt at censorship of the Internet by all the governments of the planet,” Wikio’s Pierre Chappaz added. “Despite all the attacks, I’m optimistic that the information will survive,” he added.
“We have to speak about what’s happening,” Chappaz said. ”I’m amazed by the silence of the traditional media. This is a systematic attack. We have to explain to the traditional media. The stakes are about the free press,” he continued.
Techmeme’s Gabe Rivera added that the leakers aren’t going to lose this war. He cited mirror sites, Twitter accounts, Facebook messages, and all kinds of things that keep popping up to continue the data spread. “The leakers will win,” he said.
And if that’s the case it would seem that this style of journalism will become the new normal. As with the music industry, business models will change and new leaders will emerge.
Interesting times for sure.
Excellent post by Mark Pesce – WikiLeaks a blueprint for things to come
from SMH: GetUp gets behind Julian Assange