All posts by adanc2013

MODULE 5 – SUMMITIVE POST

It seems that the angle I have taken towards online piracy, downloading, and the change in the music industry has struck a cord. The comment I recieved on my post agreed with me, seemingly whole heartedly on most issues. The only difference came in the remixing of music. Firstly, we both agreed that the change of physical types of music (CDs, tapes, etc,.) disappearing and being replaced with digital files is sad. The ritual of purchasing a CD or tape, and placing it in a machine that has to read it in order to play it has been done away with. This is probably even more so shocking for consumers who have been around music for a very long time (who saw the evolution of vinyl, and other forms of music consumption). We both agreed that the music industry has been changed for good. This make it obvious that changes need to be made, but in what respect? How can there be a happy medium between allowing users to download, and not robbing artists of a product they have worked very hard to create? This is where the new age of music technology becomes precarious. It is very difficult to draw up a blueprint that would work in all situations. To me it seems like there is not a “one-size-fits-all” solution to this issue. It will more likely be an on going, continuous struggle for the music industry to find its new niche in todays digital age. Finally, we disagreed on the remixing of music (such as what some hip hop artists do, or DJs do daily). The comment seemed to think that this act should be deemed illegal. I disagree witht hat standpoint because that erase4s some of the creativity that is being created with todays digital forms of music, especially with DJ’s and electronic dance music (of which I am an avid fan). These issues all revolve around the exponential development of technology and how certain industries are going to deal with this. Other industries have taken a hit too. Nobody buys newpapers, because news is available free online. Rarely do people buy DVDs of movies, or TV shows (as they did before) because this is also available online. I agree that some changes need to be made in order to potentially regulate this type of piracy, but I dont think making certain aspects illegal will do anything (as we have seen with downloading music, not much change came with the attempted criminalization of downloading music).

Module 5 – Initial Post

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.

Module 4 Summative Post

I realize I am entering this slightly late, but I think this Module’s topics were very relevant to today’s society (more so than  the other modules). Through the comments and my own ability to wade through the information given this module, I think that we can all agree technology is arriving and excelling at a very rapid pace. Because of this rapid transformation of how we recieve data, how we contribute data, and how we percieve data, technology is actually having an adverse effect on people’s lives (especially in Western culture and Canada specifically).

Specifically, the remix portion of this weeks readings and video clips was the most controversial and important. In terms of media, there is ever more access today than there was 50 years ago (or even 20 years ago for that matter). We are bombarded with new media (videos, music, movies) daily, and in the past 5 years the accessibility has advanced even more. Downloading of all types of programs, videos, movies, music and television shows is becoming daily activity. Not only is it accessible, but there is more of it to be consumed. This is where the Remix aspect comes into play. With so much media available, and so much having been done since these mediums have existed, there is bound to be overlap. Much of the music today is based off of old music, or remixed. Some of the comments brought to my attention film; the students believe remixing this medium (where you literally observe spectacle) is inappropriate, where as music seemed to be okay because it is inevitable. I am not sure where I stand on this because, yes, maybe a scene coppied from a movie infringes on copyright laws, but what are we to say of artists who copy previous artists not only in music, but also liver performance and image (ex. Lady Gaga in comparison to Madonna).

In today’s age it is very difficult to decipher where you are getting real, fake, or copied information, and as the years fly by this is likely to increase due to the vast ocean of media available from every laptop, computer, tablet, and smartphone.

Producers-Consumers in New Media

“The cultural logic of media convergence” (Jenkins, 2004) opened my eyes to the ever expanding and always changing world of media (and today digital media). WE are literally bombarded every day with new ways to interact with eachother, as well as new ways to encounter information. This is creating the “age of anxiety” I like to call it, because either you are missing something, or you know too much. You know it all, or you know nothing; or, you are in between. In any case it seems like new discoery is always around the corner, and honestly the information flies at you like a rain of bullets. I loved the part about “gatekeepers”, because myself as a musician understand this concept fully. Jenkins (2004) states that either you believe there are a wide array of gatekeepers controlling the media we encounter (things like television, movies, music that is played on the radio), or you believe there are no gatekeepers, and information flows freely (suych as free online music, youtube content, wikipedia). It is clear however that in this digital age, there is a combination of both. Sure I am free to post a youtube video, and almost anyone worldwide “could” access it, but how does it become popular? Who is the gatekeeper that could tweet the link and have millions of viewers take a peek? I argue that specifically in terms of popular music, gatekeepers still hold a heavy hand.

In terms of “Everything Is a REmix” there are certain aspects I like, and some that I disagree with. Sure, most music, media, etc. has been remixed, been done before in some facet or another. But if we really believe EVERYTHING is a remix, then why even bother? As a producer of music I cant believe this or my purpose in creating new music would be null. Maybe in todays age we have to accept the REmix as a form of originality; DJs do it, rappers do it. Remixing other forms of media, and how creat9ive you can be with it is a very valid way of showing your own originality. The way two songs sound mashed over eachother  can be a creative expression as well, or merging to types of music to make another. Just because you are using content that is previously released, doesn’t mean it is not original.

These days, it seems like information is freely accessable. Surfing the web can lead you to a string of valuable (or not so valuable) information. Though some copywriting may not allow a friend on youtube to post you favourite episode of Game of Thrones, there is stil access to millions of videos’ covering likely any topic you can imagine.

Get used to it, the internet isn’t going anywhere.

 

 

Wikipedia Op-Ed Piece – “Prostitution in Canada”

canadian-parliament

         The Wikipedia article titled “Prostitution in Canada” is highly problematic. The reason it is so problematic is because this topic can easily include bias depending on personal opinion. It is stated in the “talk” section of the entry that there are certain users who are editing with improper or biased information on a regular basis. This becomes a very relevant issue because the discussion of prostitution in Canada is currently in the federal and provincial level courts.

         In order for pages like this to be successful, as well as reliable for scholarly information (which was a popular discussion in the Royal, C. & Kapila, D. reading, as well as the Jensen reading and the several blog entries by students in our group) there has to be no bias. The majority of entries that cover policy and issues in politics should stick to facts rather than opinion. Sometimes this is difficult to decipher, because even the substitution of certain words can create a bias. Not only should bias be eliminated (as much as possible) there has to be adequate citing within the page.

       Issues that have two (blatant) sides of opinion are most likely some of the most controversial on Wikipedia, and remain the reason why the stigma of innacurate information is tagged to the popular site. With two opposite opinions, edits can be made to pages to reflect the emotional or opiniated side of one author, and not with the best interest of the public’s knowledge in mind.

       Though some of the information seems to be biased, it also seems that there is a meaningful and respectful conversation occuring in the “talk” section of this article. Legitimate questions are being asked, and many of the contributors are attempting to mediate between what parts of the articel are biased as well as what parts should be taken out due to lack of in page citation. The editors of this page as well as the public are also putting in an effort to point out the IP addresses of those people who are blatantly editing incorrect or biased information into the page.

        In all, the article seems to hold a bias against prostitution. Many of the cited entries come from readings, websites, and experts who are strictly for abolition of prostitution, which is highly biased and problematic. The base of this issue is that decriminalization of acts around prostitution may lead to a safer environments for the sex workers. The page also attaches prostitution with human trafficking,  which through research has been proven not to be a direct correlation (especially in Canada).  

       After all of this talk about how the article is biased, there are positives to note. Firstly, one of the issues raised in the talk section was no reference to a current case in Canada (“Bedford v. Canada”) and a lack of a page made for this issue. Since that post there has been a post covering the entire case, and a page made devoted to the case. This is very important because if Wikipedia posts are to be reliable they have to keep up with current issues.

        As http://kkuhlblog.wordpress.com/ mentions in their May 27th post, there is definitely a need to double check information discovered on Wikipedia, and this is doubly true when observing policy, politics, or political issues. The ability to look on government pages, or more reputable pages for concise information is very important when dealing with issues that could include bias.

       Given the process in which Wikipedia articles are formed, I believe that they are reliable, taken with a grain of salt. Though there can be biased information (as my specific article choice has proven) usually the information is still valid. When reading a WIkipedia article there is no doubt one can attain enough information to create a conversational opinion, but until there is a clear mediator who is neutral to issues, this website will not be acceptable for academic research. There is however a light at the end of the tunnel when observing the “talk” section of these entries. The fact that conversation exists to attempt to remove bias, include valid information, update articles to date, and block editors who are using inaccurate information is a positive towards a more reliable Wikipedia.