"The Internet isn't free"
But can a system be implemented to charge users for access to specific content be implemented without killing what the internet is about? I don't think so. The Internet has survived and thrived because of its universal freedom from any restrictions, even legal ones. There has been a lot of questions about legal issues pertaining to the Internet such as taxes, privacy rights, and more.
Wikipedia, the Internet's Free Encyclopedia, defines Internet as "the worldwide, publicly accessible system of interconnected computer networks that transmit data by packet switching using the standard Internet Protocol (IP). It consists of millions of smaller business, academic, domestic, and government networks, which together carry various information and services, such as electronic mail, online chat, and the interlinked Web pages and other documents of the World Wide Web."
The International Herald Tribune conducted a digital dialogue on these issues with Tim Berners-Lee, the man who helped establish the programming language of the Web in 1989 with colleagues at CERN, the European science institute. An abbreviated dialogue can be found here and the full transcript of the dialogue can be found here.
As internet users, what do you think about this? How would instituting a fee-based system affect how you use the Internet? Do you think that a free Internet could co-exist with a fee-based one?
I for one am fearful of the changes some companies and politicians are proposing to the internet but only time will tell what happens.