Thursday, November 13, 2008

New spin on Copyright and Culture

Link: here.

This article adds a new idea to the whole copyright affecting culture concept.
Sanchez talks about how Corey Doctorow says that people want more culture, like books, music, and movies just for the shared experience with other people, or "something to talk about around the water cooler". But Sanchez then adds that culture might be a bit deeper than that.

He says that the demand for culture is a result of the culture from the past. In other words, people want new things because of things that they already know they like having been exposed to it already. For example, someone who likes rock music and wants to buy more knows that they like the music because they have already heard it and they know that they like it.

Sanchez goes on further to say that if this kind of trend in culture is true then it is impossible to predict what the market / culture would look like in a future free-culture. He says that if everything became free with no consequences of pirating then blockbuster hits would decease because there would be now profit in making them. Then other mash-ups , remixes, and homebrews could emerge as the new popular thing.

The idea is interesting. If all piracy laws on copyrights were to vanish then in a few generations (after the people that remembered the blockbuster and expensive content have gone) people will want content that they are exposed to which will be homebrews and remixes. But maybe some form of homebrew may be more popular than another and that one will start to get more attention than the rest and someone may find a way to make money off of it thus starting the cycle all over again; with the the most popular type of content being the one that is most readily pushed upon consumers. So maybe the long tail effect is a never ending one.


HAYNE said...

I see where Sanchez is going with his line of thought, but I think he's kind of throwing the whole thing just a little out of proportion. Entertainment has been around since the beginning of time, from gladiators to symphonies in Vienna and so forth; he should take into consideration the fact that entertainment has evolved into an industry over the years. Even with the millions of copyright violation and pirating acts that are committed everyday, the entertainment industry is still going strong. For the entirety of one of our nation's big sources of revenue to completely collapse at the hand of "homebrews" seems a tad unlikely.

Jacob Bowman said...

I think Cory Doctorow's original argument holds together a bit better. That is, Sanchez really just contradicts Doctorow in that aspect. The original article doesn't really foresee doom and collapse, but just warns copyright that it's getting in the way of something bigger, and it's really just wasting its time. I'm not sure if I entirely agree with that, but he certainly presents a good argument for it.