Week 3: Cultural (etc.) Perspectives

O. Prelude: This is of Your Interest

Thank you everyone who answered the Quiz on your interests! These themes are of the most interest to you:

  1. Media Policy (I would call this the macro, societal level)
  2. Strategic Communication (I would call this the meso, organizational, level — social media governance plans of companies, and the like).
  3. The United Nations (I would call this the macro level as well. Many Internet Governance issues are discussed under the UN-facilitated mechanisms such as the Internet Governance Forum.

Here are some issues that you find pressing (and trust me, we will discuss them):

How we can regulate the use of social media in regard to politics.
Social Media, because it generates and disseminates information…sometimes even without fact checking
Building relationship with others, in terms of the relationship between media governors and audience, and stakeholders.
Regulating/penalizing the creation and distribution of “fake news.”
Cyber Security and Media Responsibility. What a great time to take this course, with current events pertaining to these issues unraveling before our eyes.
And even (and this should evoke some debate, I presume):
No governance needed.

The wishes from this course range from I just need to graduate (OK, you know what to do! Minimum is only the MT (70% correct) and the final and 7 weekly assignments…)  to I wish to pass this course with an “A” to retain my 4.0 GPA (OK, you know what to do!  For an A the MT, the Final and  11 weekly assignments). You also wish for weekly reminder emails, and that you will get.

You, and others: I hope this course will give you an overview of regulation as governance; governance in organizations (self-regulation, e.g., a company’s social media plan); and self-governance by individuals (what to post, for example, online; what security measures to take, and so on).

The next step is to look at governance, the power, form a cultural perspective.

 

1. Not only Legal or Regulatory: The Socio-Cultural Dimensions of Governance

Media policies and surrounding politics, policy-making, and regulation often get examined via empirical analyses by political scientists,  media economists, and legal scholars.  But politics, policy- and law-making are not separate from cultural values and contexts.  In addition, governance is also always about power. Many scholars and other thinkers are looking at the power dynamics between different interest groups of mediated/communication and power from a cultural perspective. Here are some broader frameworks/perspectives:

Context #1: Cultural Flows

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The core idea of cultural flows is founded on theorization around globalization. It’s partly economic (how media products = ideas travel around the world) but also how cultures change because of that (the key thinker, Arjun Appadurai, is an anthropologist after all). The political scientists Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart have looked at different theories of the impact of global cultural flows (they call it Cosmopolitan Communication) and map them as follows (summary below by the media anthropologist John Postill) :

1) Convergence of national cultures around Western values (LA effect): cultural imperialism/Americanization thesis (we all know this: some call it Disneyification);

2) Polarization of national cultures (Taliban effect): people can resist and reject alien media messages and values;

3) Fusion of national cultures (Bangalore effect): hybridity, multidirectional flows prevail (think of world music, for instance);

4) Firewall model of conditional effects (authors’ proposed theory), i.e. national cultures are far better insulated from the impact of cosmopolitan communication than previously thought (letting in content/values that is easily acceptable, leaving other things out).

What does the above has to do with media governance? Culture defines what is tolerated, accepted, supported. 

Context #2: Technology

Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 6.01.51 PM

Global communication flows are naturally related to technology that allows quicker, faster, more borderless flows than ever before. In addition, local/national cultures change from within; power dynamics change. No longer do we live in the era of mass communication, dominated by few media outlets and corporations. Instead, we are in the middle of the culture of convergence, as Henry Jenkins (also the author of one of W3 readings) explains below:

Jenkins’ chapter highlights what first happened when the mass media logic (and regulation) meets the unleashed creative power of people.

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Source: http://www.designingforcivilsociety.org/2008/03/we-cant-do-that.html

Changes in Governance

The above changes are intertwined and have broader consequences. In other words, as insinuated last week, cultures have changed, and aspects of media governance with them.

2. Categorizing the Issues

While your answers for Week 2 are still coming in, let me try to sum up the core axes of governance we have discussed so far; in terms of “old” / “legacy” / “mass” media vis-a-vis digital media landscape.

This may be a crude simplification but it is an effort to express the overall picture by adding on to the basic analytical axes we have discussed.

Mass Media Era – Defining Concept for Governance is Diversity; the core focus is media organizations

  Macro Meso Micro
Local Lack of policy support for localism (news) Journalistic organizations (*: Lack of diversity in local media (classic case: standardized format radios taking over community –orientated radios) Underserved, underrepresented citizens
National Lack of policy support for diversity (deregulation, ownership concentration). Journalistic: Intensified competition with same/similar content

Harmful advertising

Underserved, underrepresented citizens/ voices/issues
Global “Americanization/ Westernization” of the global media landscape. Rise of copyright regimes to support the media as products. Journalistic: Dominance of global media conglomerates, based in the Global South.

Harmful advertising/ cultural differences

Underserved, under-

or misrepresented voices/issues,

both locally as well as in international news

(* In the mass media era, when most communication was by “professionals” — whether journalists or PR professionals — the organizational dimension was really about those fields.

Digital Era – Defining Concept for Governance is Access (to technology, to free expression) vs. Safety; the core focus is nations vs. citizens

  Macro Meso Micro
Local Lack of policy support for local services (e.g. broadband access to areas that are not commercially viable). Affordability (lack of) of services in remote locations Underserved citizens – you need online connections for everything
National Re-emergence of state control over communication – restrictions of freedom of expression; misinformation; surveillance “Intermediary liability” – global platforms interacting with national government – and Net neutrality

Private vs. public media presence of individuals

Underserved, underrepresented citizens/voices/issues. National filter bubbles.

Digital unsafety

Global Platform Imperialism; restrictions of freedom of expression; misinformation and information warfare; surveillance “Intermediary liability” – global platforms interacting with national government – and Net neutrality.

Private vs. public media presence of individuals

Underserved, underrepresented citizens/voices/issues. Global filter bubbles and fake news; info wars.

Digital unsafety

Food for thought: Do you agree? What would you change or add? Please comment below if you have suggestions – omissions, additions, other criticism?

Socio-Cultural Diversity?

Content diversity is classic issue where culture/s meet the need for governance.

Your reading on Race, Media and Civil Society (W3, Dropbox) is almost two decades old but describes a phenomenon that is not solely legal, but embedded in socio-cultural inequalities. These can be addressed with laws and regulation. One of the most impressive, and classic, case was fought by my former colleague at Fordham University, Rev. Everett Parker. (He passed away over a year ago.) He filed a successful petition to deny licensing renewal of television station WLBT in Jackson, Mississippi in the 1960s because the station had a poor record with regards to civil rights for African Americans:

One of the most everlasting, and global, themes is gender diversity (or the lack thereof)  in media portrayals. And by everlasting, I mean — literally. The Global Media Monitoring – Who Makes the News project was coined for the 1995 UN Beijing World Conference on Women. It started with some 70 countries where journalists, scholars, and activists monitored news for a day. The research has since become the largest longitudinal research effort with over 100 countries participating – but its main purpose is to inform policy-making (and it’s always featured at the UN session of the Commission on the Status of Women). The coordinating advocacy organization is WACC.

The 2015 results show that little has changed and the online world hasn’t really made a difference. Just one of the facts that doesn’t seem to change: only 20% of experts in the news are women. Even the Nordic countries, the flagships of equality policies, do not fare any better than other countries in the world

In the enlightened online world, where everyone can participate freely, this problem shouldn’t exist. Or, maybe in conventional news sites, but not in most digital platforms?

You guessed it: Wrong.

Perhaps the most blatant case, the one you probably have heard of, is that of Anita Sarkeesian. She’s a gamer-activist who has begun to review video games from a feminist perspective. Her observation is that gender roles and portrayals in games are severely stereotypical:

This may sound like an obvious statement. One may also dismiss this as silly complaint: She’s talking about gaming, not the news. However, the rape, bomb, and death threats Sarkeesian constantly receives because of her vlog on gaming are very real and vicious. There are also hundreds and hundreds of YouTube videos mocking her. Her experiences are shared with many women journalists who publish online.

These are just some examples. Issues related to gender are plentiful, including employment.

The Old and New World Meet, and Clash

I will leave you with an example that I find to be the most poignant about the clash of the governance of mass media and digital media era: the Pirate Bay and the Pirate Party. The former is a Sweden-run torrent (file-sharing) site, the latter a movement – that became a network of political parties – based on the free sharing ethos of online world.

If you only can, I suggest you take time from your busy schedules to screen this documentary in full.

It shows many interesting aspects of the changing media landscapes and the culturally-based ideas of ownership, open access, sharing, and free expression; and how technologically savvy individuals can affect and upset big media. It also shows how media governance has had a hard time to keep up with the changing landscape, and values.

Assignment:

Please take a look at the readings for this week, marked with W3 (Jenkins = the chapter in the Social Media Reader titled “Quentin Tarantino’s Star Wars”. It  will help you with this assignment.)

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Please do some research on the Case Pirate Bay — and what kind of “cultures” the two sides of the conflict reflect. Think about the dimensions – axes we have discussed. There is plenty of material on PP online, also more recent than the case in the documentary.

As noted, cases like PP are defining governance in the digital media era. And governance reflects cultural changes. A thought experiment in which you are asked to take a side:

  • PRO Pirate Bay: If your FIRST name starts with A-I you will explain, and defend, the “culture” and practices of PP. Perhaps you want to link PP to another field, case, application, in which their culture and practices would also apply to (and be useful). Write a paragraph or so; as a comment below.
  • AGAINST Pirate Bay: If your FIRST name starts with J-Z you will explain, and defend, the “culture” and practices of those who are against PP. Why are PP’s actions wrong? Why are they harmful? Perhaps you want to link PP to another field, case, application, in which their culture and practices would also apply to (and be harmful).

Post below as a comment.

Start your comment with the word PRO or AGAINST (easier for us to map different views).

Due 2/10 at at 11:59pm.

 

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26 thoughts on “Week 3: Cultural (etc.) Perspectives

  1. PRO
    We live in a capitalist economy,not only governments and Internet organizations pay attention to this issue, more and more individual also begins to choose their side of “culture”. By prioritizing making a profit versus freely sharing content and ideas through platforms such as Pirate Bay, we as a society limit the flow of knowledge and communication, the freedom of expression, and the chance expand and infuse cultures. Having extensive copyright laws cause people to be constantly at the mercy of copyright holders, subjecting them to lawsuits over things that seem like no big deal.
    The main conflict of the PP case is between copyright and freedom of speech. As an Internet user, I prefer to defend the “culture” that Pirate Party holds. Despite years of persecution, Pirate Bay site continues to disobey copyright laws worldwide. Even both the founders of The Pirate Bay (TPB) file exchange service were arrested by the authorities and are in prison, but their pirated content exchange continues to receive millions of unique visitors daily. Since mass media, to some extent, promotes individual’s free expression, the existing dilemma in digital era is more obvious than before. Should copyright be allowed to override speech rights? My answer is “No”. For example, Music is not a property right, or we wouldn’t need copyright laws because property laws would be enough. Today’s music monopoly hinders innovation. It prohibits people from speaking their minds. The copyright monopoly goes against the postal secret, the rights of reporters to protect their sources, and the freedom of expression. Many people started realizing what was happening when the British record industry association sued the largest Irish Internet service provider for the right to install wiretap equipment in their core switches. We’re talking about a private industry commanding to wiretap the entire population without any suspicion just because they entitled to. That’s when you realize how at odds civil liberties are with this monopoly regime.
    We can purchase an album on iTunes and burn that album as many times as they would like in order to redistribute to whomever they may wish. And there was once upon a time, before the invention of the DVR, someone could record a show or movie on VHS and once again redistribute that as many times as they would like (piracy was still an issue during this time).

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    1. VERY smart examples! You add the issue of civil liberties here; and indeed the PB claims they are merely a platform, shutting them down would be a breach of freedom of expression. The masterminds behind PB are a part of the early Internet euphoria of being capable of plenty, and sharing a sharing ethics — somewhat deviant from the mainstream understanding of copyrights and -wrongs. In the documentary, you can see the mass media era Hollywood and this digital era hacker culture crash.

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  2. The controversy behind the culture and practices of PP are a battle of old vs new. This is a class of the Mass Media Era vs the Digital Era. In the documentary “TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard,” one of Pirate Bay’s co-founder, Peter Sunde explains how the copyright industry is “digging a grave for the internet… the problem is that old people are running the companies. They know how they made money before and don’t want to change. They’re like Amish, they don’t want electricity. They don’t know how to make without electricity.” I firmly believe PP and the collaborationists movements allow for creativity to thrive and it gives an opportunity for the powerless to progress in the digital world. For example, when AtomFilms launched the Star Wars contest in 2003 it attracted many aspiring filmmakers and it created a platform for fans/filmmakers to become noticed and earn their “big break.” Kevin Rubio, an aspiring filmmaker got his big break when his 10 minute, $1,200 Star Wars spoof film gained attention and he eventually was hired Star Wars creator George Lucas.

    Professor Roger Wallis who testified during the trial proceedings and defended the Pirate Bay founders, explains how file sharing can be a positive thing in the world. Wallis explains his support for copyrights only if they encourage creativity and economic terms are provided as an incentive to create. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA), Jenkins states that American intellectual property has been rewritten to benefit the mass media producers. The DMCA disregards economic incentives for artists and protects the economic investments media corporations made in branded entertainment. This act slows down the circulation of creativity as their is little or no incentive for the artist. The DMCA moves “away from the ideal of cultural commons and toward the ideal of intellectual property. (Mandiberg, 2012).

    There has been many other “Pirate Party movements” in the field of intellectual property reform activism, some of these movements include the Access to Knowledge Movement, Anti-Copyright, Cultural Environmentalism, The Free Culture Movement and the Free Software Movement. Movements like the latter, MMORPG’s and and George Lucas’ acceptance of fan participation in the creation of culture is key to coming out on top in this battle of old vs new. Prohibitionists or the media industries must learn to adapt to this new collaborationists model or risk falling behind in this ever-changing media atmosphere where the marginals are beginning to come on top.

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  3. PRO

    The controversy behind the culture and practices of PP are a battle of old vs new. This is a class of the Mass Media Era vs the Digital Era. In the documentary “TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard,” one of Pirate Bay’s co-founder, Peter Sunde explains how the copyright industry is “digging a grave for the internet… the problem is that old people are running the companies. They know how they made money before and don’t want to change. They’re like Amish, they don’t want electricity. They don’t know how to make without electricity.” I firmly believe PP and the collaborationists movements allow for creativity to thrive and it gives an opportunity for the powerless to progress in the digital world. For example, when AtomFilms launched the Star Wars contest in 2003 it attracted many aspiring filmmakers and it created a platform for fans/filmmakers to become noticed and earn their “big break.” Kevin Rubio, an aspiring filmmaker got his big break when his 10 minute, $1,200 Star Wars spoof film gained attention and he eventually was hired Star Wars creator George Lucas.

    Professor Roger Wallis who testified during the trial proceedings and defended the Pirate Bay founders, explains how file sharing can be a positive thing in the world. Wallis explains his support for copyrights only if they encourage creativity and economic terms are provided as an incentive to create.

    Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA), Jenkins states that American intellectual property has been rewritten to benefit the mass media producers. The DMCA disregards economic incentives for artists and protects the economic investments media corporations made in branded entertainment. This act slows down the circulation of creativity as their is little or no incentive for the artist. The DMCA moves “away from the ideal of cultural commons and toward the ideal of intellectual property. (Mandiberg, 2012).

    There has been many other “Pirate Party movements” in the field of intellectual property reform activism, some of these movements include the Access to Knowledge Movement, Anti-Copyright, Cultural Environmentalism, The Free Culture Movement and the Free Software Movement. Movements like the latter, MMORPG’s and and George Lucas’ acceptance of fan participation in the creation of culture is key to coming out on top in this battle of old vs new. Prohibitionists or the media industries must learn to adapt to this new collaborationists model or risk falling behind in this ever-changing media atmosphere where the marginals are starting to come on top.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for this detailed analysis! You showcased very well that 1) you had explored the material and 2) you had processed it into your own thoughtful analysis. I especially appreciate you highlighting PB as a part of loosely (culturally?) connected activism/movements. This is what I’m talking about! Keep this up!

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    2. Indeed, they just do not want to change it because this is the most comfortable way for them to easily earn large amount of money. As many elites do not want an economic reform, the reform of copyright law and the challenge the Internet has newly brought make them anxious. They do not want to accept the change, even though there is a possibility that they will become increasingly rich through the change because they have more resources than others in this field. However, the future will belong to the next generation eventually, though it is only a matter of time.

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  4. (Pro Pirate Bay)

    The most well-known and successful peer-to-peer file sharing facilitator known as Pirate Bay, has shattered preconceived notions of “virtual sharing”. A modern phenomenon that flooded online communities across the globe, Pirate Bay single-handedly pushed the boundaries and culture of Internet file-sharing forward. In an age where millennials act as the experts of cyberspace, a site like Pirate Bay inspires a generation to share ideas. Therefore, culture is furthered through a positive and safe medium.
    This sharing of ideas has become a staple in an emerging digital era, which is quickly becoming more and more difficult to regulate. In fact, the debate between file-sharing and intellectual property stands as one of media governance’s biggest challenge. Subsequently, the Pirate Party was created in 2006. It acts as a political think tank of sorts, which voices support of copyright reform, information privacy, freedom of information and the free sharing of knowledge. The Pirate Party has grown exponentially since its inception, spreading to over 40 countries. The cultural movement associated with the Pirate Party is significant in many ways. For example, the foundation of the Internet was built on the idea of “sharing”. This sense of a virtual community has brought people from opposites sides of the world together like never before. It allows and even encourages cultural diversification through simple data transactions. It is also ironic that the movement has been pushed through a virtual medium, going viral on blogs, forums and websites.
    Back in 2009, Pirate Bay founders Gottfrid Warg and Peter Sunde were issued prison sentences and $7 million in fines after a Swedish court ruled that they were guilty of copyright infringements. Shortly after this edict, the founders went into hiding. During their absence, a debate for the ages would ensue. Ethics, media governance and the future of Internet file sharing stood at the center of the debate. In late 2014, arrests were made to Pirate Bay founders, signaling a bleak future to the culture of file-sharing and virtual freedom of expression. Despite the restricting nature of copyright and intellectual property laws, freedom and creativity continue to flourish through services like Pirate Bay, which hosts thousands of unique users per day.

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    1. PP is dong pretty well especially in Sweden and Germany, almost as the new “green party” for the digital era. Peter Sunde, the most “mainstream”, and ideological, of the guys behind PB, has tried the hardest in making conventional politics work -i.e., to mainstream some of the PB principles of free culture. That said, not all sharing is good, in his opinion (I guess time changes cultures and innovations take better, or worse, shapes): http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/27/peter-sunde-pirate-bay-co-founder-mark-zuckerberg-/ *** People in the tech industry have a lot of responsibilities but they never really discuss these things,” Mr. Sunde said. “Facebook is the biggest nation in the world and we have a dictator, if you look at it from a democracy standpoint, Mark Zuckerberg is a dictator. I did not elect him. He sets the rules.

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  5. PRO

    Let us make it clear, the core issue in this case is about copyright. Is copy right a problem? Never, the problem is current copy right. When copyright laws came out, there was no Internet existed. The original goal of these laws were used for protecting authors’ interests. However, now actually, most of their function is used for maintaining big companies’ profits. Namely, the purpose that encourages creation has been changed into safeguarding monopolization.

    When these companies defend their profits, they usually mention intellectual property right. For god’s sake, they do not care about it at all, because the only thing they care about is how to make more profits even though there are merely few people are richer than them in the world. They do not need millions dollars for compensation, but shut down their only obstacle—Pirate Bay. In fact, current copy right limits the spread of knowledge, while a creative thing should be shared to anyone for a better world. Knowledge is an inclusive asset rather than an exclusive asset, which means more people hold it are better. For interests, they can figure out hundreds of other ways, but not limit the spread of knowledge.

    From traditional mass media era to digital media era, copy right itself should be considered in a different way. Perhaps it is the time to change the old-fashioned laws, which do not fit the current demand any more. Internet offers a space for these people who dream have a more ideal world, they can not only make a voice here but also implement an action as long as enough people support it. That is the real democracy, and it is the popular trend of the future. Like the changing power relationships diagram illustrates, the audience is no longer just the audience. Similar to Bitcoin and the Internet Archive but not only them, more revolutionary things will be created soon and change the world again and again undoubtedly. Why did they build this website? Like these founders said,”The Pirate Bay is a long-running project of performance art”. What such an interesting answer it is, how can you say no to it?

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    1. “Current copyrights limit the spread of knowledge” – many say that about higher ed (and its hefty tuitions) as well. Also, this aspect of tongue-in-cheek ethos of many forms of digital activity (PB as performance art…) All in all. such a well-rounded comment! Kudos for linking PP/PB to Bitcoin (you all will hear more next week; you are exempt from that assignment 🙂 ) and the Internet Archive!

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  6. PRO

    Here in 2017 we have quite the sense of transparency and If you ask me copyright is the least of our issues. Pirate parties have established themselves all over the world supporting the free sharing of knowledge. Pirate Bay helped these people connect their files. The distribution of knowledge should be promoted rather than be condemned. The Swedish master minds behind the Pirate Bay fought for themselves and for the creativity of artists. Against the system, they promote seeking culture in alternate ways. The founders themselves faced many legal issues along the way, their responses were always rather original. For example by sending back a picture of a polar bear back to a company suing them for “more money printed on this planet” they express their lack of interest in such legalities. They were being sued for laws that were written before the Internet existed by companies who were not protecting the artists interest but rather their own, I mean how is that fair?! They were being sued for something they were not even directly doing, they were just the source of which such acts could be done. Which is why they would always respond to these legal sanctions with contact the person who downloaded it! As a non-profit organization, the Independent Film & Television Alliance believes in the same message. Though they ARE anti Piracy, they are against Hollywood’s monopolization of the creative industry. Pirate Bay faced a loss when held against in court by Hollywood but won because their website is still up and running. So go ahead, download away. If anyone has a problem with it, just send them back a picture of a koala or something, because the internet is a judgement free zone without proper governance laws set to stop you.

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    1. I guess you could see PB as anti-corporation activists, promoting a different kind of media governance order and “fighting” with atypical tools (online jokes, building the service back again, and again)… BONUS for your great example of http://www.ifta-online.org/ This would be more of a conventional 3rd sector non-profit. (It’s good to remember that PB IS making money and also allowing illegal content to be shared on its platform — so, in terms of stakeholders — week 4 — it is a rogue kind of organization that is hard to pin down. IFTA, in contrast, is clearly an advocacy organization that seeks to monitor the Hollywood system and take care of independent creatives via more conventional means.

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  7. AGAINST

    I definitely believe that those who agree with the Pirate Party are those who are the newer, digital generation. It’s easy to identify with them, because I’m a millennial myself, but I can also identify with those who wish to not have their intellectual property stolen and given away for free. It’s easy to dismiss the large corporations who probably won’t miss a few million dollars from it’s profits every year, but within those corporations there are the people who created that content and are absolutely devastated by the loss of their property.

    I do think that copyright needs to be reformed to better accommodate the ever changing web. Today, people of the world mostly support a culture of convergence. Being able to have access to art and media from countries thousands of miles away is appealing and rightfully so. However, at the end of the day, copyright laws were created to protect the creators of this content. At the end of the day, whether people like it or not, the rights of an artist are above whether or not you’re able to watch something for free online. People want copyright reform to include internet consumers today, which is valid, but until that day comes, we have to respect and uphold copyright laws because they protect the content that an artist has put love and labor into. As we transition deeper into a digital media era, we have to give laws room to catch up. But I believe intellectual property is intellectual property no matter what the platform is; just because it’s more readily available doesn’t mean it’s a free for all.

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    1. Thank you for referencing the GENERATIONAL gap here! Law Professor Lawrence Lessig, in his book Free Culture, notes how the US and other Western countries have increased copyright legislation in the past 120 years exponentially — when media became a mass product, and meant $$$$. At the same time, those laws support indie artists as well. The sharing culture of the Internet does advocate free sharing but is more hazy in terms of how creative industries should work.

      Great section on what you think should be reformed!

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    2. Well said Tiffany. Even though I was PRO Pirate Bay, I have to agree with you one thing. I understand that artists and content creators spend countless hours creating the things we love such as music, art, movies, books etc. It is certainly not fair for their work to be stolen or given away for free. However, I am certain that the “rebellion” created by Pirate Bay is against the corporations and not the artists. The corporations are the ones making the big bucks and in fact they are the ones who are almost giving away the creators’ property; they do this by the streaming and downloading. As you know, nowadays no one really buys movies, books or music, this is all streamed on YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, Itunes, Kindle, Amazon, Netflix and the list goes on. Just think about this: I pay $9.99 to be able to download as much music as I can through Apple Music, $9.99 is about how much one music album costs. Of course, artists get paid for the number of streams but the artists, authors, or actors only receive a small portion for their intellectual property. Many artists and content creators are against these large corporations and in fact favor piracy. The reasoning for this is because their property becomes viral faster which allows for artists to capitalize off touring, ticket sales, t-shirts and other merchandise. Just a thought !

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      1. Smart argumentation here, Alejandro! You convinced me 🙂 Your point about PB vs. BIG corporations is spot-on. Just think of the example of blockchain and its potential to cut labels as middlemen between fans and artists.

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  8. AGAINST (I guess…??)

    Piracy is wrong because it hurts capitalism, people want to make money. Piracy hurts that money and when it hurts their money they get very angry. Pirate Bay is harmful in this day and age because of the system that we live in where we need money to survive, people can’t share. How can we share when we are all in competition with each other? Our economic system gives certain people more power then others, so if they don’t like something they can sue someone and win a case just from having a great lawyer. We need to pay for everything, entertainment is not free, because if we don’t then people will come after us. If you try to change this system then they will come out to get you, no we don’t live in a democracy.

    We are suppose to live in a world where we can make money for generations off of one 2 minute song. We are suppose to live in a world where someone can get paid off of someone else’s talent. It’s the American Dream and Pirate Bay destroys that dream. Pirate Bay is communism for the Internet, I mean what is this an internet library or something? But no seriously free stuff does hurt the economy, I once saw a documentary called Poverty Inc., it’s on Netflix and it basically reveals that many charities that give to poor people are actually hurting the economy there in places like Haiti, where they are trying to make their own money but they can’t because they get all this free stuff from America and really these places that give away are just doing it for the own benefit. Well, I guess in that case is a bit flipped because it’s the rich are taking away business from the poor where as in this case the poor are taking business from the rich.

    Thats what these internet hackers do, they seem to target capitalism every chance they get. They are like missionaries for communism and anarchism. People never want to pay for anything why is that? Look at what the internet has done I mean it has even helped capitalism in someways thats sickly twisted. Last semester I interned at Fader and most of my job was pulling footage off Youtube using sites like KeepVid to use it videos, are they even allowed to do that? Many have argued that everything is a copy now-a-days as discussed in the documentary “Everything is a Remix”. The music industry and film industry are guilty of this, themselves. One of my favorite films, The Matrix was actually plagiarized.

    Luckily, Sophia Stewart did win her lawsuit against the Wachowski Brothers and Warner Bros because her work was copy written and she was well-versed in law. Sophia Stewart wrote the screenplay for the Matrix and the Terminator. I honestly thought that was horrible because here is this ordinary woman, she is not famous, most people do not even know who she is, and here comes this huge corporation stealing her work and making it into two legendary films that made over 100 billion dollars. There are many cases of copying in the music and film industry, too many to name. What happened to Sophia Stewart was a felony so they should have gone to jail but thanks to the system they were able to get around that. This case is actually very confusing and seems like Warner Bros. really tried to work around the case. It’s definitely interesting to look into but of course as you would suspect Warner Bros. and the Wachowski Brothers did not receive the full extent of the law. This case took seven years to complete but finally she did win it.

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    1. You are right, Nashira, but only partially… Your point about hackers challenging the capitalist regime as we knew it in the mass media era is a part of the mission of some of them. For example, the Yes Men are pranksters who are anti-globalizatioin activists. But as, for instance, the documentary on the hacker group Anonymous shows https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0IDkzhBQMg some of the activity has always been for fun and “because we can”. That said, this is certainly one point against! Thank you for highlighting the case of Sophia Stewart — I did not know about it. It shows the power of governance when you are a big company with means to conduct legal action.

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  9. Against!

    Pirate Bay can be seen as both a negative or positive feature of our new digital age. For those who see it as a positive feature, see it as an invaluable tool that assists in the distribution of various media content that persons from all over the world can view, use, and benefit from. Those who see it as a negative feature are those who have either had their own content illegally shared and have lost not only their right to filter who may use their material , but also their ability to fully profit from it. When it comes to the case of Pirate Bay, those who are against this site find that it violates not only copyright laws, but also infringes upon money that could have been made by film makers, music producers, etc. who originally created the content. However, there are many more sites that share illegal content as well, but laws have yet to evolve around the advancements of the digital. I believe this is the bigger issue of Pirate Bay beyond what Pirate Bay actually does. Pirate Bay is a bigger representation of the changes that need to take place though all platforms of the internet. For example, the problem with policing Pirate Bay lies in the fact that they are placing torrents that are already active across the internet on their main site and merely acting as a hub. If change were to ever exist in this field, it would have to start with making and enforcing policies for the millions of other sites that distribute these torrents that Pirate Bay simply collects. Our technological advancements that include piracy may seem to be fulfilling now, but if not controlled and limited to some extent, society could be negatively affected by it’s over use in the long run. With the internet being a global public good that is accessible to anyone that has connection, internet regulation or the lack of regulation will not only shape the world we live in, but also shape who we are and will become in the future.New found technologies have always been seen as positive resources that should be fully utilize within society, however, through its continuous use, it has been found to be detrimental if not regulated. An extreme example of this is how humans are already being replaced by advanced technologies to complete various tasks within restaurants, classrooms, etc. to cut down on labor costs involved with actual humans doing these same tasks. If the digital world is not limited, who knows what could happen to other content that is being disseminated throughout the digital world and sites like Pirate Bay.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Love this sentence: ” Our technological advancements that include piracy may seem to be fulfilling now, but if not controlled and limited to some extent, society could be negatively affected by it’s over use in the long run. ” Technology is neutral but the ways we use it are not. They are bound by culture, politics, economics. Thank you for highlighting the issue of the future of work! I will create a special session on it at the end of the semester. Indeed, you describe all this progress — but what is the price for it? Possible dangers? Where is the Human Factor?

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  10. POSTING for J:

    AGAINST

    Throughout my research, i have gathered evidence in regards to why i am against the outcome of the Pirate Bay Trial. The four main parties in the Pirate Bay trail were found guilty and sentenced to serve one year in prison as well as pay a 30 million dollar fine. One of the main aspects as to why i am completely against the outcome of this trial is due to the culture. Streaming media illegally online is nothing new, as well as millions of people do it per day, with zero repercussions. To incriminate four individuals on the charges of “promoting the copyright infringement of others with the torrent tracking website The Pirate Bay,” and not hold others accountable is unfair reasoning, to this day, Pirate Bay is still an active site and it is still used to torrent material on a daily basis.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for highlighting the result: Indeed, PB key members were convicted — so “old culture” won. Peter Sunde then went on becoming a politician and ran for the EU parliament — to change media governance via legal means (with mixed success…)

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