Elizabethan theaters and the Internet

In an opinion piece for the New York Times, Scott Turow, Paul Aiken and James Shapiro ponder the connection between “cultural paywalls,” public playhouses, and the free sharing of creative content on the Internet.

In the 16th century, English entrepreneurs began to build a series of theaters in London which were open to the public - for a price. This led to a proliferation of creative playwriting unequaled in centuries: Shakespeare, Marlow, and others. In their article, Turow, Aiken and Shapiro wonder if this "link between commerce and culture" isn't akin to Internet sharing, closed down by copyright issues, and "cultural paywalls," closed down by an oppressive 17th century British government.