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Barriers to Cultural Participation: Cultural Innovation and Control Online

Barriers to Cultural Participation: Cultural Innovation and Control Online

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Published by Mathias Klang
Draft for ESF Exploratory Workshop on Consuming the Illegal: Situating Digital Piracy in Everyday Experience, Leuven, 17-19 April 2011
Draft for ESF Exploratory Workshop on Consuming the Illegal: Situating Digital Piracy in Everyday Experience, Leuven, 17-19 April 2011

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Published by: Mathias Klang on Apr 10, 2011
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12/05/2011

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DraftforESFExploratoryWorkshoponConsumingtheIllegal:SituatingDigitalPiracyinEverydayExperience,Leuven,17-19April2011
BarrierstoCulturalParticipation:CulturalInnovationandControlOnline
MathiasKlangklang@ituniv.seUniversityofGöteborg
Introduction
In2004ConstantinFilmsreleasedOliverHirschbiegel’smovie
Downfall(DerUntergang)
,apowerfulfilmportrayingthefinaltendaysofNaziGermanyandAdolfHitler’slifeinhisBerlinbunkerin1945.ThefilmcontainssomepowerfulactingbyBrunoGanzintheroleofHitlerandinparticularascenewhereHitlerrealizesthatallislostandblamesallthosearoundhimforplottinghisdemisehascaughttheimaginationofmanyofthosewhosawit.SincethefilmwasreleasedthisbunkerscenehasbeenusedagainandagainbyfansthatchangethesubtitlestotheoriginalGermanandalterthemeaningofthescene.ThestrongactingandHitler’sangeraremadetorepresentangeragainstawholerangeofissuesfromthedeathofMichaelJackson,thelackoffunctionalityintheiPad,thefactthatpeopleweremakingdownfallparodiesandeventuallyHitlergettingangrybecausethecopyrightholderwasattemptingtoremovetheparodies.InterviewedbytheNewYorkMagazinein2010(Rosenblum2010),thedirectorHirschbiegel,seemedtobepositivetotheparodies:“Thepointofthefilmwastokicktheseterriblepeopleoffthethronethatmadethemdemons,makingthemrealandtheiractionsintoreality.Ithinkit'sonlyfairifnowit’stakenaspartofourhistory,andusedforwhateverpurposespeoplelike.”Despitethisapproach,thecopyrightholderConstantinFilmsdemandedinApril2010thatYouTuberemovetheircopyrightedmaterialandYouTubecomplied.However,laterthesameyearitappearsthatYouTubestoppedblocking
Downfall 
parodies.AtthepointwhenContantinFilmsbegantakingactionagainsttheparodiesthediscussionoftheapplicationofcopyrightlawinrelationtoculturalremixeswassparkedintolife(thiswasnaturallynotthefirsttime).Howeverthe
Downfall 
parodiesalsobroughtthevulnerabilityoftheparodyauthors,andtheirdependencyonthirdpartyplatforms,intofocus.ThepurposeofthistextistounpacktheconceptofcopyrightregulationofculturalartifactsinrelationtoInternettechnology.Notcontentwithanalyzingtheroleofcopyrightlawinthesesituationstheauthorwilldemonstratetheadditionalcomplexitiesfacedbythosewishingto“pirate”culturalworksand“remix”theminordertoproducenewculturalartifacts.Theaimofthispaperistodemonstratethatwithoutanunderstandingofthesocialnorms,licensesandtheroleofFUD(fear,uncertaintyanddoubt)itisimpossibletofullyunderstandthebarrierstoInternet-basedculturalproductiontoday.
Theanalogrootsofcopyright
 
DraftforESFExploratoryWorkshoponConsumingtheIllegal:SituatingDigitalPiracyinEverydayExperience,Leuven,17-19April2011
Itmaybeaminorpoint,butitisimportanttonotethatcopyrightdoesnotcreatepropertyperse.Moderncopyrightlegislationcreatesanexclusivesetofrights,whichgivethecreatoramonopolylikesituationtodecideexclusivelywhetherhisorherrightmaybecopiedortransferredtoanaudience.Themodernoriginsofcopyrightlawaretobefoundinthebeginningoftheenlightenmentperiod,specificallymoderncopyrightlawisseentobeginwiththeenteringintoforceoftheStatuteofAnnin1710
1
.Acentralpremiseoftheenlightenmentisthefocusontheindividualandtheroleofexperience.Theenlightenmentbreakswiththeauthoritarianpastinthattheperiodplaceshumanexperience,andnotauthority,asthefoundationofunderstandingoftruth.WiththeintroductionoftheStatuteofAnnthelegislatorrecognizedtwoproblems.First,thattheprinterswereactinginamanner,whichwasdeemedtobeunfairtowardstheauthorandthat,theseactsweredamagingtoculturalproduction.Thepreambleofthedraftbillexplainstheneedforthenewlegislation:“WhereasPrinters,Booksellers,andotherPersons,haveoflatefrequentlytakentheLibertyofPrinting,Reprinting,andPublishing,orcausingtobePrinted,Reprinted,andPublishedBooks,andotherWritings,withouttheConsentoftheAuthorsorProprietorsofsuchBooksandWritings,totheirverygreatDetriment,andtoooftentotheRuinofthemandtheirFamilies:ForPreventingthereforesuchPracticesforthefuture,andfortheEncouragementofLearnedMentoComposeandWriteusefulBooks”Withtheintroductionofthisactthefocusofprotectionwasmovedfromtheprinters,whohadcontroloverthetechnologyofcopyinganddistribution,overtotheauthorwhosecontrolwasoverthecreationoftheworks.Twoadditionalinterestingelementsoftheactare;(1)theactviewedauthorshipasaprocessofcreatingsomethingoutofnothingand(2)thefocusoftheactwastoencouragelearningbyregulatingthebooktradeanylegaladvantagesgainedbytheauthorwereincidental,ameanstoreachanend.CopyrightiscommonlyinterpretedinrelationtoanunderstandingofpropertyproposedbyJohnLocke,whowasdiscussingthewastefulnessofunderutilizedlandinthecontextoftheenclosuremovement,fromthepointofviewthatidlenaturewaswastefulandpropertycouldbecreatedbyaddinglabourtowasteland.Individualpropertywascreatedbytheadditionoflaborintounderusedlandsince“...everymanhasaPropertyinhisownPerson.ThisnoBodyhasanyRighttobuthimself.TheLabourofhisBody,andtheWorkofhisHands,wemaysay,areproperlyhis”(Locke1960[1690],p287-288).FromthispointLockeextrapolatesthat:“WhatsoeverthenheremovesoutoftheStateofNaturehathprovided,andleftitin,hehasmixedhisLabourwith,andjoinedtoit
1
AnActfortheEncouragementofLearning,byvestingtheCopiesofPrintedBooksintheAuthorsorpurchasersofsuchCopies,duringtheTimesthereinmentioned(1709)
 
DraftforESFExploratoryWorkshoponConsumingtheIllegal:SituatingDigitalPiracyinEverydayExperience,Leuven,17-19April2011
somethingthatishisown,andtherebymakesithisProperty”(Locke1960[1690],p288).Thislatteraccommodatingviewonpropertycreationhasbeenusedtolegitimizethecreationofnewpropertyrightsinbothtangiblesandintangibles(Hughes1988).Aswehaveseenthepurposeofthelawwastoregulatethebookmarketanditsphilosophicalunderpinningsweretakenfromargumentsonthecommoditizationoffinite,rivalrous
2
objects.Suchasasystemmayhavebeenclearintheculturalsystemembeddedinananalogtechnology,asystemwherethecreatorwashighlydependentupontheroleofprofessionals,suchasprintersandbooksellers,tobeabletocommunicatetoawideraudience.However,thistextarguesthattheseintuitiveargumentsbecomeflawedwhenthecommunicationsinfrastructureisnolongerpredominantlyanalog.Therefore,theactcarrieswithinitaspecificsocio-technicalsystem,aconceptoftechnologyandaleveloftechnologicalsophistication.Itattemptstoestablishaneffectthroughthebalancingofnormsbetweentheauthorandthebookmarketwhilenotfocusingnecessarysystemsofcopyinganddistribution.Thelattersystemslayinthehandsoftheprinter/booksellersandweretoberesolvedcontractually.Byfailingtosee,orchoosingtoignore,theroleoftechnologytheactfixatessocialnormsinastatictechnologicalsystem.Theeffectsofthishavebeentoattempttointerprettechnologicaldevelopmentsandinnovationsinthelightofthisstatictechnologicalunderstandingandembeddedinthetechnologicalsystemsoftheearly18
th
century.
Onesizefitsall
OthercountrieswereslowtofollowEngland’sleadbuteventuallyinthecenturiesfollowingtheimplementationoftheStatuteofAnnmanycountriesfollowedEngland’sleadandadoptedsimilarsystemsofcopyrightprotection(Johns2009).Thenormofcopyrightwasslowlybecominginternationalized.However,aslongasthesystemremainedinthehandsofthenationstatesitwasflawed,sincetheprotectionofferedbythestateswasfirstandforemostintendedfortheirownnationals.Towardstheendoftheeighteenth-century,internationalbookpiracywasviewedasaseriousproblemandtheUnitedStateswascommonlyidentifiedasthemostpiraticalnationinthisfield(Johns2009).ThefirstmainattempttocreateatrueinternationallegalnormofcopyrightcamewiththeBernConventionof1886whichestablished,amongotherthings,theprincipleof
nationaltreatment 
,whichholdsthateachmemberstatetogivecitizensofothermemberstatesthesamerightsofcopyrightthatitgavetoitsowncitizens.Inadditiontotheprocessofinternationalization,copyrightlawwasalsobeingre-interpretedinthelightofnewtechnology.Ascopyrightdealswiththefixation
2
Rivalgoodsaregoodswhoseconsumptionbyoneindividualpreventssimultaneousconsumptionbyothers

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