On the back of 2 exemplary articles from sketchMedia earlier this week (article 1, article 2), I feel it's important to ask the question on the direction the Internet is going.
With the MPAA, RIAA and various other organisations suing people left, right and centre for the sharing of information over the Internet, and other individuals suing people for the uploading of their somehow private videos that were shared at least once so that someone else could have uploaded them. How can we enter an era of data interchange formats such as XML, if people are going to sue when that information is used elsewhere?
We already have a real life example in the form of RSS files. Webmasters place entire blog stories into RSS files which allows others to publish that story wherever, and even Google will give your story less weight in the search engine ranking if it finds the same story elsewhere. Does this seem fair? Clearly it is wrong to plagiarise or even copy the post verbatim. However, one thing I'm sure we've all learnt is that you can't release something and have people use it only for the innocent side of things.
I personally believe that in order to change the way the Internet works in the sense of the data sharing, we have to change society's way of thinking about sharing. For instance, how will Google know which article is the original? It could detect which article came first, but there is absolutely no sure-fire way to determine that. Basing it on the order in which you find the articles is certainly not a determing factor, and the only other way is to extract the date from the server - considering it's not been tampered with.
One factor that I can see many organisations making a big fuss over is you can effectively oust the middle-man. Alexa for one offers an API to use the data available on their website, but unless they begin charging to actually view their web-page, with an HTML 5 website, most people could extract that data in the blink of an eye - certainly much quicker than you can with the current 4.01.
In my eyes, it's never going to happen as smoothly as people want it to. A hell of a lot of minds have to be changed before you can begin taking that route. In admission, it would lovely to see - the entire Internet sharing data to further society, though to be fair, I can't see it happening without a lot of arguing going on, and even more court hearings.
The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out.