In governing the internet, a few different approaches are taken. The main approach is my regulation and protection of the infrastructure of the system. Ensuring the system’s stability and connectivity is often a joint effort between the government and companies who own the networks. Yet the internet is often viewed as a public domain – a global communication system made for public use. This prohibits total governmental control.
Questions are raised where the line between government control and user freedom lies. The real regulation lies in the code of the internet. The internet gateways such as Google manage and control which sites are discovered and which users are directed to. The way that users no use the internet requires develops to work to direct them in specific directions – often with ulterior motives in mind. Media policy in general has adapted and changed ever since modern media began to influence everyday culture. This regulation is often hard to translate into an internet regulation.
Because it is a such a different medium, controlling it the same way as other forms of media isn’t possible. Intellectual property and copyright laws are working to adapt to an online form of media. This however has become more and more complex given that the internet is more of a collaborative environment.
Questions about which ideas are original and which are not become raised in this form of media. Global enforcement of policies has increased but if not every nation follows these rules, then what’s the point. Sanctions for using copyrighted work in an online environment are in place but can be very complex.
At the end of the day, governments will need to decide the differences between traditional forms of media and their protection and new media and its impact on intellectual property while still encouraging a collaborative knowledge economy.
The question of intellectual property and regulation of new media is a constant debate. As new mediums are introduced, the laws will need to adapt. Supporting a global knowledge economy while still regulating information sharing becomes a challenge.
Using the laws of traditional media to regulate new media fails to be effective. These laws will constantly have to change and regulation becomes a challenge as more innovation occurs.