How does convergence affect the relationship between Pinterest and audiences?

Introduction

Mainstream media like television, radio and newspapers used to be the only sources of information in the pre Internet era. Audiences now have alternative options to accessing information because of the ongoing technological shift, known as media convergence. In this essay, I will analyze Pinterest, a smartphone app and website that allows the audience to “pin” their interests onto their personal profile as part of a compilation of their online identity. I will argue that media convergence plays an impact on the relationship between Pinterest and the audience. Due to media convergence, the Pinterest app and website allow the audience to have easy access to various content and participate in its creation. Pinterest has become successful within its purpose, but it’s copyright and privacy policy for users may be seen as a concerns.

Media convergence and Pinterest

Media convergence is defined by Henry Jenkins (2006) as “the flow of content across multiple media platforms, the cooperation between multiple media industries, and the migratory behavior of media audiences.”

This technological convergence has created a cultural shift from a state of:

Monologic media to dialogic media;

Passive consumption to active participation;

Dissemination to dialogue;

One to many to many to many;

Which empowers audiences to participate and contribute, disrupt, or join in a discussion. (Mitew, T 2015)

Media audiences nowadays play a crucial role in creating and distributing content on multiple media platforms, and convergence therefore is a word that manages to describe technological, industrial, cultural, and social changes within the society. An example of a media technology that plays a part of media convergence is Pinterest. Launched in March 2010, Pinterest allows the audience to converge from pinning on real life bulletin boards to bookmarking or pinning images to an online board that saves their collection of photos in different categories (Wong, Q 2015). This technological shift from physical materials to digital materials allows audiences to have easy access to content, which gains a relationship with media technologies like Pinterest.

Pinterest and audiences

Media convergence allows audiences to have easy access to media content by having a wide choice of devices to choose from. Due to media convergence, Pinterest has formed a relationship with audiences as it can be accessed from multiple devices and media platforms. For example, Pinterest can be accessed globally from any digital object with connection to the Internet, such as phones, computers and tablets. Also can be accessed from multiple media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Apps, Polyvore, blogs, and other websites. Pinterest links to other social media platforms by having a “Pin it” button, “follow me” button and Pin it Bookmarks which help audiences easily access Pinterest (Moritz, D 2012). Having such a large range of choices to choose from plays a role in Pinterest’s successful relationship with audiences. According to Internet research firm comScore (Ortutay, B 2015), the wide range of access to Pinterest has to led a significant increase of 79.3 million unique visitors in February (the latest data available), which is an increase of 47 percent since the year earlier. The choice of devices and media platforms audiences have for accessing the Internet is also giving users flexibility in how they would like to participate in the content.

 How-To-Add-Facebook-Like-Twitter-Tweet-Google-Plus-One-and-Pinterest-Pin-It-Buttons

Participation in online content, also known as a participatory culture, is a cultural aspect of media convergence. Participatory culture involves the way media consumers are able to annotate, comment on, remix, and otherwise influence culture in unprecedented ways (Lule, J 2012, p. 56). Pinterest is a prime example of participatory culture. The Pinterest website and App consists of a ubiquitous connectivity. The audience can create an online persona by publicly displaying their interests, creating cultural trends, communicating with people around the world and following other people with similar interests (Wong, Q 2015). With the new messaging feature launched in 2014, audiences are able to communicate with other users on Pinterest around their favorite Pins without having to leave the site or app (Lawler, R 2014). The evolution of media convergence has created an ongoing, constant and participative connection between Pinterest and audiences, which has helped Pinterest gain a positive relationship with audiences.

The remix and remediate aspect of participatory culture also plays a role in the relationship between Pinterest and audiences. Remix culture is “a society that allows and encourages derivative works by combining or editing existing materials to produce a new product” (Davies, H 2013). A remix culture would be, by default, permissive of efforts to improve upon, change, integrate, or otherwise remix the work of copyright holders. Remixing and remediating both has strengths and weaknesses when focusing on the relationship between Pinterest and audiences.

Remediating shifts passive consumption to active participation, which involves user-created content. Pinterest mainly involves digital photos, which are a popular type of user-generated content, especially with the ubiquity of smartphones and social apps (Statista, 2013). Pinterest permits audiences to become participants by allowing them to upload their own creative work, “re-pin” other digital photos to save onto their board, customize their layout and boards the way they like it and get ideas from other Pinterest users to create innovative objects. This shows another aspect of Pinterest’s successful relationship with audiences due to media convergence. However, like in any case of media interaction, remix culture can lead to legal concerns so fair use and copyright infringement conditions need to be considered.

Media convergence can play a negative role in terms of audience violation for copyright on media platforms. Copyright was designed in the 18th century as a right limited in scope and duration to ensure that culturally important creative works were not the victims of monopolies and were free “to promote the progress” (Collins, S 2008).  The Internet, digital media and file-sharing networks have thrust copyright law under public scrutiny, provoking discourses questioning what is fair in the digital age. Because audiences on social media platforms like Pinterest can control and generate content, this affects the relationship between Pinterest and audiences, also raises concerns whether Pinterest violates image licenses and audiences are breaking copyright by reusing images without the owners permission.

Pinterest’s Terms Of Use prohibit its members from posting copyrighted material without the copyright holder’s permission.

you represent and warrant that: (i) you either are the sole and exclusive owner of all Member Content that you make available through the Site, Application and Services or you have all rights, licenses, consents and releases that are necessary to grant to Cold Brew Labs the rights in such Member Content, as contemplated under these Terms; and (ii) neither the Member Content nor your posting, uploading, publication, submission or transmittal of the Member Content or Cold Brew Labs’ use of the Member Content (or any portion thereof) on, through or by means of the Site, Application and the Services will infringe, misappropriate or violate a third party’s patent, copyright, trademark, trade secret, moral rights or other proprietary or intellectual property rights, or rights of publicity or privacy…” (Lamb, N 2012).

However, audiences often pin and re-pin images without paying attention to the terms of use or giving credit to the owner of the content. Audiences also discover images from other media platforms and upload them on Pinterest so they can share with others. These posts then have a very likely chance to go viral by having others repining. A case study that involves Pinterest having weak copyright policy is the Christopher Boffoli’s photographs being used without permission case. Christopher Boffoli, who is a Seattle-based fine art photographer, sued Pinterest for infringing upon his copyrights and other intellectual property rights. Christopher Boffoli claims that his photographs have been posted over 5,000 times on the public site, and that Pinterest isn’t doing enough to “protect photographers and their work” (Archambault, M 2015). Christopher’s artwork was being used without permission, which weakens Pinterest successful relationship with audiences and raises concerns with its copyright policy.

Conclusion

It’s evident that media convergence plays a positive but also negative impact on the relationship between Pinterest and audiences. The fact that Pinterest can be accessed from multiple media devices and media platforms, allows audiences to be a part of a participatory culture; be able to comment on, generate own content and have an active participation, all show a positive aspect on how media convergence has led to a positive and successful relationship between Pinterest and audiences. However, the flexibility of Pinterest raises concerns whether Pinning violates image licenses and breaks copyright.

In the Christopher Boffoli case study, I believe Christoper should’ve been aware of the fact that others would have reused his photographs as they’re publicly displaced on the Interest, but Pinterest should make their Terms of Use more clear. If audience’s content continues to be reused by others without permission, slowly artists, photographers and others using Pinterest will think twice about uploading their work on Pinterest. This would disadvantage Pinterest’s purpose and significantly weaken Pinterest’s relationship with audiences.

Bibliography:

Archambault, M 2015, ‘Photographer Suing Pinterest in Federal Court Over Repeated Copyright Infringement’, Peta Pixel, 27 May 2015, viewed on 1 June 2015, < http://petapixel.com/2015/05/27/photographer-suing-pinterest-in-federal-court-over-repeated-copyright-infringement/&gt;

Collins, S 2008, ‘Recovering Fair Use’, MC Journal: A Journal of Media And Culture, vol. 11 no. 6, viewed 30 May 2015, <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/index.php/mcjournal/article/viewArticle/105>

Davis, H 2013, ‘What is Remix?’ Re:mix Culture’, weblog post, 11 March 2013, viewed on 1 June 2015, <http://unmixable.blogspot.com.au/2013/03/what-is-remix.html>

Jenkins, H 2006, ‘Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide’. New York: New York University Press, p. 282.

Lamb, N 2012, ‘Will extensive terms and conditions make you un Pinterest?’ Xposure Marketing Brands, 20 March 2012, viewed on 3 June 2015, < https://xposurecreative.uk/will-extensive-terms-and-conditions-make-you-un-pinterested/>

Lawler, R 2014, ‘Pinterest Rolls Out Messaging So Pinners Can Have Conversations Around Shared Pins’, Tech Crunch, 6 August 2014, viewed on 3 June 2015, < http://techcrunch.com/2014/08/06/pinterest-messaging/>

Lule, J 2013, ‘Chapter 1: Media and Culture’, Digital Media Literacy, Howard University.

Mitew, T 2015, ‘Will you be my audience? Empowerment, access and participation across media platforms’, lecture presentation, BCM112, University of Wollongong, viewed 2 June 2015, < https://prezi.com/jxq_2muer3ea/will-you-be-my-audience-bcm112/>

Moritz, D 2012, The 10 Commandments of Using Pinterest for Business’, Amy Porterfield, 5 June 2012, viewed on 3 June 2015, < http://www.amyporterfield.com/2012/06/the-10-commandments-of-using-pinterest-for-business/&gt;

Ortutay, B 2015, ‘Pinterest drawing wider audience; $11 billion social-media hub hopes to corner market on brainstorming’ The Columbus Dispatch, 6 April, viewed on 3 June 2015, <http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2015/04/06/this-pinup-has-legs.html&gt;

Statista, 2013, ‘Statistics and facts about User-generated Content in the U.S’, The Statistics Portal, February 2013, viewed on 2 June 2015, <http://www.statista.com/topics/1716/user-generated-content/&gt;

Wong, Q 2015, ‘Pinterest to launch ‘buyable pins’ for easy purchases’, San Jose Mercury News, 2 June, viewed on 3 June 2015, <http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_28235673/pinterest-launch-buyable-pins-facilitate-purchases-social-network>

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I’m a Micro-Celebrity… Get me out of here!

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I have used this image from http://i.ytimg.com/vi/Pb19JwNhfGo/0.jpg and modified it.

For my final BCM112 blog task, I’ve decided to make a soundcloud post. In this post, I define a micro celebrity sig Alice Marwick’s definition. I discuss online persona characteristics and why Micro-celebrities create audiences for themselves online. I mainly focus on the social media platform, Twitter and use a traditional celebrities Twitter page; Katy Perry as an example to show how traditional celebrities have adopted techniques from ‘micro-celebrities’ to create an online persona and reach their audience in order to gain popularity.

Screen Shot 2015-05-15 at 6.56.10 pm

Reference List

Marshal, P.D 2010, ‘The Specular Economy’, Society, vol. 47, no. 6, pp. 498-502.

Marwick, A 2011, ‘To See and Be Seen: Celebrity Practice on Twitter’, Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies, vol 17 no. 2, pp. 139–158

Material to Digital … Digital to Material. Oh what a transformation!

We are living in a digital age where we have easy access to digital technology such as computers, smart phones, internet and games. Through the advent of digital technology,  we can transform physical materials to digital materials.  An example of a material to digital transformation is animation.

Animations allow audiences to go beyond the realistic world to an out-of-world experience based on sound and visual art forms. Animation has unique strengths in exploring metaphors and creating larger than life characters (O’Neill, S & Wells, K 2012) . Animations can be traditional hand-drawn animations, stop motion of 2D and 3D objects, such as clay figures, computer animations that are created digitally on a computer, or mechanical animation which is the use of mechatronics to create machines which seem animate rather than robotic.

An example of a computer animation is the 2015 trending Chineese app, “My Idol”. This app allows users to convert photos to a 3D Animation of themselves as a bobble-headed cartoon. Users can make the cartoon appeal to their taste by dressing them up, changing their face structure and skin tone to make the animated cartoon an identical version of themselves. Users can also unleash fantasies by creating videos of their cartoon driving a bike, being an erotic dancer, playing a cricket match and what not!

Today I have given life and personality to an inanimate object. Here is a material to digital transformation of myself. using MyIdol. Material = A print photo. Digital = animated cartoon of myself using an app.

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 10.37.59 pm  Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 10.38.39 pm

This app has allowed me to go beyond the realistic world. I am now a cowgirl! Pew Pew!

Here is another animation on MyIdol. Just doing what I can’t actually do.

If I were to print out these to photos, a digital to material transformation occurs because the digital always has a material component.

Reference List

O’Neill, S & Wells, K 2012, ‘Animation in Australia’, Australia,gov,au, viewed 14 May 2015, <http://www.australia.gov.au/about-australia/australian-story/animation-in-australia>

See it, capture it, share it. Congratulations, you’re a qualified Citizen Journalist.

Mainstream media like television, radio and newspapers used to be the only sources of news in the pre Internet era. That situation is changing. With the increasing diverse range of media platforms and technological devices, anyone can act as a journalist!

Citizen Journalism is based upon public citizens “playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing, and disseminating news and information.” (Bowman, S. & Willis, C 2003, p. 9)

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 6.12.27 pm

I found out (at 12pm) about the filming of the Mad Max Movie in Sydney before I heard about it on the news (at 6pm). My Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook was filled with some people fuming about their 3 hour traffic-jam experience, while others had an entertaining view from their work office. This just shows that anyone, anywhere can be news worthy and media platforms play a key part! We are living in a participatory culture  – nowadays we can upload anything (acting as an active participant) on media platforms and it can reach a global audience. With the creation of websites such as ‘Storify’ and ‘Before it’s news’, anyone can report news worthy information which makes it easy citizens to be heard and for professional journalists to write stories. Win -Win!

Another example of citizen journalism are citizens using their dash cameras to capture car accidents. Often news channels ask for footages such as dash cam footage by citizens as professional journalists have limited access and are not always directly affected by what is happening.

Here is a video of a few dash cam footages that have been posted on Youtube. How often do you see professional journalists post videos like these?

(The Richest, 2015)

However, is citizen journalism a threat to professional journalism? Is the audience more likely to believe citizens who capture their personal experiences than professional journalist who are paid to report?

“The venerable profession of journalism finds itself at a rare moment in history where, for the first time, its hegemony as gatekeeper of the news is threatened by not just new technology and competitors but, potentially, by the audience it serves.” (Bowman, S & Willis, C 2003, p. 7)

I personally think both Citizen and Professional Journalism is important for todays audience and users. Citizen journalism is important because it captures the incident at the time, providing factual evidence and professional journalism is important because professional journalist dig deeper on the topic and provide the audience with a larger quantity of information.

Reference list:

Bowman, S & Willis, C 2003, ‘Chapter 1: Introduction to participatory journalism’ in We Media:  How audiences are shaping the future of news and information’,  The Media Center at the American Press Institute.

The Richest, 2015, ‘Most Shocking Events Caught On Dashcam’, online video, 31 January, Youtube, viewed on 3 May 2015, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJU3xivT264&gt;

I always love a good transmedia story.. tell me more?

TransmediaFranchise2

(Transmedia Storyteller, n.d.)

Transmedia storytelling is defined by Henry Jenkins (2007) as “the process of integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience”.  Whether it’s a movie, comic, novels or a video games, it contributes to a larger narrative.

Transmedia storytelling occurs because of media convergence – no single media satisfies our curiosity or our lifestyle, we always seek for more. Transmedia Storytelling is the ideal aesthetic form for an era of collective intelligence. As the audience is becoming actively involves, having multiple delivery channels heightens the audience’ understanding, enjoyment and affection for the story. The unfolding story design creates the motivation to engage with other participants, seek out other parts of the story, and contribute to the narrative by adding content (Rutledge, P 2015)

An example of transmedia storytelling is the movie Frozen. Well, it started off as a movie and not long after – Frozen scatted between many channels.  I have created a short video on the diverse range of Frozen channels – DVD’s, game apps, fan sites etc. This was my first time creating a video so the quality is not superb. Hope you enjoy. 🙂

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 3.57.30 pm

Click on the picture or click here – Transmedia Storytelling 

Reference List:

Jenkins, H 2007, ‘Transmedia Storytelling 101‘, viewed on 1 May 2015, <http://henryjenkins.org/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html>

Rutledge, P 2015, ‘What is Transmedia Storytelling?’,  A Think Lab, viewed on 1 May 2015, <http://athinklab.com/transmedia-storytelling/what-is-transmedia-storytelling/>

Transmedia Storyteller, n.d., ‘Transmedia Storytelling‘, viewed on 1 May 2015, <http://www.tstoryteller.com/transmedia-storytelling&gt;

ReeeMixxx – The rise of remix culture / Remediation

tumblr_mc4oajSpxC1qzytg13fksC

Remix culture is “a society that allows and encourages derivative works by combining or editing existing materials to produce a new product” (Davies, H 2013). A remix culture would be, by default, permissive of efforts to improve upon, change, integrate, or otherwise remix the work of copyright holders.

The minion movie and fast & furious 7.. Why can’t we have both? The Furious minions!

(Movieclip Trailers, 2015)

Today thanks to remix culture, anyone can remediate factual material to creative works (Bruns, A 2010, p. 1) Whether it’s an image, video, web, audio or product design, any individual can add their personal touch by creating remixes, mashups or parodies of the original content and sharing it through social media platforms like Youtube and Facebook. In the video above, an entertaining mashup is presented of two well known movies; fast and the furious 7 and the minion movie on a popular youtube channel; MOVIECLIP Trailers. .

Remix culture is expanding from its early roots of the player piano and is becoming an essential aspect of contemporary art practice (Lessig, L 2008, p. 24)

Lawrence Lessig discusses two styles of creativity; Read-Only culture (RO) vs Read/Write culture (RE).

A Read-Only culture gives the power to the creators and is supposedly set for professionals as it provides protection of their work. The public can only absorb and take in the culture, but it leaves no room to interact with the culture. A Read/Write culture is not only for professionals, but for publics as well and allows the public to add, change, influence, and interact with their culture. Although there is no limit to what can be done, copyright infringement laws disadvantage a Read/Write culture (Lessig, L 2008, p. 28).

Read Only appears to be supported by laws but Read Write is considered illegal due to copyright claims that are set in stone with government regulations. Under current copyright laws, anyone with the intent to remix an existing work is liable for lawsuit because copyright laws protect the intellectual property of the work.

Lawrence believes people should be able to remix songs, or utilize the ideals of Read/Write with no legal issue and that reforming copyright law is the only way to salvage it: “We, as a society, can’t kill this new form of creativity. We can only criminalize it. We can’t stop our kids from using the technologies we give them to remix the culture around them. We can only drive that remix underground” (

The question I would like to leave here is: Do you think remediation should be protected under copyright laws? Where should the line be drawn? I personally think the public should have the right to remediate what they’re interested in, as long as they’re not doing it only for entertainment and not for a profit.

Reference List

Bruns, A 2010, ‘Distributed Creativity: Filesharing and Produsage‘, Snurb.info, viewed on 20 April 2015, <http://snurb.info/files/2010/Distributed%20Creativity%20-%20Filesharing%20and%20Produsage.pdf>

Davis, H 2013, ‘What is Remix?’, Re:mix Culture, weblog post, 11 March 2013, viewed on 20 April 2015, <http://unmixable.blogspot.com.au/2013/03/what-is-remix.html>

Lawrence, L 2008, ‘Culture of our past’, in Remix: making art and commerce thrive in the hybrid economy, pp. 23-31.<https://archive.org/stream/LawrenceLessigRemix/Remix-o#page/n46/mode/1up>

Movieclip Trailers, 2015, ‘Furious Minions – Minions Invade The Fast & The Furious (2015) HD‘ online video, 28 March, viewed on 20 April 2015, <ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpHRXsZAseQ>

Stephey, M.J 2008, ‘Lawrence Lessig: Decriminalizing the Remix’, Time, 17 October, viewed on 20 April 2015, <http://content.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1851241,00.html>

Will you be my audience?

PREZI PRESENTATION

For my BCM112 week 5 blog task, I have decided to create a prezi presentation which conveys the convergence of the media environment and how it has changed the role of media users and audiences. I discuss prosumers and the participatory culture relating to Youtube and Facebook and how the audience of these platforms is still the same. Users and the audience can still actively participate in discussions, have a civic engagement and form individual expression.

Reference List

Chau, C 2010, ‘Youtube as a participatory culture’, Wiley Online Library, viewed 6 April 2015, <http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/yd.376/epdf>

Jenkins, H 2006, ‘Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide’. New York: New York University Press, p. 282.

Mueller, B 2014, ‘Participatory culture on YouTube: a case study of the multichannel network Machinima’, London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London.

The Rise of Lifestyle Media, Achieving Success in the Digital Convergence Era’, 2006, PricewaterhouseCoopers Technology Center, viewed 5 April 2015, <https://www.pwc.com/us/en/technology-innovation-center/assets/lifestylemedia-gx.pdf.>

Media convergence and ideologies; The Apple VS Android battle

The ongoing technological shift, known as media convergence, alters the relationship between existing technologies, industries, markets, genres and audiences, also allows us to identify major sites of tension and transition which is shaping the media environment (Jenkins, H 2004). Thanks to media convergence, media owners have choice; choice to choose which media platform to have, how much access to technology we want,what kind of access we want etc.

Reflected back on earlier technologies, we had less variety and limited access to specifications and features. For example: phones. Users had less variety of phones to choose from; no one had a smart phone, thin or thick wasn’t an option. A phone couldn’t be used for navigation, web browsing, downloading information, playing games or downloading apps. Now a phone can be used as not only a telecommunication device, but also as an mp3 player, navigator, mini television, radio and even a professional camera.

Media convergence; less is more.

Media convergence; less is more.

This proliferation of channels and the portability of new computing and telecommunications technologies is constantly changing and allowing us to enter an era where media will be everywhere and we will use all kinds of media in relation to each other. (Jenkins, H 2004)

This media convergence has lead to open vs closed ‘Permission vs. Permissive’ ideologies.

The owner-empowered ecosystem of Apple, versus the generative platform of Android.

Two systems I would like to discuss about open vs closed ideologies are Apple iOS ‘closed’ and Android ‘open’.

 (Dark Pixel 2012)

Apple follows the ‘closed’ ideology:

  • It has a closed architecture CODE. The iPhone comes preprogrammed.
  • Security resistant
  • Locked into the walled garden as all apps are only available from one place and are subject to Apple’s approval.
  • Users can’t modify or add programs to the all-in-one device that Steve Jobs sells you.(Zittrain, J 2008)

Android on the other hand, follows the ‘open’ ideology:

  • Anyone can modify the system how it suits them and it’s free.
  • The Android software is developed by Google, which then releases the open-source to device manufacturers (e.g. Samsung, HTC, Motorola, Sony, LG, Huawei, ZTE etc) who develop the phones and tablets and tailor the basic Android software from Google to their devices. That means there is much more device diversity.
  • Android phones and tablets come in many different screen sizes, with or without keyboard and are budget-friendly. (Beginandroid, n.d.)

Which one is better? Thanks to media convergence, the choice is up to you. I personally prefer Apple iOS. It’s simple to use, has everything I need neatly displayed and when I need more, I download it.

Referencing list 

Beginandroid, n.d., ‘How is Android different from iPhone, Symbian, or Blackberry?’, Begin with Android, viewed 26 March 2015, <http://www.beginandroid.com/different.shtml>

Dark Pixel 2012, ‘Phone Wars’, online video, 14 November, Youtube, viewed 26 March 2015, <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FT7K_429YWc>

Jenkins, H 2004, ‘The cultural logic of media convergence’, International journal of cultural studies, vol. 7(1), viewed 26 March 2015, < http://eng1131adaptations.pbworks.com/f/Jenkins,+Henry++-+The+Cultural+Logic+of+Media+Convergence.pdf>

Zittrain, J 2008, ‘The future of the internet and how to stop it’, Yale University Press, viewed 26 March 2015, <http://yupnet.org/zittrain/archives/6>

Copyright, may not be right!

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Copyright was designed in the 18th century as a right limited in scope and duration to ensure that culturally important creative works were not the victims of monopolies and were free “to promote the progress.” (Collins, S 2008).  The Internet, digital media and file-sharing networks have thrust copyright law under public scrutiny, provoking discourses questioning what is fair in the digital age. The question I would like to raise is: are copyright laws going overboard and limiting our rights?

A recent copyright infringement incident is of a cat video that was posted on youtube March 2014 and got flagged for copyright infringement of a song called Focus — a track with copyright administered by music publisher EMI and collecting society PRS.  News.com.au article (16 February 2015) stated that the video wasn’t removed from the website, however the uploader was no longer paid for views on the video.

After reading about the cat purring, just makes me question our rights and freedom. Yes I wouldn’t like it if I went through blood, sweat and tears to create something, pay for it to be advertised and go through other expenses, then someone uses it freely for their benefits without acknowledging my effects. That would annoy me! So copyright does have it’s pros. But the rapid expansion of copyright laws is just making it harder to be innovative and creative. A individual can’t feel “free” to upload a video they’ve recorded and edit it the way they like it because it’s “similar” to something else with copyright administrated by the owner. Ok if someone tried to make extreme profit of someone else work, but I personally think flagging a video of a cat purring for copyright is just going overboard.

Collins, S 2008, ‘Recovering Fair Use’, MC Journal: A Journal of Media And Culture, vol. 11 no. 6, viewed 24 March 2015, <http://journal.media-culture.org.au/index.php/mcjournal/article/viewArticle/105>

News.com.au, 16 February 2015, ‘Cat video gets flagged on YouTube for copyright infringement of a song’, viewed on 25 March <http://www.news.com.au/technology/science/cat-video-gets-flagged-on-youtube-for-copyright-infringement-of-a-song/story-fnjwkt0b-1227221470469>

THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE

So it took me a while to write this post. I was confused for a while about what “the medium is the message” by Marshall McLuhan actually means. I repetitively read the text ‘What is the Meaning of The Medium is the Message?’ by Mark Federman, until I could finally evaluate.

An Academic Media Theorist who is known as the High Priest of Pop-Culture, Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase “the medium is the message”. (Kappelman, T 2001)

For McLuhan, a medium is any extension of ourselves. Anything that helps us do more than what our bodies can do on their own. For example, using a selfie stick to take a longer distance photo or using a car instead of walking by foot.

Also, a message is the change of scale, pace or pattern that a new invention or innovation introduces into human affairs, noting that it is not the content or use of the innovation, but the change in inter-personal dynamics that the innovation brings with it. (Federman, M 2004) For example, the room going quiet once the television is on.

Thus I interpret the complete phrase “the medium is the message”; as we have access to new inventions and contexts, our behaviour change without us noticing, which is more important than the content itself. In other words, the medium offering out information has greater importance than the information itself. For example; when reading a newspaper article on the internet, the way we use the internet and how we use it is more important than the article itself.

McLuhan tries to get us to think and see outside the box.

His theory is that the sooner we notice change in our societal or cultural ground conditions, we can set out to characterise and identify the new medium before the effect becomes pervasive. Being able to identify the new medium and control it would seem to consist in moving not with it but ahead of it.

Therefore, it’s not the content of the message that matters, but the medium because it modifies our senses when processing the received information and affects our society in a way we don’t expect or notice over time. This is why the medium Is the message. McLuhan’s theory was an interesting read and took me a while to understand it. I do agree with his phrase because I have noticed that new inventions and innovations change the way we behave and perceive things.

Reference List 

Federman, M 2004, ‘What is the Meaning of the Medium is the Message?’ Retrieved <19 March 2015> from http://individual.utoronto.ca/markfederman/MeaningTheMediumistheMessage.pdf.

Kappelman, T 2001, ‘Marshall McLuhan: “The Medium is the Message” Retrieved <20 March 2015> from http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/mcluhan.html