New Media Economy: Intellectual Property and Cultural Insurrection

by Daniel M. Downes
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Volume 9, Issue 1, Winter 2006 DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/3336451.0009.103 Permissions

Abstract
The new media landscape has created tensions between content producers (scholars, computer programmers, and even the general public) and copyright holders (institutional publishers and entertainment corporations) who are increasingly engaged in a form of culture war over access to and dissemination of information. This paper explores the emerging culture war as a struggle over definitions of culture and rights. On the one hand there are those who accept the traditional bargain between creators and society (sharing information, publicity, and reputation) and on the other hand are those who seek proprietary rights (ownership of material and all accompanying rights). Further, the battle over the definitions of intellectual property and copyright is taking place in a number of separate arenas including the music industry, academic publishing and the software industry. In each of these arenas the challenge of intellectual property in the digital age is manifested in similar yet distinct ways. In 2002 in a Journal of Electronic Publishing article[1] I argued that the emergence of a new media economy would have a number of significant impacts on the information and communication industries (Downes 2000). I suggested that traditional focus on the technological and industrial infrastructure would be replaced with a focus on content and, most optimistically, that the so-called convergence of computer, telecommunication, and entertainment industries might result in an acknowledgement of the importance of audiences. The new media economy promised a new relationship between institutions and audiences. In the end it created consumers, not citizens. Today I can say that the failure of the new media economy to fulfill the promises implicit in digital culture is due to the fact that economic and cultural power remains in the hands of those who control access to and the dissemination of information (Burhkart 2005). The players in the new media economy have consolidated and lobbied for regulatory convergence, particularly with regards to intellectual property. These

almost tripled in size during the decade. New Media Economy: Setting the Scene Economist Mark Porat (1977) defined the information economy based on a shift in the nature of occupations in the American labor force during the early 1960s from manufacturing to serviceindustry jobs. A similar claim can be made that as revenues for media shift from national to international markets a new media economy emerges. By 1966 47% of the workforce held jobs in information-related activities that generated about the same percentage of the GNP. On the one hand there are those who accept the traditional bargain between creators and society (sharing information. publicity. Merger mania was not limited to the American media in the latter half of the nineties: European media groups took part in 72% of all mergers and acquisitions in the media sector around the world during the first half of 1998 (Gapper 1998). The emerging culture war is a struggle over definitions of culture and rights.processes have polarized the communication industries and members of the culture at large (Hunter 2005). To gauge the significance of this new industrial structure. However the new media economy was the result of an industrial convergence of content and carriage .the direct interplay of production-oriented companies with distribution outlets. The new media landscape has created tensions between content producers (scholars. and . Manufacturing had defined the economy because it engaged a plurality of the workforce and produced the preponderance of the gross national product. The technological impetus for convergence was to combine the telephone. McChesney and Herman 1997). computer programmers. mostly American transnational media corporations (McChesney 1997. 83). In 1996 more than 15% of the total value of world-wide mergers and acquisitions (US $1 trillion) was generated by activity in what can be broadly termed information and communication industries. Time-Warner and Disney. Thomas Shatz describes a shift from domestic to international revenues as the dominant market for American movies between the early 1980s and 1995 (Shatz 1997. and reputation) and on the other hand are those who seek proprietary rights (ownership of material and all accompanying rights). For example. By the end of the decade it made sense to view the media industries in general as a global commercial media system dominated by a small number of powerful. technological manufacturers. the television and the computer to a common communications connection (Glick 1998). and even the general public) and copyright holders (institutional publishers and entertainment corporations) who are increasingly engaged in a form of culture war over access to and dissemination of information. consider that the two largest media firms in 1990.

providing the type of compelling material that would make users want to use AOL. In a cost-cutting move. Shatz 1997.. Worth an estimated $300 billion (US). whose holdings include Knopf. They assert their control by bottlenecking access to the majority of the world's commercial music catalogs. consolidation of companies and markets has continued. Time Warner (so renamed by dropping the 'AOL' in 2003) settled securities fraud charges with the US Justice Department in 2004 for $210 million. and they create scarcity by managing online access to recorded music using digital rights management and an Internet based system of distribution. Random House recently acquired a significant minority share in VOCEL. in a case involving payments from Berteslmann.other industries involved in entertainment. The AOL/Time-Warner merger of 1999 stands as the watershed event in the transformation of the media industries. and Dell. it was the largest transaction of all time.. 84-5). 493-4) Consolidation of New Media Economy With the bloom off the mega-merger rose during the recession of 2000-01. the convergence strategy was fraught with difficulties. 490). Time Warner sold Warner Music to an investment group led by Edgar Bronfman Jr. a company that provides content to mobile phones . The result is a reorganization of 'network power' on the Internet that gives the record industry powerful controls over licensing and distribution. In the publishing industry a similar pattern is evident: Bertelsmann acquired Random House. even for the newly hyphenated AOL-Time Warner. 495). while strengthening a lopsided power relationship with musicians and fans — with the distributor holding all the cards (Burkhart 2005. However. AOL joined with what was already the world's largest media corporation. However. hospitality. and Time-Warner saw AOL as its privileged pipeline to new audiences (Krantz 1997. For example. Manes 1997. As Patrick Burkhart reports: the results of AOL-Time Warner's 2000 merger disappointed. in the music business four companies control the majority of the market. in 2003. (Burkhart 2005. . a number of failed mergers in the music industry between 2000 and 2003 might suggest that the business strategy of large media conglomerates might be outdated. Doubleday. beginning with the very first financial quarter: by mid-2002 its stock price had declined by 70% since the merger. Crown. Egan 1999). The German giant now controls over 50% of the US book trade (Mellin 2001). Bantam. and by lobbying for stronger international property rights controls (Burkhart 2005. AOL hoped that Time-Warner would act as its content specialist. and services (Mansell 1993. and the company experienced turmoil in top management.

As commercial distinctions become blurred some are calling for a similar merger of sectoral regulators (Cowie and Marsden 1998). textbooks. media concentration has increased dramatically. These stages are: 1. in the limited-media stage government regulation was directed at limiting the market power of a few powerful players. For example. 10). Instead. telecommunication companies like AT&T and computer systems and service companies. and other content distributors the ability to govern which works will enter the marketplace (Notes 2001. 2445). and the federal government dropped an anti-trust suit against IBM due to the firm's loss of dominance 3. Disney. The big commercial publishing houses control the trade in books. the result of convergence. the cyber-media stage characterized by converging delivery platforms for telecommunication. which began in about 1984 when cable television was deregulated. AT&T's monopoly was broken. With convergence. In the past telecommunications and mass media were separated by law and. and Capital Cities/ABC) ranked around the twentieth largest companies in the sector (Noam 1995). the limited media stage dominated by an oligopoly 2. including IBM. not surprisingly. high-capacity. these restrictions were changed or lifted. Thus. record companies. explained by the fact that the largest of the information economy companies are. within the computer industry. making structural regulation . However. and Unisys. In 1994. the largest of the entertainment companies (Time-Warner. in part. This is. As media moved to the multi-channel phase. multi-point to multi-point communication on the Internet (Noam 1995). in part. Digital. and academic journals. The importance of telecommunications as the model for regulation is. decentralized. the multi-channel stage. Noam argues that government regulation has changed over time to adapt to the changes in the media landscape. media and data distribution. This is the result of over a decade of telecommunication policy reform that culminated in the WTO Fourth Protocol in 1994. The commercial separation of telecommunications and television was traditionally mirrored in regulatory authorities. Regulatory convergence A second crucial aspect of the new media economy is the global trend toward harmonization of media-related regulation. ownership of the means of large-scale reproduction and distribution gives institutional publishers. Noam expresses concern that regulatory liberalization has not led to openness or competition even in the American market. Eli Noam argues that the American media industries have passed through two stages and are entering a third. In most cases the Fourth Protocol's influence takes the form of a commitment to liberalization and market competition as the basic structure of the sector. as in the Telecommunications Act of 1996. by practice (Noam 1995). firms cross industrial and regulatory boundaries.(Econtent 2005.

Lipton 2002. The fact is that as well as offering multi-channel services electronicaly. 492). Others argue more pointedly that the use of copyright laws could actually strengthens the position of firms that compete in the global information marketplace (Rice 2002. Hunter 2005. the basis for the perceived need for regulatory harmonization is the sense of "the intangibility of the property rights" (Lipton 2002. record companies. if not impossible. and. For other scholars. 96). and because technology has made it impossible for any monopolistic or oligopolistic group to control the substance or process of delivery of information (Compaine 1985. This poses short-term and mid-term problems for regulators who have in the past treated them as separate industries requiring different regulatory conditions (Cowie and Marsden 1998). communication industries and content become increasingly important since cultural products — creative works — are the goods that drive the new media economy. For example. From these different arenas of convergence we can make two important observations:  convergence highlights the extent to which things we once considered distinct are increasingly interconnected. with fewer than five firms sharing a market (Burkhart 2005.in an ideal world. arguing that complete regulatory harmonization is impossible due to cultural and economic differences between nations (Holznagel and Werle 2004). and transnational entertainment corporations. Burkhart argues that the music industry has passed through three phases of development. Not everyone agrees. the recording industry has created an oligopolistic market structure. Burkhart 2005). telecom and broadcast companies are merging and expanding their traditional areas of concentration. This position is often expressed by business interests who argue that in the digital age traditional intellectual property laws are inadequate to protect the transnational character of e-commerce transactions or to protect the new commercial value of information (Lipton 2002. Sony BMG). With the completion of large entertainment mergers (AOL-TimeWarner. This is in part because media ownership is constantly shifting but far from concentrated. In Canada the Information Highway Advisory Committee made a recommendation to the Canadian Government that multi-channel delivery services reduced the need for structural regulation. 64). 55). Because computers and digitization make it possible for many to enter the content market there is less need for governments to regulate telecommunications and broadcasting companies . The committee further argued that vigorous domestic content is best promoted through incentives and production support rather than through positive content regulation (IHAC 1995). Vivendi-Universal. making it difficult to think about technologies.difficult. each dominated by a different kind of organization: music publishing houses.  . Some scholars agree. industries and regulatory institutions without considering their global implications.

Raboy 1990). Concentration of ownership. which. may result in a skewed public discourse where certain viewpoints are excluded or under-represented. it is feared. Traditional role of copyright With the establishment of a new media economy. The argument for media pluralism maintains that pluralism of ownership should encourage. and the US government to privatize and deregulate media and communication systems coincided with the development of new satellite and digital technologies (McChesney 1997). large hybrid organizations produce. that the nature of community and the social order would themselves be restructured by new forms of communication and social interaction (Poster 1995). Today this view is dominant. can increase pluralism. New interactive media can shift power from the source of information (the sender) to the receiver. I have explored such claims elsewhere (Downes 2005. The roots of media pluralism can be traced to the free marketplace of ideas described in Milton's Areopagitica. The swift development of the Internet inspired claims that it would erode the influence of organized groups and political elites. The control and monitoring of legitimate and illegal . because some viewpoints are represented while others are marginalized. abuse of political power can occur through the lobbying of powerful political. debates about media pluralism have been refocused on convergence and the democratic potential of new media. the World Bank. Further. In the global context. it is almost a cliché that nationhood is to a large part the result of technological projects that connected the country (see Charland 1986. sound. particularly from the perspective of the globalized media industries. pressures from the IMF.Media Pluralism: philosophical ground for the Culture War Traditionally. and variety in the sources of information and in the range of content available in a nation's media. texts. diversity of opinion. and became crucial to the entertainment model of the mass media. Downes and Janda 1998). though it is not synonymous with. media content was understood to promote social integration within national boundaries. media pluralism has come almost exlusively to mean plurality of ownership: different organizations owning media companies. Beginning in the 1980s. distribute. or commercial interest groups. Copyright thus becomes a key issue as it becomes ever more difficult to control who copies and circulates images. Today. For Canadians. the cornerstone of the western liberal model of discursive democracy. At that point content was understood as a vehicle for the expression of individual preferences. and exhibit copyrighted material in a global information market. and visual information over the Internet. Such claims are significant not simply because they pertain to the fashionable subject of the Internet but also fundamental questions about the causal role of communication in public life. social. it is argued. such as diversity of ownership. Media pluralism is a concept that embraces a number of ideas.

these tensions are as old as the idea of copyright itself. Digital media and copyright protection As technological developments such as tape recorders. Ashkinazi and Kuznetsova 2005. and so they sell or license their patent to the capitalist (Hunter 2005. 1125-6). For example. it is subject to all manner of limitations and challenges. . and appealing to people not to take advantage of creators by denying them money or recognition for their creative work. policy makers have tried different policy and legal solutions to protect intellectual property. while authors. and so on" (Hunter 2005. the Statute of Anne in 1710 shifted control of artistic endeavor from the patron to the publisher. Home copying of television broadcasts is allowed under the Copyright Acts of Canada and the US. As in the US cases. However. Copying from one VCR to another is not. printer. VCRs. and computers make it easier for people to copy information without paying for it. the VCR and the personal computer — tensions between the rights of copyright owners and creators have often been pitted against the rights of users to have fair access to information. The Canadian Radiotelevision and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). In fact. new media in Canada must confront copyright issues. . It is tempting to see these rights as directed at different right holders (material rights for the publisher and nonmaterial for the creator of a work). 76). Industry players and copyright holders have also lobbied to protect their rights to exploit the creative works under their control. 1122). a Federal government agency . making copying more difficult.copies of copyrighted material is important to those who create information and media content that might be re-distributed in digital form. or bookseller. or film studios) who want to protect their ability to exploit their copyrights when faced with new distribution systems such as the Internet. artists and creators were granted control over the product of their endeavors. individual inventors and authors typically don't have the capital to exploit their invention or idea. According to legal scholar Dan Hunter. Further. the 'property' at issue is nonrivalrous. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) fought the manufacture and sale of VCRs for commercial use as well as the practice of home taping of music. record companies. Hunter observes that "intellectual property is not property in the sense that we typically understand it . most obviously. Such issues are not unique to the digital era. copyright is important to traditional copyright holders (such as publishers. photocopiers. These solutions include making unauthorized copying a crime. With the introduction of new technologies — radio. the grant of the interest from the state does not last in perpetuity. Thus. their attempts to block the technology were unsuccessful. in intellectual property there are material rights such as the payment of royalties and nonmaterial rights such as acknowledgement of authorship and the guarantee that a work will be transmitted without distortion (Alekseev.

Valenti has been aggressive in his attempts to prosecute copyright violation cases. arguing that piracy threatens the incentive structure on which the creative arts depend and could destroy the market. where copying becomes easier and policing more difficult. it ensures some compensation for them and for their heirs.responsible for regulating Canada's broadcasting and telecommunications systems. does copyright actually protect the rights of individual creators? It can. it is claimed that copyright provides the necessary incentives for creators to continue to produce works of art: copyright ensures innovation. copyright benefits all of society. Let's deal with each of these claims separately. Jack Valenti. Shift from author to publisher First. 115). the most powerful copyright owners are large corporations that lobby for strong protections for the copyrights they own as well as those they administer. 1124). some call for stronger laws. Second. They assign or license their work to the enterprises because the costs associated with the production and distribution of creative works is extremely high. the Internet gives Canadians access to more information about the things they find interesting and to expanded programming from that available through their televisions. it is claimed that by ensuring the continued creation of creative works. First. This is because individual creators frequently turn to large enterprises to make their work widely available. As a result. Indeed copyright reform since the 1970s has seen a shift from author to owner interests as the subject matter of protection (Rice 2002. According to the CRTC. or that the property grant might come with fair use limitations. From the perspective of the digital age. argues that stronger intellectual property laws are needed to protect media against challenges posed by the Internet. Copyright . appears completely unfair" (Hunter 2005. former president of the MPAA.Good or Bad? What are the benefits and dangers associated with copyright protection in the global economy? To answer this question we must evaluate the main arguments invoked to justify strong copyright legislation and enforcement. but the fact of the matter is that. "the fact that [a work] eventually falls into the public domain. ever since the first copyright act became law. The traditional mass media have always been capital-intensive enterprises. it is claimed that copyright protects the rights of individual creators. Third. From this perspective copyright protects individual creators from those who would deprive them of the fruits of their work. Copyright as an incentive to create . has refrained from regulating the Internet as a broadcasting technology on the grounds that new media complement rather than replace traditional media services. protection has been more likely to benefit those who publish and distribute creative works than those who create them. In the digital age.

Copyright vests within its holders. Copyright as a social benefit This leads us to the third argument for strong copyright: such protection benefits society. As already mentioned. and to bar entry into the global marketplace to new competitors. it is also a copyrighted work of art. and information is the fundamental commodity in the global media economy. copyright protection does not provide incentive to produce. The corporate interest in the form of expression allows the largest rights holders to police the activities of others and. does it actually promote new creative work? Again. This means that the disposition of ideas contained within commercial activities is afforded the same protection as the disposition of ideas contained in an individual creative work. Given the scale of markets in the new media economy. it is not surprising to find large corporations using anti-competitive practices to gain access to new markets. in that way. are the effects of copyright reforms on the nature of the new media economy? It can be argued that copyright has become a strong tool for the propertization of information. because copyright protection is so extensive and broad. the answer is. the right to be protected against infringement by others.from using the same disposition of ideas at all. Shift from copies to access The focus on new legislation like the DMCA is "on access to copyright works rather than on copying" (Lipton 2002. The problem is that the concept of protection for life plus 50 years provides almost perpetual protection to commercial rather than artistic work. those who argue for strong copyright protections talk about protecting starving artists from plagiarists and pirates. often large corporations. The lengthy protection period actually makes it easy for the corporation to avoid innovation and to prevent others from innovating in the same area. it is absurd to think that computer software needs protection for up to a century. What. 69-76). to limit creativity. However.If copyright protects business interests. it can actually impede new work. . once we realize that copyright actually protects the interests of copyright owners (who are as likely to be big businesses as individual artists or authors). Some recent examples illustrate this last point. it is also protected against any company . For example. since such work is frequently produced by employees.even one not competing with it . not really. Indeed. or that industry needs to amortize profits over a long period of time in order to innovate (Vaver 1996. Indeed. Further. 59). the VISA symbol is not only a trademark. In the end. then. the company using it is not merely protected against the use of its name by other companies operating in the same field. to determine the shape of emerging markets to offset the costs of technological development. copyright belongs to the employer and no benefit goes to the creator's heirs. we can think of the debate over copyright as a tension between private interests (copyright owners) and society (the public domain). As a result.

The site also acted as a hub for users to connect with each other in a point-to-point transfer of music files. however. the RIAA was seeking $6.com argued that it was exempt from compulsory license under the CRTC's 1999 order on Internet broadcasting. Napster does not offend Canadian copyright law because its server is located outside Canada. Napster was the digital equivalent of two friends meeting somewhere to trade cassette tapes of their favorite music. Napster hoped to invoke the Fair use concept in its defense. Warner. iCraveTV. In another lawsuit. representing Sony. for alleged copyright violations. Charging for downloads meant that Napster now had something it could give to the big record companies. the same assembly of dominant players used the courts to shut down Napster.com provided users with free software for exchanging MP3 files. BMG. Universal.com streamed television signals without paying royalties or licensing fees to the copyright holders of the programs. iCraveTV. the Canadian Private Copying Collective) collect fees on audio recording material on behalf of Canadian copyright holders.8-billion in damages (Anderson 2000). with its tradition of collective copyright collection. In the US case. MP3.The Recording Industry Association of America. because Canadian copyright legislation has a provision whereby copyright collectives (i.com collected over-the-air signals with an antenna and broadcast the signals over the Internet. Specifically. an AOL subsidiary. launched a lawsuit against MP3. The problem was that that iCraveTV. A similar suit was launched over the issue of re-broadcasting television programs over the Internet. Not only is the practice of retransmission legal in Canada (it is based on a provision in the Copyright Act that allows for retransmission of a local or long-distance signal under certain circumstances). a technology such as Napster does not pose a problem.com. Although cable operators are subject to compulsory license. there is no problem of compensation for Napster's activity. the administration of copyright means that in Canada. The offer was rejected. The major US networks joined together against Canadian Internet company iCraveTV. Because there was no sale involved. a company that facilitated trading music files across the Internet.. and EMI.com. According to the Canadian Copyright Board. which was not a copyright violation.com's Web site could be accessed by users outside Canada even though the Web site had a sign-in mechanism that was supposed to limit access to Canadian . the company did not survive the legal attacks from the big players. Napster. a percentage of the download fee. To guarantee that MP3. Although Napster received a temporary reprieve while the case was in appeal.com was sued for selling digitized music over the Internet without paying royalties to the record companies. Further. iCraveTV. Even so it offered to pay a tariff to be administered by a copyright collective. In other words.com and others of its ilk get the message. Napster agreed to charge for downloads even though the basis of its case was that the site simply facilitated the trading of music files between individuals.e. Signals that are piped to private subscribers are not considered public broadcasts. it is also the very basis of the cable industry in Canada.

US copyright holders. in short. The basis of the suits was that iCraveTV violated copyright infringement and the content owners saw the Internet company as posing a real threat to their ability to exploit their copyrights (Stern 2000). Since then the Canadian Association of Broadcasters has lobbied for amendments to the Copyright Act to specifically ban Internet streaming of television signals. The company's lawful activities in Canada could offer no protection against copyright infringement in the United States. and use" (Rice 2002. history. it has now become a tool for maximizing commercial return on information dissemination. the CBC in Canada. However this modern-day enclosure movement has not gone entirely unchallenged. and made illegal the circumvention of digital locks on copyright works (Hunter 2005. "the publicly-accessible collection of knowledge. the repository of public culture" (Hunter 2005. 1113). This "repository of public culture" is being challenged by the very laws that were passed to protect it. the Disney Corporation. and the National Football League. 114). The case was settled when iCraveTV.com. If at one time copyright was seen to maximize information dissemination and access. It was. . ABC. The outcome of these expansions in scope is that copyright owners increasingly treat a creative work "like a fenced property or possessed object and its owner as entitled to all economic value rather than a composite of specific and limited exclusive rights in some but not all elements of a creative work" (Rice 2002.com agreed to shut down operations should the plaintiffs drop their suits. CBS. access. On a number of fronts a similar assertion of the public domain can be observed. These laws extended copyright terms. 1111). renewed copyrights on some works that had already fallen into the public domain. The DMCA marks a change in the ultimate purpose of copyright protections. The concept of copyright is increasingly used as a "talisman" to lobby for stronger regulation that extends the rights of owners to protect works and aspects of works that have traditionally fallen outside the reach of copyright protection (Rice 2002). 127). and expression from which creators draw in order to make new works. copyright laws. NBC. sued iCraveTV. including Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. ideas. affirmative entity. Propertization of Intellectual Property In the late 1970s Duke law professor David Lange said that the public domain was a vital. Two important pieces of copyright legislation in the United States have dramatically reshaped the information landscape and are nibbling away at the repository of public culture: the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA).users.

The problem is that "the public has no aversion to seizing this opportunity" (Notes 2001. 2451). "Even if it becomes technically feasible to produce e-books in a format that cedes nothing to paper books . as some have observed. 13). For creators.. Yet financial incentives are not the only motivation for artists to create. the Internet has a positive effect because publication and distribution are inexpensive on the Internet. Otherwise. In terms of copyright. Edwards and Shulenburger recognize that scholars have long understood the public-goods nature of scholarship and have organized to ensure that their work is made freely available to the public. Challenge to the Publishing Industry For the publishing industry it is possible to assess the impact of the Internet in a number of ways.. Ashkinazi. a 2004 survey of American musicians and songwriters suggests that the recording industry's tactics in dealing with Internet piracy do not have the wholehearted support of creators. In reality. 87% used the Internet to advertise and post free music and 60% thought the tactics used by the recording industry will not benefit musicians and songwriters (Hermida 2004). For the publisher. For our purposes. [it will not change things] because the new solution will be no cheaper than the old one if it falls into the hands of the book trade. from the perspective of any artist. 13). the unlawful downloading of recorded content. Indeed. the root of the problem is not that technology empowers the public to flout copyright law. 2454). the impact is different if we set the interests of creators and publishers apart. 88-9). the fact that a creator's needs are subordinate to the public's has contributed to the exploitation of artists by the publishers who argued that "the high cost of reproduction and distribution has been the crucial limiting factor in the marketing of artistic . Internet piracy is often described as theft with the victims the artists who are denied the revenue from their creations. This arrangement has been dubbed a gift exchangewhereby scholars give free access to their research and in return receive access to the research of others (Edwards and Shulenburger 2003. while inordinate amounts of initial capital will be needed to ensure meaningful competition between them" (Alekseev. According to the survey. the benefits of the Internet are not likely to change the relations of power between publishers and authors due to what has been called the tyranny of the printing press. artists would advance a unified front against piracy. However. "the unauthorized. and Kuznetsova 2005. Indeed.Challenge to the Music Industry In the music industry. the entry of the big commercial publishing houses into the journals market has largely undermined the old. and because the Internet is almost uncensored. unpaid circulation of a work has a countervailing promotional benefit" (Notes 2001. university-based system for provision of knowledge as a public good and replaced it with a private market (Edwards and Shulenburger 2003. which strikes at the core of that interest. copyright is a battleground over Internet piracy.

become the largest repository of un-refereed research papers in the world (Correia and Teixeira 2005. 2448). In contrast to the copyright reform movement (led by corporate interests).works" (Notes 2001. 15). as commercial publishers began to enter the market for academic journals. and entertain us? Conversely. the gift exchange began to break down. The standard justification of intellectual property is that without financial incentives no one will create new works. The first of these open access archives was the Los Alamos Physics Archive. and to improve on the hitherto slow turnaround of traditional publishing (Correia and Teixeira 2005. Open-access publishing has a number of effects: "work that is freely available is more cited [and] [e]-print repositories also provide rapid dissemination of information to a wider audience and improve archiving of scientific data" (Hitchcock 2005 cited in Correia and Teixteira 2005. hear or read? How are the rights of authors and other creators protected such that they will continue to inform. how do we guarantee that everyone has reasonable access to new information and new ideas? To what extent can we ensure that innovations will not be controlled by a few at the expense of the rest of society? Questions such as these are the elements of an emerging cultural . Authors began to favor a version of "open access" scholarly publication. to combat the rise in journal costs fast outpacing a library's ability to afford them. But the open-source movement shows that people will engage in creative activity outside the mechanisms of the free market. 16). in this case by sharing source code. 17). and adapting and adding to software in order to see it function more effectively. which contain research manuscripts published by faculty at those institutions (Edwards and Shulenburger 2003. the open-source movement "genuinely involves the transfer of the means of cultural and creative production from capital to the worker" (Hunter 2005. 15). Consequently. by the 1970s. Conclusion The global media scene raises a number of questions about the operation of the media in the new economy: Who owns the creative works we see. Challenge to software Perhaps it is not surprising that one of the strongest counter-movements in copyright reform originated in the computer software industry. 1127. since its launch in 1991. In particular. which has. the open source movement was an attempt to combat the commercialization of network software and to reassert the values of the gift economy into software development. to overcome the barriers raised by the transfer of intellectual property rights from author to publisher. enlighten. The development of the World Wide Web in the 1990s has had a significant impact on scholarly communication: it provided researchers with new ways to share results. Lessig 2004). Research universities throughout the world became the sites of open archives.

the scholarly community. Daniel M. rooted in the concept of sharing information in the promotion of knowledge. In the music industry the attempt to fence in sound recordings through the use of digital rights management and Internet distribution systems has been met with a peer-to-peer revolution. is perfectly placed to challenge the enclosure of the information commons. Since 2001 he has been coordinator UNBSJ's Information and Communication Studies Program. 2005). communication technologies and the formal and informal regulation of the media and has published on the topics of intellectual property and globalization. Saint John. in the software industry the commercial logic of the industry has given rise to an open-source movement. NOTES . And. In scholarly publishing the commercialization of publishing has been met with the Open Access Initiative as a challenge. receive. To conclude. He is the author of Interactive Realism: The Poetics of Cyberspace (McGillQueen's Press. Downes researches the relationships between cultural identity.war between those industries that distribute information and those who produce. the nature of the new media audience and the political economy of the new media economy. and use cultural material. The battle over the definitions of intellectual property and copyright is taking place in a number of separate arenas. Downes is Associate Professor of Information and Communication Studies at the University of New Brunswick.

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