Founder's comments on the Web no surprise

It is no surprise that world wide web founder, Tim Berners-Lee, is not happy with advertising content and 'snooping' on the www.

The 'open and universal nature' of the Net was a founding principle which is currently under attack by governments and large media companies in an attempt to control the uncontrollable, what one commentator suggested was government 'with a finger in the dyke'.

But many 'media communications' industry players are struggling to find a business model that captures the power of the Net. Google, Facebook and Twitter have certainly captured the participant market, but it remains to be seen whether an adequate Net business model is achievable, or whether it will continue to complement other industries, products and services.

One of the major issues for web content providers is that often their content is used for others' commercial purposes, with no benefits accruing to the developer. Where user-generated content (UGC) does occur, it tends to be restricted to the area of popular culture or the provision of commercial content to traditional producers for free (see Ornebring 2008).

There are implications for communications policy here: the process occurs in the domain of government and dominant businesses, working to exclude (or at least pay lip service to) citizens, interest groups and industry bodies from the policy process (see ASTRA 2004). In effect, this is placing limitations on the 'open and universal' principles upon which the WWW was formed.


Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA) (2004) Submission to the ‘2004 Digital Television Reviews - 2nd, 3rd & 4th Review’, December.

Ornebring, H. (2008) ‘The Consumer as Producer – of What? User-generated tabloid content in The Sun (UK) and Aftonbladet (Sweden)’. Journalism Studies, Vol. 9, No. 5, October: 771 – 785.