The importance of online trust and public interest considerations

The phenomenon of collaborative online consumption depends on evolving networks of online trust which develop in a non-linear fashion. Communities (both offline and online) are powerful vehicles for building trust. The question is - can new ways of mobilising trust supplant the copyright system? Could a trust renaissance replace copyright?

Trust between application developers and platform providers will certainly be of paramount importance. Application developers need to trust the platform providers to deliver payment. In addition, in the context of digital platforms the era of scarce shelf space has been supplanted by abundance, availability and (in theory) limitless storage capacity.

The question was posed – what happens to the public interest and non-commercial values in a context where monetisation and market value are the key drivers? It was argued that a worst case future scenario would be one where neither top down regulatory structures or industry self-regulation approaches are effective, producing a regulatory vacuum where the law of the jungle prevails.

It was also commented that the new information environment will be the sponsor of several waves of creative destruction with established industries (such as the publishing industry) being replaced by other new industry players (Amazon….etc).