Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Cyberspace and Control
The reading for this week focused on who controls cyberspace. Chapter 3 started out with an analogy, comparing cyberspace to the Harvard Yard and then explained how cyberspace, unlike the Harvard Yard, involves more than just physical space. Also, the chapter suggests that cyberspace is divided into two classes, namely, those that value of cyberspace and inherently good, and an end in itself; and those hat see cyberspace as a means to a particular end. Chapter 4 explains the issues of control with cyberspace. With so many users from around the world, how does a person or an entity regulate something like the Internet? How does someone enforce copyright laws in cyberspace? Two possible solutions proposed in this chapter were limited protection combined with a rather extended period of protection, or broaden protection combined with a ore limited period of protection. Cyberspace brings up a concern about the control and freedom. The amended Copyright Act of 1976 explains that, "Copyright protection subsists in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression." However, with cyberspace it is difficult to apply and enforce this law it is increasingly difficult to find fixed, predictable, and tangible shapes. The chapter provides four reasons with examples to explain why enforcing copyright laws will be difficult: it is difficult to police who copies what and distinguish whether or not it is authentic, the concepts of originality and authorship are making less sense in the context of digital expression, it will not work for economic reasons, and because the structure of the Internet is constantly changing. Chapter 21 provided anthropological examples and examples from religious history to explain how information campaigns depend on concretizing living myth with fixed data.The chapter explained how when a public relations person describes a group of people as a targeted market removes communication with equals from the equation. Similarly, advertising focused on creating needs rather than fulfilling needs.