Innovation has been a serial killer in the information industry since the advent of the telephone doomed the telegraph. Great advances in communications technology herald the start of new industries, but the history of such breakthroughs shows a cycle of fragmentation followed by concentration, followed by another breakthrough and another splintered set of small companies chasing that innovation’s promise. The Internet may defy this cycle. Whether control of the web will consolidate or remain diffuse remains to be seen. However, historic patterns suggest that today’s major Internet companies may become part of larger media empires, thus centralizing control of online content. Columbia University professor Tim Wu offers a rich saga tracing the evolution of telecommunications industries, technology and regulations and explains what these patterns portend. He says policy makers must limit corporate control of the web because open online information is essential to society. getAbstract recommends Wu’s book to readers interested in the future of the information industry and its centerpiece, the Internet.
About the Author
Tim Wu is an author, a policy advocate and a professor at Columbia University.
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