The only law is the outlaw

It is not something shocking, but we have to face it that the internet is the largest anarchy in the world. Or maybe that’s just it, it is not ‘in’ the world, but expands beyond the physical boundaries. We are still colonizing this virtual space, and it is still the terrains of the outlaws, where rules are created but do not hang on.

Take the international copyright-laws. Who is going to actually arrest people for breaking those laws? I am a big promoter of copyright, especially since I am creating a lot of creative productions myself and when someone uses it, I would like to be compensated for it. And technically, it is not too difficult to uphold those laws; as long as you know who the person is who actually made the original copy and shared in on the internet.

But it is not even that. It is viruses, phishing, disturbing behavior, illegal content and breaking in everywhere. If you hook your computer up to the internet I thought it was now an average time of 2,5 minute before the first port-sniffer already checks your computer.

Everywhere around the world governments and legal companies try to create some order in this virtual world, but the problem is; where is it? Who can actually set up any laws? Although I am so pro copyright, who ever is upholding those laws on the web? Is that a chosen official on the web too? Are these laws not country-oriented while the internet surpasses those boundaries? Or, in other words; I think that what is needed is a very simple thing; let’s treat the internet as it’s own geographical location. Including police, government and laws.

Of course this might sound like being against the ‘laws’ (or the lack thereof) on the web, but let’s be honest here, history has proven time and again that mankind is not able to live in an anarchy-state without problems. It is good for the bad, but bad for the good. Hackers that steal money are also p*ssed if their stolen money is stolen from them too.

Back when I was younger, I played Dungeons & Dragons with my friends on Sunday nights. And I tried to play a so-called chaotic-evil character once, which is a character that really only thinks about him or herself. I was warned that this was a very difficult kind of thing to play, because it is difficult not to live according any laws. For example;

A hacker steals money so that he can use this money to buy stuff.  But this is already a wrong perception of anarchy; why legally buy things with money. Why is the buying part of this transaction suddenly legal. It does not make sense.

Someone is illegally downloading music to put on an expensive, legally bought iPod. People download illegally games to run on their $4,000 computers that they just have bought.

Do you get my point here? It does not make sense. I have read the response once on an IT site from a kid who downloaded his illegal music in massive amounts. His response was that if he had to buy all the music to fit on his iPod, it would cost him $10,000 and he did not have that money.

This is what I mean, it is not so much that there are no laws, but there is no-one to enforce them. And even if the ‘criminal’ is caught, the cat-and-mouse game of physical location of servers can throw anything off balance.

No, my idea is to start something like a governing environment online. Not maintained by countries, since the internet is not physically bound to any. A whole new thing, that not only upholds the laws, but also teaches. It gives everyone a real identity, like a passport. If treated like this, suddenly complete new business models for the music and entertainment industry might rise up, that are profitable for both the producers as the consumers.

Concepts like these are not new. In the late 20th century Swiss watch maker Swatch already introduced internet Time, that for anyone on the web was exactly the same.

Of course, everything sounds easy… but like the wild west a couple of hundred years ago… it takes time to get rid of the idea that the only law is the outlaw. But be patient, it is bound to happen, and there is a lot of money to be made then… probably a lot more than there is right now.


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