As time progresses, society is constantly changing to accommodate the way in which we live. In recent years society has had to adapt to the new realities of the digital era, in which we are constantly looking for different ways to interact with each other and entertain ourselves. Media is of vital importance to this process – information gathering and distribution remain crucial in the society we live in.

However, when it comes to culture, copyrights and crowdsourcing, the process by which digital content is published and shared becomes somewhat complicated.


Last night I watched web activist Brett Gaylor’s documentary, RiP: A Remix Manifesto. It explores how culture builds upon culture in the information age, and left me thinking about how the furore over sharing and copyright enforcement is affecting technicians, artists, producers, distributors and consumers.

If you have the time, it’s definitely worth a watch.

I still buy records and love going to the cinema. However, there have been many nights where I have found myself on file sharing and video streaming websites. Who has not downloaded music or a movie from Internet? However, are we violating creative integrity and copyright?

I cannot make a decision whether I am or not, so I’d push for a compromise. Appropriate intellectual property rights, balanced carefully with the rights around fair use and privacy, allow artists and distributors to create and exchange value.

With the recent explosion of on-demand media streaming via the Internet, there has been a reduction in illegal downloads. Netflix has seen such rapid growth due to its ability to combine low prices with a fast, high-quality streaming service, and has been responsible for reducing piracy since 2012. The distribution benefits of other streaming services, such as Amazon subsidiary LoveFilm, are less transparent, but it seems clear that they, as well as the many television and radio iPlayers, are helping to address this intellectual crisis.

From my point of view this is the economic model we should be defending. It is not about destroying intellectual property, but about removing the effects of closure.

Technology is evolving and changing the way we consume media. As Alan Watts says “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”