Content Ownership in the Age of Cloud Computing

It really disturbs me that services like Google and Facebook are trying to own content hosted on their sites. Until a couple years ago, I didn’t see Google as a media company, despite its market share. It was a traffic director– and could easily be replaced by a better search engine, if one should arise. But now, the age of cloud computing, it is a content company, although its business structure is completely different from legacy media in that the content in user-generated…. For the user, it’s great to have free technology to store/publish content, but what will be the price when they claim entire ownership? For instance, Facebook is trying to hold back the content on its site, as can be seen in its scuffle with Power.com. This is just the beginning.

By using free services (or even paid services that are web-based) we are storing so much information in the web “cloud.” Most of my life in the past few years can be found somewhere in this cyber storage– email, blog(s), etc. All of this information about me is, this content, is mine, yet according to much of the terms of service of websites that offer free storage, it is not legally mine.

Information from my early life, however, are in the form of paper journals, VHS home video tapes, betamax video tapes, fading photographs, cassette tapes with recordings of phone conversations, home DJ-ing….

For babies born now, how much of their legacy will be analog? How much of myself am I “sacrificing” for web representation and how ironic is it that I have to give away more of myself in order to make a clearer definition of my identity?

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