This essay is a very concise, accessible introduction to copyright law and the concept of participatory culture. One major flaw that I found with the essay, however, was its demand that new copyright law take “information quality” into account. Who, for example, will become judge of the quality of information, and upon what standards will they make their judgments? This would obviously be a contentious issue, and one that the essay only barely addresses. Also, this essay adopts a fairly utopian conception of digital technologies and the internet, a view that seems to be shared by many contemporary cultural critics. The authors see digitization and the internet as great tools of democracy that will allow for a “participatory culture” unlike any previously known. While these are nice, comfortable theoretical positions to take, that does not necessarily make things so. As regards my own project, I am more interested in how these utopian visions of the “democratization” effect of digital technologies and the internet are coerced and manipulated by larger corporate or commercial interests. For example, this essay discusses how new copyright law needs to provide for “informational autonomy,” but I am interested in how this so called autonomy is ideologically coded and oftentimes highly coercive. In addition, this article relishes in the means of production being made available to all through digitization and the internet, but I want to know how this changes and is exploited by companies like Dorito’s that broadcast user generated content. Will these democratized means of production simply be co-opted by corporate interests, or is there something truly liberating and democratic about these tools? Anyway, overall this is a great essay to read as an introduction to participatory culture and copyright law.
This piece seemed to lament the fact that the Super Bowl advertisers were not able to monopolize traffic to the ads post-game. It sympathizes with the disappointment these giant companies must be feeling over only getting several hundred thousand hits (instead, presumably, of the several million which they no doubt deserved). Then the article goes on to give the companies tips for how to increase traffic next year, and strategies they should employ if they want fully capitalize on the online branding opportunity. This article testifies to the corporate interests of many media outlets, and can only be of interest if read for what the article is doing, not saying.
For my project, though, this piece is very relevant. It shows the way that commercial interests are sometimes subverted, and how in order to “set things right” (i.e. stop subversion of corporate interests) plans are being made to integrate the very thing that was the cause of subversion. Thus we see how the article calls for the companies to “work with” (i.e. subsume) those aggregator sites that so wickedly usurped their web traffic. This, then, is another example of how commercial interests appropriate more independent forms of media distribution.
This is an amazingly concise, prescient, and illuminating essay. It details in a very systematic manner the impact that digitization is likely to have (and, considering this was written in 2004, there predictions all seem to be coming true), and the implications of this impact. One thing it neglects to address, however, is the distribution of DVDs to buy and own. Will this form of distribution fall by the wayside as well, or will things like director commentaries and other bonus features make it a desired commodity? Also, what if you can stream the bonus features – will people still want to own something tangible? Overall, though, this essay is extremely helpful for anyone interested in studying the impact of digitization on the movie studio system both from a consumer and content producer point of view.
As far as my own project is concerned this essay is a useful account of the relationship between commercial studios and individual consumers. Also, its discussion of the impact of digitization on content producers, and the shift of power likely to ensue there, is extremely relevant to my own interest in user generated content. Further, this essay describes the “bargaining power” content producers are likely to gain as access to the means of production increases, and while this is most likely the case, for my purposes it is also necessary to examine how commercial studios will work to limit the bargaining power of producers or co-opt the work of content creators for their own commercial ends (e.g. Dorito’s Super Bowl ads, etc.).
This article is an interesting, albeit dated, piece. It brings up some relevant concerns about what happens when community based sites like YouTube are bought up by giant corporations, and does a mediocre job of reporting the ambivalence surrounding this issue. On the other hand, this article lacks a good deal of information that seems critical for understanding exactly what it means that Google has purchased YouTube. For example, it mentions that YouTube is already selling homepage space to advertisers, and this will only increase under Google’s control, but it does not explain what space it is talking about. Are these advertising videos parading as user generated content, or simply banner ads asking you to join Match.com or other such ubiquitous internet advertisements? This would be good information to know since advertising is such a protean, mutable form. Also, the article mentions that YouTube has already made deals with several other large companies (e.g. CBS, NBC, etc.), but does not explain what these deals entail. Do these companies post fake user generated videos that are truly advertisements, or do they simply get to advertise on YouTube in some other manner? So, while this article does touch upon some interesting issues surrounding both the dot.com universe and marketing, it also fails to provide sufficient information to make it a truly useful document.
This article relates to my own project in its focus on corporate conglomeration and marketing. Similar to how Google subsumes a digital community like YouTube, companies like Dorito’s are appropriating the work of independent, non-professional individuals. While this article expresses some fear about the implications of a company like Google buying YouTube, my project will express a good deal more skepticism about what happens when companies like Dorito’s start soliciting user generated content.
tagged Advertising Amateur_Video Copyright_Law Digita Digital Digital_Distribution Digital_Technology Disruptive_Technology Google Hollywood Internet_Culture Marketing Media Movie_Theatres Participatory_Culture User_Generated_Content Video_Rental YouTube by blueher ...on 08-MAR-07
"Written from an insider's perspective and providing vivid examples from fan artifacts, Textual Poachers offers an ethnographic account of the media fan community, its interpretive strategies, its social institutions and cultural practices, and its troubled relationship to the mass media and consumer capitalism."
This is the best source for fan culture theory. Very well written and easy to understand. Plus everyone cites it, you should too. The section I focused on dealt with the creation of meta-texts based on primary sources of fan interest in the media. This is just one of the many charachteristics of fandom Jenkins defines.