This module revolves around the fairly new issue (the last 15 years) of online piracy, laws that affect these pirates, and ways that online interactions are now allowing for a vast network of worldwide (not only) communication, but also transfer of data. Two of the articles (Bradley, D. and McCourt, T.) discuss the very famous “Napster” issue, and how that enormous story has changed the internet (and how users interact with the internet) forever. For myself this is very relevant because I am a musician. The adaptation of music sharing through users has changed the way in which this industry will be structured forever. Not only are artists unable to rely on record sales for income, but they have to find more creative ways of having their music distributed and recognized. In the old structure, “gatekeepers”, or the people who decided what music would be distrubuted and made main stream really was in the hands of record companies and stores. With the sharing of music digitally, the “gatekeeping” has moved more so to users whos opinions are respected (and people will download their thoughts on music) or websites such as “pitchfork” which rate new artists. Many artists actually just allow their music to be downloaded free now, in order to create a buzz and gain revenue off of paid commodities such as concerts, or merchandise.
Bradley argues that this transition is one that not only changes the way in which we participate, but the very nature of the products and resources themselves are being transformed. He relates the napster phenomenon with hacking, and the evolution and dominance of MP3’s. This seemed like the time for a perfect storm.
The Larry Lessig video is also very relevant to this topic. He is an advocate of online sharing. I have actually seen one of his documentaries (the name escapes me) but he talks about the absurdity of trying to criminalize creative sharing. In one video he actually went to the home of a young woman who was sued for an absurd amount (somewhere in the hundreds of thousands) for the downloading of an album.
The reason all of this is so important is because the music industry is one that has forever been detatched from homes. Getting music and observing music, or actually paying for music (all basic access besides TV or radio), was always done outside (Ex. going to HMV for a CD, or going to a concert). Industries that are this old and set in their ways do not take kindly to reform, especially when it is forced upon them by consumers. They have however taken some right steps to adapt, such as making all albums available for digital download on iTunes. The fact remains however that the music industry has changed forever.