It has to be some kind of phallacy. Talking with some copyright maximalist I found the following statment when mocking people protesting against tougher copyright proposals: “I’ve heard this same complains for years and Internet never got destroyed as they claim”. This, however, is untrue.
For many years many of us have seen laws pass that have damaged the Internet as it was and could have develop. The thing is that the Internet, by definition, keeps working under the new rules, so a change will change the outcome and pure definition of the Internet itself thus hindering the potential development of the Net.
Yes, the Internet remains, we know, but not the way it could have been. The nature of the Internet has been already been corrupted but we can’t know how much or in which way. Simply put, we have not idea of all that could have develop should we have had a more reasonable copyright policy.
Let’s put an example that, at least, got some study years ago, and was the influence of copyright extensions over time. The amount of new creations decreased dramatically as contemporary works got locked behing the continuous copyright protection extensions. This has been measured with hight difficulty but gets no visibility although should be something creators should worry a lot about.
When legislating to artificially protect the short term revenue of industries unable to adapt at the pace of technology be sure there’ll be a permanent damage to the Internet and this is because this has already happened. The Internet we have today is not what it should have been. The Internet we’ll have tomorroy might be called Internet too, but will be something way to different from what it could have been.