Media piracy: on the bright side.

It is obvious that in order to create high quality media content, the producers have to spend a lot of time and effort on the work. Therefore, they are deserved to receive in return what is respective with their dedication, in terms of both materiality and mentality (Karaganis 2011).

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Credit: The American Assembly.

Currently, media producers are struggling with a phenomenon when their products are being distributed in a massive amount, at a low cost and most importantly, without their awareness and permission. This is what is defined by Karaganis 2011 as ‘media piracy’. ‘Media piracy’ is more likely to happen in developing countries where policies against copyright infringement are not as effective as that in developed nations. Furthermore, even in developed countries, media piracy still exists in the form of consumer goods in grocery stores, especially those of immigrants. For example, in Australia, it is totally possible to buy un-authorized DVDs with a relatively low price in, for example, Asian or Indian grocery stores (Athique 2006).This notion is serious in the way that media content is made available at a much lower price than what the producers want and the money earned is not going into their accounts.

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Credit: WordPress.

However, this situation can also have a bright side. According to Karaganis 2011, ‘high prices for media goods, low incomes and cheap digital technologies’ are the main reasons leading to media piracy. As mentioned before, media piracy is more popular in developing countries, where have lower living standard so people have to spend their little earnings on many expenses, which makes official, copyrighted media products something too luxurious.  Therefore, the question is: “Do people have unequal right of consuming media content because of their different circumstances? “. In this way, media piracy brings about the ‘mentality’ return (mentioned above) to producers as it promotes media circulation and distribution by giving chances to more audiences to consume (Jenkins 2004). This argument is reasonable in the way that without exposure, or audiences, media content is just worthless regardless of the quality because no one realizes or even knows about it. Therefore, media piracy can be considered a trade-off for media producers.

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Credit: MakeUseOf.com.

On a whole, if media producers want to create high quality, not just ‘high grossing’ products, this is what they want to achieve. With a larger amount of audiences, media producers and their products are more likely to be known and recognized. This explains why nowadays more and more artists are choosing to distribute their products publicly on digital platforms for free. Latest hits or music videos with high quality are released online requiring no fees for audiences. In this way, media producers promote their reputation both in number and scale, which can earn them money in return from advertising activities or concert.

References:

Athique, Adrian Mabbott 2006, ‘Bollywood and ‘grocery store’ video piracy in Australia’, Media international Australia, no. 121, pp. 41-51.

Karaganis, J 2011, Media Piracy in Emerging Economies, Social Science Research Council, United States of America.

Jenkins, H 2004, When Piracy Becomes Promotion, MIT Technology Review, viewed October 24th 2016, <https://www.technologyreview.com/s/402969/when-piracy-becomes-promotion/&gt;.

 

 

 

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The Internet of Things: things are not going to rebel, aren’t they ?

This week we came up with a really interesting topic of the ‘Internet of things’ which can be defined as “a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction”, according to Internet of Things Agenda.

Personally, I consider it is the notion of how people apply sensors to stuffs around us and we have not only smartphones, but ‘smartthings’. The examples range from bracelets helping us to know our bodies’ status to smart toothbrushes recognizing teeth’s problem or even a smart house. The advantage of this transition is far more than we can imagine such as smart cement monitoring stresses, cracks, and warpages, which is installed after the bridge collapse in Minnesota in 2007.

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Despite all those benefits, there are concerns such as lack of privacy or security. Personally, I have another concern. As we have already known, smart devices actually operate based on our habits, which can be understood as following structured actions. So what if one day, they will not follow the same pattern anymore, and do something else ? Or worse, rebel ? Okay, they are just machines, but they are ‘smart’. Recently one of the smartest human-like robots also said that she would ‘destroy human’ so anything can happen.

Tell me guys, they are not going to rebel, aren’t they ?

Here but not here.

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One of the task for this week tutorial of BCM240 was to take photo of someone using a mobile device in a public space. I and my mate Mitchell captured several cases but the picture above was the one we found most interesting. The picture was shot in front of UOW library which can be considered a public space. The signage system here was various which contained many screens or posters. However, they did not draw much attention from pedestrians due to several reasons such as they were busy chatting, thinking or like the guy in the picture, using their mobile devices, which according to Williams 2013, are called ‘short term bias‘.

In this case, we can somehow say that this public space had been turned into private space virtually as the person was engaging in personal practices. This can be linked to the theory called ‘Presence bleed‘, which can be explained that people are now can physically be in one place but virtually in another place simultaneously (Gregg 2013). For example, I may sit in the lecture theater but I do not pay attention to the lecture but to an online discussion somewhere else instead. Therefore, the border between public and private space has been blurred. Coming back to the guy in the picture above, he obviously was in a public space but his attention was not put on what was happening around him, even a big screen right in front of him. On the basis of his attention, how can we say whether he was in a public or private space ? Personally, I think the notion of ‘Here but not here’ can be applied in this case and millions other cases that each and everyone of us are explaining in the digital era.

In terms of photography ethics, we took this photo without the guy’s awareness and permission because we considered that was how we can have the most natural look at the case. If we told him in advance, he might not be in his natural habit of using mobile devices (Bray 2012). After we took the picture, we came and told him of what we just did and the purpose of it. We also asked him for his consent to put this picture on our blog along with our analysis and obtained his agreement.

Reference:

Bray, Simon 2012, How To Get Your Subject To Act Naturally, EnvatoTuts+, viewed September 2nd 2016, <https://photography.tutsplus.com/articles/how-to-get-your-subject-to-act-naturally–photo-9729&gt;.

Gregg, Melissa 2013, Presence Bleed: Performing Professionalism Online, Academia, viewed September 2nd 2016, <https://www.academia.edu/1513344/Presence_Bleed_Performing_Professionalism_Online&gt;.

Williams, Bri 2013, Why we ignore early warning signs and what to do about it, Smart Company, viewed September 2nd 2016, <http://www.smartcompany.com.au/people-human-resources/training-development/31994-why-we-ignore-early-warning-signs-and-what-to-do-about-it-2/&gt;.