Culture, Inc.

From your syllabus reading for Mach 30, reading Kim McLeod’s “Freedom of Expression,” Chapter 4 (Culture, Inc), share your thoughts on the following snippets extracted from the chapter. Provide the arguments made by the chapter for each point in a sentence or two, the examples the author chooses, then either support or argue against these in your own claim and providing examples of your own (about 5–7  sentences of your thoughts worth for each point below):

  1. Missy’s work is “akin to a hyper-hyperlinked Web page that sends you zooming from one clickable reference to the next…” (p. 172)
  2. Joyce used literature like a library, periodically checking out and inserting into his writing, ideas, and sentences that interested him…the irony [is that Joyce, beneficiary of his grampa’s] copyrights, regularly uses copyright to prevent his ancestor’s words from being quoted in films, plays, and scholarly works.
  3. Hip-hop broadcasts its message far and wide, but in code” (p. 175).
  4. Referencing pop culture helps define our identities and cultural preferences. It also provides us with a kind of grammar and syntax that structures our everyday talk. (p. 178, last para).
  5. Companies want us to feel comfortable with their intellectual properties and their brands, for them to feel like our “friends.” But they are extremely needy, attention-seeking, and money-draining friends.” (p. 180, 3rd para). Debate referencing the arguments on p. 179.
  6. When simply wearing a competitor’s logo to a corporate-sanctioned school event is considered a subversive act, it’s much harder for freedom of expression to be a tenable concept. (p. 182).
  7. Companies such as Nike want fans to use their trademarks, but in approved ways. As soon as critically minded citizens subvert those uses, the corporations lash back in the form of cease-and-desist letters. (p. 183, bottom para).
  8. The few places where biting satire is safe from the threat of intellectual-property litigation are areas…like The Daily Show… and The Onion, a fake newspaper (both of which, interestingly, tend to be more influential and pointed than many legitimate news sources). (p. 184, top para)
  9. Most of us associate satire with…freedom of expression; genuine satire doesn’t require permission from trademark lawyers. (p. 190).
  10. Product placement in films and video games? (p. 194). Has their use ever been subverted for other purposes?
  11. Media piracy doesn’t always have to express an overtly political or high-minded statement; it needs only to be a creative act, even of the most trivial kind. (p. 205, bottom para).
  12. By threatening ISPs and search engines, intellectual-property owners can simply make you disappear if they do not like what you have to say, something that was much more difficult in a nondigital world. (p. 213, bottom para).
  13. Under the DMCA, the decision about what is fair use is shifted to intellectual-property owners, and they aren’t necessarily fair and balanced. (p. 214, second last para)
  14. Search engines are potentially liable under the law for simply linking users to web sites, though they, too, can avoid lawsuits if they cave in to the demands of overzealous copyright bozos. (p. 215, last para).
  15. Even when it works against their particular interests, intellectual-property activists acknowledge the importance of cultivating open flows of information. (p. 222, middle para).
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11 responses to “Culture, Inc.

  1. Rachel Yarsky

    1. I think it is a cool and innovative idea for Missy Elliot to do something like that. It keeps the audience in the loop and allows them to learn more by moving around the internet freely.
    2. I think that it is wrong of Joyce for preventing others from using his work because he found that using others’ work that interested him in his own work to be inspiring. So by enforcing copy right laws on his own work, he is hindering expression of other writer who could grow by using Joyce’s work.
    3. Hip-hop being in code is a great example of freedom of expression. It shows that is still has roots to its original demographics, even though the message is able to reach all kinds of people.
    4. Expression in pop culture, such as music, influence our expression in everyday lives. If we identify with things being said in lyrics, we will start to live by them and express them in conversation and actions.
    5. If companies can make society members feel connected to their product by appearing to be their “friend” then the customer will remain loyal. I do not think this is the most morally correct thing because the company is just appearing as a “friend” but they are really just trying to obtain that loyalty to continue making more money off of you.
    6. Wearing a competitor’s logo to a corporate event, that should be allowed based on freedom of expression. But it is just as wrong as buying food from a restaurant and then bringing that food into a different restaurant to eat it. Neither is illegal because of freedom of expression, but there are certain social rules that apply because it hinders business from that company if a different company is being promoted from within.
    7. This statement is a little hypocritical. It is understandable that you want your brand put out there in a certain way, but once people purchase that product they can do or say anything they want about it and express how they feel freely.
    8. Talk shows and newspapers can interpret and express news any way they want. I think this can be an issue sometimes because if people need information, they should have the right to think that the source they’re getting it from is reliable and no fake news.
    9. In satire, there is a lot of self-censorship so that there is no real offense to anyone. Satire is usually a comedic expression of ideas and some companies, like Pepsi and Pizza Hut, have liked their products being used in satirical ways because that way appeals to the public and seems “cool”.
    10. Product placement is mainly for product advertisement. It adds no real positive message to the media it is a part of besides advertising. But on the other hand, in video games it can help create a sense of real life.
    11. Sometimes, with media piracy, it can just be because a fan enjoys a certain thing (like the Star Wars example) and wants to see an expansion on it. They use their own creativity to do so since the expansion doesn’t exist, it has nothing to do with politics and it doesn’t need to be a high-minded person doing it, it can just be an ordinary fan.
    12. This statement proves that things that you post are being monitored, and even if you have a right to say something or not, you should think about what you post and do on the internet. Posing a threat is not something that is tolerated but just because someone does’t like what you have to say doesn’t mean you should be removed.
    13. The fact that decision making is done only with intellectual-property owners is unfair and very anti-progressive. It was been proven that those individuals are not the only ones capable of determining decisions and it is not fair that they get to be the only group that is represented.
    14. It is not right that the only way that large search engines can protect themselves is by signing into the high demands of copyright. They should not be responsible for what their users search or how their users find information on their browsers.
    15. Open flows of information is a positive thing and it is a good thing that intellectual-property activists recognize this. As long as people aren’t using this open flow criminally, then it is a great way to uphold freedom of expression and find what you want to on the internet.

  2. Julianne Reif

    1. I suppose it’s referring to a metaphorical webpage, but either way she’s using her music as a cultural snapshot to express her viewpoints on the popularity of 80’s hip-hop. Web pages have a similar ability as far as providing depth and connection.
    2. Many writers and artists sample from each other. It’s not plagiarism if you somehow give credit where credit is due. Copyright’s are available to secure original information from plagiarism. I doubt Joyce would be opposed to others using his work without any compensation but not to its referencing.
    3. Hip-hop like other genres discusses a variety of subject that connect to people of all races, ethnicities, ages, etc. But unless you have the relevant experiences to make those connections then the lyrics aren’t relevant, especially with the use of slang and jargon.
    4. Especially in our interconnected world where there are so many things that make us different, and even so much content that differentiates our preferences, pop-culture really has become a more relevant common thread. Not to say that the shows we watch or music we listen to is any kind of a moral compass, however it definitely helps us relate to one another and is much more subject to updates and modifications.
    5. The two arguments are discussing how much ownership brands and media content hold over us. And the reality is that no matter how convincing or cheap/inexpensive, the final decision is up to us. We hold the power on whether or not to subscribe to what they’re giving.
    6. I think that bringing a corporate function to a public school is a bad idea from the start. Furthermore I understand how freedom of expression becomes more difficult to manage, but without backlash we’d all become conformists.
    7. Companies like Nike have the right to be concerned about the use of their brand, however if they are selling a product as visible and versatile as clothing they cannot monitor the safety of their image unless it is infringing on copyrights.
    8. Fake news sources like these have become necessary participants in the modern news cycle because with the insurmountable amount of content being distributed all claiming to be fact, someone needs to give us a friendly reminder and help us sort out the bs.
    9. It’s a very interesting discussion because while we know products like Pepsi and Pizza Hut to be ours, because we use them and they’re a part of our culture, we must remember that they don’t really belong to us and the makers have every right to control the brand.
    10. Product placement is more than advertising, it’s really the shaping of the brand. If you see a product in a piece of media, than it needs to reflect a similar message.
    11. In rebuttal to 9. On the other hand while the content legally belongs to the maker, the consumer has a lot of freedom to shape the experience how they best see fit.
    12. This is where free speech and the internet really become a conflict. Companies will work around the law or find loopholes that are best for their business but at some point a line must be drawn.
    13. The parties with the power are the ones paying, but they need to keep in mind that if they don’t respect their users, then they can’t survive.
    14. Same response. They have the money but must use it wisely.
    15. Any content or product distribution is a two way street. Any producer is only as successful as their consumer allows them to be.

  3. 1. It’s really cool that Missy is sampling from eras before her time, because it gives the listener a look back on the history of the genre so-to-speak, similar to how we can easily find the history of the Internet.
    2. I think it is hypocritical for Joyce to copyright his own work because he doesn’t want others using his words, yet he uses others’ work to inspire him.
    3. The claim that hip-hop speaks broadcasting in code is a great parallel to Internet culture in a way. Both speak in code, but the listeners and readers can still understand and make judgments based on what is being said.
    4. Referencing pop culture to form our own identities also relates to Internet culture and freedom of expression. We are free to like whatever we want, discuss whatever we want, and relate to whatever we feel suits us.
    5. I understand that companies want to appear as our “friends” to keep us as customers, but they need to still back up their claims with a good product. Companies can come across as friendly as they like, but without a good product, they will not have many loyal customers.
    6. While it is certainly a form of freedom of expression to wear something such as a Nike shirt to an Adidas sponsored event, it may come across as a lack of respect for the event and those putting it on. It would be similar to going to a car show for all Fords wearing a Mopar shirt.
    7. If someone purchases something with a company logo on it, they now own that product, and can use the product however they wish, as long as they are not trying to make profit on someone else’s work. Deadmau5 got in trouble with Ferrari for changing the logo on his car after he purchased it. However, nothing came of the situation other than him selling the car with the original logo for a new car.
    8. News media can report the news however they see fit due to freedom of expression. As with everything, there are regulations, but obviously bias comes in to play with the news media, so people must be careful to believe everything they read.
    9. Satire is an effective way to broadcast one’s opinion and in most cases, brands are happy to take part in satire because it gives them free recognition. Again, if there is no money being made at someone else’s expense on a copyrighted item, there should be no problem as it is freedom of expression.
    10. Product placement in films and video games has never been an issue to me. If a company pays to be advertised in a movie or game, and it doesn’t ruin the experience, I see no issue with it.
    11. Media piracy can take place in many different ways. One example I have come across on the Web is small artists who have there work online have had it be used without their permission by large companies for profit, which is obviously not ok.
    12. I think that silencing those that disagree takes away immensely from freedom of expression. Everyone has the right to their own opinion, whether the creator likes it or not.
    13. The whole issue with fair use determination being limited solely to the intellectual property owners can be a big issue for content creators online. People have been sued online for using content that should be protected under fair use, but the intellectual property owner did not like how the content was used so they sue. However, it should be protected by fair use.
    14. It is stupid that search engines can be subject to copyright laws based on what the users search. If the intellectual property owner published whatever they made, they must understand that it could be found in a search one way or another. The user should be liable if they break copyright laws, not the search engine.
    15. I like that certain intellectual property owners are trying to acknowledge the importance of the open flow of the Internet. They understand that they will face critics and possible copyright issues, but still believe the Internet should be used for freedom of expression as well as the freedom to access and share information.

  4. 1. The chapter argues that Missy Elliot’s album Under Construction made reference to hip-hop icons of the time and used samples from other songs. Using these references and samples together in one album link them together, similar to hyperlinks in a web page. I agree with McLeod’s argument. The use of these elements together in a musical album can effectively inform listeners of other musicians and songs that were popular at the time of the album’s release, and they can then access those musicians and songs.
    2. McLeod argues that Joyce used literature available at the time to create his own writings; a process which is unable to be applied to Joyce’s work today due to copyrights exercised today by Joyce’s grandson. I disagree with this use of copyright, but I do believe that Joyce was able to benefit greatly from being able to access literature at his own discretion. This is similar to the function of the Internet which provides necessary information to its users who in turn can utilize this information.
    3. McLeod’s argument that “Hip-hop broadcasts its message far and wide, but in code” (157) asserts that while the exact language used in hip-hop music might be difficult for some to understand, it has been able to influence many different people from a variety of backgrounds. I think that this is an interesting argument because there are many genres of music that are popular in 2017 that are heavily influenced by hip-hop music. Hip-hop has been broadcast “far and wide” and has thus been able to influence musicians of all genres.
    4. The ability to reference pop culture allows individuals to better connect with one another. It allows people to identify common interests and backgrounds that define individual identities. Grammatical structures employed in pop culture can influence the way an individual speaks as well. I agree with this argument, as I personally make pop culture references often with friends and family.
    5. McLeod argues that companies have vested interested in making people comfortable with their brand while also needing attention and money from them. The example of McDonald’s attempts to make customers feel that the company cares about them individually is addressed by McLeod. Another company, Target, attempts to make its customers feel cared for by referring to them as “guests.” Although it might seem that a company cares about its customers individually, such policies can also be ways of increasing sales by enticing additional customers to purchase offered services and products.
    6. The author argues that as brands become more integrated into the everyday lives of consumers, individuals can define themselves and one another by the brands they prefer. The author discusses the “subversive act” of wearing a competitor’s logo at a corporate even hosting by a school, and how such freedom of speech can be accepted or in some cases vilified. I think that people identify themselves by their preferred brands; for example, Apple vs. Mac computers. Individuals have the freedom to choose between the two and should be able to express these preferences.
    7. McLeod’s argument that companies only want their trademarks used in approved ways is true, as they fear the reputation of their brand could be at stake. I think that corporations are probably overzealous sometimes in this regard, as with fair use laws that permit the usage of film to create original content.
    8. McLeod cites the Daily Show and The Onion as two satirical sources that are safe from intellectual property litigation. I think that satirical sources, regardless of how “mainstream” these sources are, should be able to use such intellectual property for satirical sources to express opinions.
    9. Satire is associated with freedom of expression, according to McLeod, who says that “genuine satire doesn’t require permission from trademark lawyers” (190). I think that many content sources will claim to be satirical, but the nature of their content misses the mark. I agree that satire isn’t accomplishing its goal if it must be beholden to trademark lawyers because at that point it isn’t subversive.
    10. Product placement in films and video games is used by companies to advertise their brands to target audiences. Their use has been subverted for other purposes, either by the media formats they are included in or by consumers themselves.
    11. McLeod argues that media piracy can be creative and not necessarily political or sophisticated. The author provides the example of a fan cut Star Wars: Episode 1 that made the movie shorter, adjusted the plot, and altered the role of Jar Jar Binks to improve the film. I think that this act of creation out of content that already exists is an important role of content creators online, who effectively can add new content by altering content that already exists. For example, film reviewers on YouTube utilize film clips to critique media content, and do not necessarily have political or sophisticated messages.
    12. The author argues that the Internet has provided intellectual property owners the opportunity to threaten ISPs and search engines to effectively silence content online they do not like. I think that this is a particularly crucial point in the conversation of net neutrality and the maintenance of free speech and the Internet’s open architecture. The ability of intellectual property owners and ISPs to dictate what content can be produced and accessed is similar to companies decided how their brand can and can’t be used.
    13. The argument that fair use laws have shifted to intellectual property owners who are not always fair means that many content creators are dissuaded from making parodies of existing content. I personally think that individual creativity should outweigh the maintenance of a brand’s image and profitability, and disagree with this extensive control being given to intellectual property owners.
    14. McLeod’s argues that search engines too can sometimes bow to the demands of intellectual property owners who threaten lawsuits. The Church of Scientology is cited as having pressured Google into removing links to sources that criticized the church. I do not think that intellectual property owners should have this much influence particularly over search engines which do not produce content, but allow users to access it.
    15. I do agree with the intellectual property activists in this case. Like the open architecture of the internet, the open flow of information is critical to allowing users to continue to innovate and provide content to others.

  5. 1. What Lessig means when he says this, is that the constitution may protect us from punishment when advocating what we believe in but by doing that it does not, on a different end, protect the social norms that we break which may have negative implications as well. An example that his book provides is that everyone has the right to “promote” the decriminalization of drugs according to the law and our freedom of speech rights but that does not mean that social norms have not been broken and suffering won’t occur in other areas of one’s life as a result. Architecture is also like this, the US is set up as a democracy but “Only professionals get to address Americans on public issues-politicians, scholars, celebrities, journalists, and activists, most of whom are confined to single issues.” By saying this Lessig implies that there are subtle but definite angles that have been set into place that limit information transfer and reception essentially to regulate and protect the government and Americans. We are constrained not by what the government upholds but through the implications of these modalities that keep it protected.
    2. This quote pretty much says it all. The Internet was built on an open platform meaning that it can grow to function in other ways than the original programmer intended without modifying the source code in the process. This means that the Internet is constantly able to grow in different ways making it difficult to control speech in cyberspace. The modalities discussed earlier are what makes this function controversial. Lessig mentions how repressive regimes are “puzzled over how we could think of ourselves as free when only the rich can speak and pornography is repressed.” Architecture and norms in particular are what drive this point further by creating indirect repercussions.
    3. Wikileaks provides us with the most recent example of tension rising between having the ability to freely publish information and wanting government privacy. “Prior restraint” is when the government gets a court to stop publication of some material, rather than punish the publisher later for what was illegally published.
    4. Spam, is unsolicited commercial email sent in bulk. I believe that law should not interfere with spam and that the need for new innovation will carry different interfaces for everyone some of which may include more powerful spam blocking technology. Enabling the ability to block information flow in any instance interferes with what Americans have labeled freedom of speech. The issue here is that speech becomes a linear means of communication that doesn’t imply that others will get the message, or at least that is the part that has gone unaccounted for. Whether content sent is characterized as spam or includes pornography, the US government has placed clear regulations on each that pose clear biases within the US constitutional structure which can be viewed in more than one way. The debate stems from here now as to what will and won’t be regulated and how that will be justified. Porn is regulated “not obscenity and not child porn, but what the Supreme Court calls sexually explicit speech that is ‘harmful to minors’.” Lessig states that obscenity and child porn are largely regulated too through a few of the modalities discussed earlier- laws and social norms.
    5. Due to the Internet’s open architecture, spam and porn operate in much different fashions online than they would normally in real space. The Internet produces spam due to its architecture, one which allows for money to be made with little effort. Spam does not thrive this way in real space because of the high cost attributed its ability to get the information from one source to another manually. Pornography is regulated unintentionally or intentionally, depending ones view, because of social norms that make it taboo to discuss publicly. Therefore the regulation of both are not reliant solely on what rights they protect, but also are influenced heavily by underlying implications of an open platform. The dilemma presented here is how can two different things both being completely accessible on the internet, be influenced and/or suppressed by the same level of regulation in real space?
    6. Ginsburg established that there is a class of speech that adults have a right to that children do not. Class can be regulated by states to ensure that speech is channeled to the proper user and blocked from improper users. This is a form of regulation and its means of justification in US culture.
    7. A tag is a mark placed on programs that are deemed “harmful to minors.” That mark, or language of the Web, would bracket any content the speaker believed is harmful to minors, and the kids mode browsing browser would then not display any content bracketed with this tag. An example of this that our book gives would be a web page marked up “Blah blah blah block this blah blah blah” would appear on a KMB screen as: “Blah blah blah blah blah blah.” This tag gives people the ability to have adult content on their site such as porn without having to go to a separate domain in order to do so.
    8. ACLU’s concern is with the filters that the market has created. They not only filter much more broadly than the legitimate interest the state has here-blocking speech- they also do so in a totally non transparent way. So essentially this means that the user may be blocked from more than intended to due to technical errors that come along with the innovation of this filtering system. I remember when I was younger and my mother was the admin for our household computer. She would use this type of software in order to keep the computer a cleaner environment for me, but as I got older the software began wrongfully blocking me from certain content. This was very frustrating to me, but it also gave the ability for the admin to log on and grant permission if he/she wished. For this reason I do not see the filtering system as poor in nature, it just provides more control to parents as their children begin exploring the Internet.
    9. The World Wide Web Consortium’s Platform for Internet Content Selection (PICS) divides the problem of filtering into two parts: labeling which is rating content and filtering which is blocking content based on its rating. They impact freedom of speech because when information is rated and distributed according to solely that, then not everything has equal potential to reach the audience that it might have otherwise.
    10. Zoning builds a system from its own limitations. A site cannot block someone from the site without an individual knowing it. Filtering is different because if one cannot see the content then there is no way they can know they’re blocked. I would rather use the H2M+KMB solutions because it at least gives notice of what I am being blocked from and why which then gives me an opportunity to challenge it.
    11. Lessig argues that the zoning regime that allows one to self-identify is less transformative than filtering and he is for the method that is least transformative.
    12. The law can’t be too effective at regulating spam because they think spammers will be better at evading law then they are at evading spam filters. Spam is created with the intent of producing a commercial transaction. This incentive is created by a purchase therefore spam becomes a response. Lessig explains that the organization from which the purchase is made should be the target of regulation. He says that the aim here should not be to regulate the end of assuring what we could call “consensual communication.”
    13. Digital networks function by making copies which is the sole difference between its role in digital and real space. Lessig says “practically every single ordinary use of culture in real space is free of the regulation of copyright.” In real space however, there are a number of ways to use a creative work without triggering the law of copyright. Some examples provided are retelling a joke to a friend or loaning them a book. No copy is made in these instances and to the friend, no public performance occurs.
    14. I believe copyright should have a role in the digital world beyond the minimal protection of the “idea/expression” distinction and the requirement of “fair use.” I think that credit is deserved where credit is due whether the material created be tangible or not. I believe that use of the material should be permitted in instances to promote and progress, but the author/creator should still be acknowledged when doing so.
    15. The Wifi example illustrates how spectrum works because it enables a large number of computers to use it in order to communicate without collision occurring. Spectrum shared involves no government or regulator while spectrum allocation is the division of the electromagnetic spectrum into radio frequency bands which is regulated by governments in most countries. I would much rather have less government regulation on the Internet therefore I would go with spectrum shared.

  6. Katelyn Kirby

    1. It allows one to experience various music, looping between them freely, similar to the open architecture of the internet.
    2. This is wrong because it should go both ways and not be selective for what copyright applies to.
    3. This represents a free market, but with allocated code. Seems metaphoric to net neutrality.
    4. Pop culture is an easy identifier for how we can relate to one another while still maintaining many differences. It allows us to share conversation and interests on the basis of a common culture.
    5. Here they are debating between the level of ownership media brands have over us as individuals. Even though we are often persuaded by costs, the decision making lies in our hands to determine whether we give-in.
    6. While it can be said that it is freedom of expression to wear what we choose, it can often be seen as inconsiderate to wear a competitors t-shirt to a sanctioned event. In the big picture, I don’t think this is a huge issue because it is not harming anyone or offending.
    7. It is the corporations right to not want their logos and trademarks to be altered, however once the purchaser owns the article they are free to do what they wish with it as long as they are not turning around to sell said product.
    8. Biases often come into play when providing news to the public, and while these stations have the right to report on what they choose, I don’t not believe they have the right to alter or provide false information to the public.
    9. I agree that this is freedom of expression as long as no one is explicitly profiting off of the trademark.
    10. Not that I have encountered. I think this is an appropriate way of advertising and is actually quite effective.
    11. When piracy becomes profitable then there is an issue. If media is pirated for personal, non-commercial use I do not believe it should be so heavily regulated.
    12. I think this is completely wrong because everyone has their own opinions and should be able to express them freely if they are not harmful to others.
    13. I don’t think intellectual-property owners should be decision makers because they hold biases towards the content.
    14. The search engines do not have control over what users search and therefore should not be liable for copy-right issues. The user should be at fault, although it should be made known that users may search, unknowing that they may obtain copy-righted information.
    15. I agree with these activists because the internet should be somewhere that allows freedom of expression and it should be able to link users and allow them access when they are searching for like-minded content.

  7. Mary McKernan

    Provide the arguments made by the chapter for each point in a sentence or two, the examples the author chooses, then either support or argue against these in your own claim and providing examples of your own (about 5–7 sentences of your thoughts worth for each point below):
    1. Missy’s work is “akin to a hyper-hyperlinked Web page that sends you zooming from one clickable reference to the next…” (p. 172)
    This quote refers to the high amount of intertextuality in Missy Elliot’s songs. The author refers to how, through sampling, Missy directly calls upon older hip hop songs to convey a certain meaning (like sampling Run-DMC’s “Peter Piper”). I agree, I think Missy’s work is the definition of intertextual. In sampling U.T.F.O.’s “Roxanne, Roxanne,” Missy directly imitated the rhyme scheme and cadence of the original song, but used her own words. This is intertextual.
    2. Joyce used literature like a library, periodically checking out and inserting into his writing, ideas, and sentences that interested him…the irony [is that Joyce, beneficiary of his grampa’s] copyrights, regularly uses copyright to prevent his ancestor’s words from being quoted in films, plays, and scholarly works.
    Though Joyce frequently referenced other literary works in his own writing, Joyce’s grandson is so strict with copyright of his grandfather’s work that it is incredibly difficult to write about Joyce even in a scholarly setting. Carol Loeb Schloss almost couldn’t publish her book on Joyce’s daughter because of the strict enforcement of Joyce’s copyrights. I would say that Joyce’s grandson is too strict with his grandfather’s copyrights. For a man who made his living off intertextuality and the way he absorbed and referenced others’ ideas, it is remarkably counterintuitive to be so strict with Joyce’s intellectual property to the point that scholarly writing becomes almost impossible. If you can’t write scholarly material on it, your copyrights are too strict!
    3. Hip-hop broadcasts its message far and wide, but in code” (p. 175).
    This refers to the slang that hip hop utilizes that makes it almost indecipherable to those not hip with the culture. For example McLeod refers to “shizzle my nizzle.” I agree, but I think the phrasing of the statement is a little off-color. Hip-hop broadcasts its message far and wide, but the “code” it does it in is African American Vernacular English, which is just a style of speaking and not a “code” to be cracked, mastered, and imitated. It’s a cultural expression for Black Americans, just as hip hop is a staple part of black American culture. It’s a “weapon of guerrilla warfare” against those in power, namely those in the government that oppress them (like how the CIA was responsible for the cocaine epidemic in black communities).
    4. Referencing pop culture helps define our identities and cultural preferences. It also provides us with a kind of grammar and syntax that structures our everyday talk. (p. 178, last para).
    The pop culture references we make define our interests and beliefs, as well as providing a frame for cultural norms. McLeod refers to how the average American teen is probably more able to catch a Simpson’s reference than an allusion to the Old Testament. I agree that pop culture shapes us today like religion shaped us in the past. With issues of representation, a media that is predominantly white, male, cisgender, and heteronormative will shape a different set of beliefs than a media that is multicultural, gender inclusive, and sexually diverse.
    5. Companies want us to feel comfortable with their intellectual properties and their brands, for them to feel like our “friends.” But they are extremely needy, attention-seeking, and money-draining friends.” (p. 180, 3rd para). Companies want us to like them so we spend more money on them. McLeod refers to McDonald’s wanting to be your “Trusted Friend.” No matter how friendly and genuine companies may seem, their ultimate goal is still to create as much profit as possible.
    Whenever companies try to be “cool” and “relatable” to draw in consumers, I think of this comic: https://twitter.com/dorrismccomics/status/806918652716953600/photo/1
    6. When simply wearing a competitor’s logo to a corporate-sanctioned school event is considered a subversive act, it’s much harder for freedom of expression to be a tenable concept. (p. 182).
    When capitalism rules society, freedom of expression suffers. McLeod refers to a student wearing a Pepsi shirt on “Coke Day.” I think, in the government, politicians receive large payoffs from corporations to support their causes. The NRA, for example, pumps millions of dollars into politicians to help promote pro-gun arguments and legislation. The politicians must continue spewing this rhetoric lest they lose that money, which they probably need to run for office again.
    7. Companies such as Nike want fans to use their trademarks, but in approved ways. As soon as critically minded citizens subvert those uses, the corporations lash back in the form of cease-and-desist letters. (p. 183, bottom para). Companies want consumers to use their trademarks, but only if they’re using them in a display of loyalty or support. If they’re used in criticism or condemnation, they’re immediately met with cease-and-desist letters. It’s fine for people to get the swoosh tattooed on their bodies, but if they use the swoosh to criticize Nike, there are repercussions. Again, this ties into the “profit above all else” mentality of capitalism. See: Fox News getting upset that people call it Faux News.
    8. The few places where biting satire is safe from the threat of intellectual-property litigation are areas…like The Daily Show… and The Onion, a fake newspaper (both of which, interestingly, tend to be more influential and pointed than many legitimate news sources). (p. 184, top para) Satire and parodies from large corporations and well-known names are okay, but satire and parodies from “nobodies” are not. Jon Stewart can mimic Mickey Mouse in front of a televised audience, but the average Joe who sells teeshirts with Mickey Mouse (without permission from Disney) on the side will face repercussions.
    9. Most of us associate satire with…freedom of expression; genuine satire doesn’t require permission from trademark lawyers. (p. 190). Satire, as it exists to criticize and make fun of norms and systems of power, does not require special permission from those norms and systems of power. McLeod refers to Wayne’s World needing special permission from the brands it featured as a sort of “satire-lite.” However, Jonathan Swift did not need permission from the Irish government to write his satire piece on eating Irish babies.
    10. Product placement in films and video games? (p. 194). Has their use ever been subverted for other purposes? Final Fantasy 15 has a remarkable cut scene that is just an extended commercial for Cup o’ Noodles. I don’t know if it’s possible to subvert product placement in video games, unless video games use product placement without receiving permission from the companies.
    11. Media piracy doesn’t always have to express an overtly political or high-minded statement; it needs only to be a creative act, even of the most trivial kind. (p. 205, bottom para). McLeod refers to a fan edit of The Phantom Menace, where the fan garbled Jar Jar Bink’s speech and put in his own subtitles. McLeod says this isn’t a political act, but since Jar Jar Binks is a racist caricature of Afro-Caribbean persons, the very act of reworking Jar Jar into a respectable character instead of racist joke has political implications. All art is political, the only difference is its message.
    12. By threatening ISPs and search engines, intellectual-property owners can simply make you disappear if they do not like what you have to say, something that was much more difficult in a nondigital world. (p. 213, bottom para). DMCA takedowns mean ISPs and search engines immediately comply with intellectual property owners to remove certain links even if they might actually be in fair use. An intellectual property owner, such as the creator of a movie, might demand that all links that are video reviews of his movie be removed because he might not like the reviews people are making. Since reviews are covered under fair use, the reviewers are fine, but ISPs and search engines would probably remove the links anyway unless the reviewers pushed the issue.
    13. Under the DMCA, the decision about what is fair use is shifted to intellectual-property owners, and they aren’t necessarily fair and balanced. (p. 214, second last para) If an intellectual property owner gets to decide what is fair use, they will of course want to promote positive representations of their work and suppress negative representations. This means they might issue DMCA takedowns of fair use, but negative, representations.
    14. Search engines are potentially liable under the law for simply linking users to web sites, though they, too, can avoid lawsuits if they cave in to the demands of overzealous copyright bozos. (p. 215, last para). Search engines, just for linking to something an intellectual property owner does not judge to be fair use, can get in trouble. Oftentimes they settle rather than challenging. Challenging every single case can be lengthy and expensive and generally not in their interests.
    15. Even when it works against their particular interests, intellectual-property activists acknowledge the importance of cultivating open flows of information. (p. 222, middle para). Some intellectual property owners can recgonize that the free flow of information is what enabled them to create their intellectual property, and that freee flow of information allows for the best enjoyment of it. Companies that take parodies and satire in stride and with a good nature are typically more popular than those that don’t.

  8. 1. I think that Missy is sampling music from previous eras in her. This not only gives a nostalgic vibe to the song but also can provide more historical context to its words. Therefore I agree with Mcloud when saying that the use of these elements together in a musical album can effectively broaden a listeners horizons in the musical world while providing easy access.
    2. I think that in this instance, it is hypocritical for Joyce to prevent others from using his work when he draws inspiration from others work to begin with.
    3. McLeod’s argument that “Hip-hop broadcasts its message far and wide, but in code” (157) asserts that while the exact language used in hip-hop music might be difficult for some to understand (ex. slang), it has been able to influence many different people from a variety of backgrounds.
    4. Referencing pop culture to form our own identities also relates to Internet culture and freedom of expression. As individuals we are free to express ourselves in our own way and gravitate towards what interests us the most.
    5. McLeod argues that companies have vested interested in making people comfortable with their brand while also needing attention and money from them. I understand that companies want to appear as if they are in our corner and have our best interest but that doesn’t excuse them from backing up their claims with good product. If the company is found to be promoting falsely then their customer base will not be likely to use those products or services again.
    6. Wearing a competitor’s product to a corporate event may be seen as rude depending on how big or small the logo appears. Freedom of expression is protected but that does not mean that social norms will not be broken that may result in other implications.
    7. McLeod’s argument that companies only want their trademarks used in approved ways is true, as they fear the reputation of their brand could be at stake. If someone purchases a product that is branded it is then their item to do as they want with it as long as it is not used to make profit.
    8. McLeod cites the Daily Show and The Onion as two satirical sources that are safe from intellectual property litigation. Fake news sources like these have become increasingly popular but can in some ways be dangerous due to their bias nature.
    9. Satire is an effective means of marketing because of its humor. There is a lot of self-censorship which also serves as a form of protection for the company or individual.
    10. Product placement is a form of marketing that gives a story to the brand. The product is being placed in specific media with the intent to spark interest in the consumer. I never minded product placement and always thought it was neat to see celebrities that I admire using products that I use as well. It made them seem more personable and human in my eyes.
    11. McLeod argues that media piracy is a creative and not necessarily political or sophisticated. It can take place in different ways some being more innocent than others.
    12. Silencing individuals who disagrees with your practices takes away from their freedom of expression. Not to mention is also portrays an unrealistic image of your business to consumers who are looking for truthful business.
    13. I believe that intellectual property owner needs to take a hands off approach because they are always more bias to their own content.
    14. I think that it is ridiculous for search engines to be subject to copyright laws. If the intellectual property owner put their content online for public viewing then it should be a given that it will appear in search engines when associate words are typed into the search browser.
    15. I agree with intellectual property owners in this instance because this open flow of information is necessary for growth. This shows that they understand possible issues but still believe in innovation through democracy.

  9. Amber Ramsey
    Culture, Inc.
    1. The author is talking about Missy’s ability and way to put time into music and make a story about it. The author used the example of a history book. I agree with the author on how Missy definitely uses a time line and pop culture references to amplify her music and accentuate the use of her references.
    2. I noticed that Joyce did that with the use of libraries. I disagree with the fact that he copyrights all of his ideas because of the reasoning behind it. I don’t understand why he wouldn’t want his own ancestors to use his writings and build off of them when he had his grandfather’s beneficiary.
    3. The author says this because of the underlying messages that some hip-hop songs have. She used the example of the all female Long Island crew called Northern State. I disagree with this slightly because of the generational shift. Hip-hop songs now tend to just say what they mean and don’t use that “coded messaging” like songs in the past.
    4. I completely agree with this statement. The use of pop culture in songs has been a common aspect for many years especially in hip-hop music. Our culture is also impacted in many ways through music. The author relates it to face-to-face interaction and how we can understand and comprehend intellectual properties.
    5. I don’t entirely agree with this statement. Companies can be good and work for a greater goal to help people. the author uses McDonalds as an example. Se explains that companies target younger people by reaching out in ways that interest them.
    6. I think students should be able to wear what they want because freedom of expression is such a vital part of becoming an independent person. The author uses a high school student as an example and explains that he was suspended for wearing something other than what was required.
    7. The author uses Nike, Gap, Tommy Hilfiger, and big companies in general as examples on how companies want their brand to be shown and advertised but in the correct ways. I agree with this because there is a fine line between advertising a product and taking credit for it.
    8. I think that social media has a huge part in how these fake news cites influence the general public. Many people read things on the Internet and believe everything they see. I agree when she stated that they tend to be more influential. This is unfortunate because people tend to repost and share these articles instead of spreading the word of more informational articles. The author uses Disney as an example.
    9. The author uses the movie Wayne’s World to explain how they used a funny spin off of trademarked satire. This movie is full of obvious product placement and trademarked products that have an impact on the movie. Many times, movies use products in them to have sponsors.
    10. The author’s example of Tony Hawk using Quicksilver skateboards makes sense in a way because that is one of his sponsors and the money gained from that helped the game launch. It didn’t cause the game to change in any major way.
    11. McLeod uses Star Wars and Phantom of the Opera for this and explains the authors can make a different alternate ending and still make it entertaining, I don’t think piracy is good considering it is illegal. But from a consumer stand point; the entertaining alternative videos could be amusing and comical.
    12. The author uses Yes Men’s ISP as an example to talk about the ISP being threatened. I understand what she is talking about when she says that it was much harder to make what someone had to say disappear in the nondigital world. But I can’t help but disagree a little because the Internet is forever. There are ways to find what someone has posted even if it is deleted.
    13. Reamweaver is the software that is used for parody accounts and information. This is used to duplicate a site but make minor changed to create a parody site. I think this is where Internet censoring comes in handy because these sites may be hurtful or even dangerous.
    14. The author uses the Church of Scientology as an example. I think this is ridiculous because everyone has freedom of speech. Just because the “religion” didn’t like what the websites had to say about them, doesn’t mean it should be a legal matter and there should be a costly suit.
    15. I stand by the decision of McLaren to not do anything about this website. It wasn’t directly affecting her website and the website was obviously a parody website.

  10. (Brad Kelly)
    1. Missy Elliot has always been an innovator and sampling is a widely-used practice throughout music. But, the way Elliot was able weave her music with samples of her predecessors to pay homage, fits her unique style to a tee. It is easy to see why the analogy fits as it is nearly the same as surfing the web and bouncing from one to another.
    2. It is easy to see why most would deem Joyce’s grandson hypocritical for copyrighting his grandfather’s even though Joyce used other pieces to influence him. His grandsons overly strict copyright laws on these works however, seem extreme and more of a power struggle more than anything. You would hope that in the spirit of sharing and furthering the reputation of Joyce’s works, that there would be some allowance allowed.
    3. This quote is very accurate in terms of noting that Hip-hip has a message, but also uses it very own language in a sense to deliver it. Most that are not connected to the music genre as a whole nor lack knowledge of the slang and verbiage, are not going to properly receive the message compared to those that do. This code allows the artists to speak to their main audience and hopefully resonates a authenticity.
    4. As we become more and more technologically connected, pop culture has grown exponentially. Now that just about every pop culture happening is lambasted over every site imaginable, most now are in the loop and are aware of the reference if made. This now reshapes our day to day conversations as we can nearly universally use these references to conversate or even further a message.
    5. McCleod is right on the money with this quote. Money still reigns supreme and for any consumer to think otherwise is silly. On a corporate level, money is the ultimate dictator, so we as the consumers will also be attacked and pitched this “friend” stance in an effort to create a bond. A strong bond means loyalty and loyalty means money. We are simply fake friends that line their pockets.
    6. Freedom of expression a bedrock birthright that Americans hang on to. Unfortunately, most only believe in this right if the expression is in agreeance with their individual beliefs. Is it silly for someone to be reprimanded for wearing a countering logo on a competitor sanctioned day, of course. Should that person expect no blowback though?
    7. Companies hold their brands and logos close to the vest because most of the time it is the single most distinguishable representation of the company. Therefore, if a person is using the logo in a way that tarnishes or devalues the brand, it will take the necessary measure to cease all negative connotations. Their brand is trademarked for a reason, thus it makes sense for them to protect it at all costs.
    8. There seems to be a fine line of who can get away with satire and who cannot. More of the critically acclaimed satirical sources like T.V. shows have huge audiences compared to the average guy that is trying to do the same thing. With these sources having huge audiences there seems to be a lack of care and litigation due to the possible scale of ramifications that may occur.
    9. In examples of Wayne’s World, it was clear that the movie was supposed to be a satire and to incorporate certain products into the movie for a desired laugh. They asked these permissions partly because of the legal hoops that exist in modern times and the fact that these companies wanted to make sure there would be no negativity associated.
    10. Once again, I think this comes down to in what light is the product at hand being used for. Most movies or video games have to go through litigation in order to get a product inserted. I would imagine that if any entertainment source used a product without permission, there would be lawsuits involved.
    11. There is often a politically charged message behind most works of art, and that is no different than the Star Wars mashup. While the innocent act looked to just try and make sense of a confusing character, it did alter the racists undertones that were a part of the character’s identity. Not all charged statements need to be billboards or TV commercials, some can be presented in the subtlest forms and have immense impact.
    12. This issue is somewhat in the user’s hand, as we could dictate these deleting practices and their use. The element of fair use comes into play and just because property owners do not like the message or do not agree with what an ISP is saying, it does not give them the automatic right to shut them up.
    13. On the contrary, if these intellectual-property holders are allowed to be the ultimate decider of what exists on the web when it comes to their product, we would never see a negative thing about them. They would predictably wield the power over any negative or contradictive entity, a practice that cannot be allowed if we truly have the ability of free expression.
    14. Search engines are not going to get their hands dirty in a drawn out legal process. If they are faced with libel they will too often than not, settle out of court and abide by the demand of the intellectual-property owner.
    15. In todays age, we love the ability to have all the information we could imagine right underneath our fingertips. However, when we feel as though that information is being suppressed or withheld, we immediately want to know more and rally against the forces that are denying us access. Those companies that recognize that there will be good and bad opinions on the web and realize that we have the right to know about both stances, often do better as a whole thanks to their transparency.

  11. Nicole Karlin

    1. I think Missy Elliot uses her music to express her views, and she does this expression through musical eras. This is similar to how the internet can link things together and inform people.
    2. I don’t agree with the fact that Joyce copyrights his own work because I think that without the use of copyright, many others could benefit from his work. Copyright should not be discerning.
    3. Hip-Hop being referred to as a code shows that it can connect many people together through a genre of music. This is very similar to internet “code” where there is a specific language and people can connect to it on a level if they understand that culture.
    4. Pop culture influences our everyday lives whether that be music, or other types of pop culture. People can relate to what is being said in song, things that are on television, and even popular sayings or segments on radio. This brings people a sense of community as well as a way to connect with others.
    5. I agree that it is good that companies try to relate to their customers and become friends with them to reach their end result, however it can absolutely be overbearing at times. If they maintain this friend relationship the customer is sure to stay loyal to that brand, however the bottom line is that we are the ones with the buying power and if we do not have the money to purchase a product, friend or not, we have that decision.
    6. No matter the brand and if it is a competitor or not, you should be allowed to wear whatever you want based on freedom of expression. However, that does not necessarily mean it is morally correct or that I would personally do this. Although I believe in freedom of expression, you also need to understand what may or may not be deemed socially acceptable.
    7. Yes companies like Nike should want their customers to wear their brand in approved ways. However, when your brand is as big as Nike, it is not easy to always monitor. Once they’ve purchased the product, the consumer has the ability to do whatever they please with the product.
    8. Sources like these have actually become primary news sources for many people, and often times they share whatever they feel their viewer would most like to hear as opposed to important news that the everyday person should be up to date on. They can do this because of freedom of expression, however people should be wary of what they believe and do not believe.
    9. People certainly use satire to express their ideas, and people will personally censor themselves in order to not be demonized. The examples of Pepsi and Pizza Hut show the use of comedy when associated with their products which I think a lot of people can relate to.
    10. In my opinion the only real reason for product placement is simply for advertising. For the most part, it adds no greater message to a movie or video game but can be beneficial to a company when placed in the correct context. However, I also think that it can show some of a company’s views based on the type of media they product place in.
    11. Media piracy can be creative and not political, such as remakes of movies or music.
    12. This shows that whatever you say or put on the internet, you should be mindful of as it can be easily monitored. On one hand you have the right to freedom of speech, and on the other hand your freedom of speech is being monitored on the internet which is a medium most people use to express themselves. There are definitely ways that companies work around these rules and being monitored.
    13. This argument has shifted to intellectual property owners that aren’t balanced. However, it is unfair that only a small category makes these decisions, and it needs to be conscious of the entire population, not just their subgroup.
    14. Large search engines should have more of a say on what their users search for and how they find their information. This is how search engines can tailor themselves to different demographics and because they have to be so conscious of copyright it cheats them out of this ability.
    15. There needs to be an open flow of information because one cannot be successful without the other.

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