"Tax" the internet? How's that supposed to work?

Yahoo! has this feature that let's you put news-type blocks on the front page of your My Yahoo! page. Until today, ZDnet was occupied a five-line block on my page. Then I read this article by Lance Ulanoff.

PC Magazine, ZDNet, can we talk? I know I'm nobody; I don't rank in the Top Anything on these here Internets, but I am one of the "consumers" that Mr. Ulanoff speaks of. I do not think everything should be free. I do not think the Web is some Wild West of the technologically clued-in. And if you're stupid enough to employ someone who publically rails in generalities like Mr. Ulanoff, then I will stop consuming your ad-funded "free" content.

Since the dot com boom and bust cycles began, pundits and soothsayers have been raving about the need to "tax" the Internet. No one knows how to do this, of course, but they know it's somehow "right" to do. There's no real need to do so either; there aren't any starving, homeless web admins we need to care for, but somehow, somewhere, someone is missing out on a lot of revenue, I mean, money due to them.

Mr. Ulanoff plays the 321 studios card (again) as so many other clueless opinion writers have. DVD Xcopy was not a program that "depended on illegal activity", anymore than Sony relied on illegal activity for their VCR business oh so many years ago. This agrument that, since some illegal activity is possible with a product, all uses of the prodcut should be illegal is tired beyond words. If your writers don't "get it", you need new writers.

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