In 2012, copyright laws and the creative industries they protect, have come face to face with the Internet in an unprecedented struggle for power. According to some, this is having a dramatic effect on our culture (Lessig 2001; Lessig 2004). Whilst most of the attention has been focused towards the United States and the two controlling industry bodies, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the consequences for stricter copyright laws, or new measures to protect them will have international effects (Barrett 2012; Horten 2012; Lessig 2001; Lessig 2004). This essay seeks to discuss the concepts raised in the accompanying poster whilst also examining both the past and present
…show more content…
Lessig (2004) notes that the major Hollywood studios and record labels evolved out of a culture of piracy. Both these American industries grew out of equipment that was used either illegally or in a new and innovative way. Nowadays, the major industries attempt to disrupt the same situations from repeating by inhibiting the evolution and spread of new innovations and Internet technologies and protecting their aged business models (Lessig 2001; 2004). The key issue here is that these disruptions and attempts at maintaining their business models are building barriers into the Internet that need not be there. They will greatly affect the extent and breadth of the cultural commons that the Internet currently provides. Whilst consequences such as region specific websites such as Netflix, are already seen on the Internet, the full consequences are yet to be realised. There is, however, a very real potential for a dramatic change in the landscape of the Internet and the World Wide Web (Lessig 2004).
Looking back at the accompanying poster, there have been attempts to raise awareness of the current copyright landscape as well as attempts to create an alternative copyright scheme in defence of the Internet. Rip: A Remix Manifesto (Galor 2008) echoes much of what Lessig (2001) suggests