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Free Culture - Marc Bright
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Free Culture - Marc Bright

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Morals are standards of behaviour; a set of principles that determine right and wrong. As a society we mostly consider ourselves to be moral individuals. If placed within a moral dilemma we go back to …

Morals are standards of behaviour; a set of principles that determine right and wrong. As a society we mostly consider ourselves to be moral individuals. If placed within a moral dilemma we go back to the taught morals that our parents, mostly the Baby Boomer and Generation X have instilled in us to make sound decisions. But what if the internet changed these rules?

So how are these morals questioned?

An example can be seen within the music industry. As a society we now download more music online via online services rather than going to bricks and mortar stores due to the ease and instant nature that we are used to. But without music piracy pioneered but Napster, we wouldn’t have set the president for entrepreneurs to build viable legal options such as Spotify.

In 2004, a Barna survey revealed that fewer than 1 in 10 Teenagers Believe that Music Piracy is Morally Wrong. Despite the widespread coverage of the legal arguments and fight against piracy, most young consumers possess no moral qualms about getting music illegally. Instead, the vast majority of teens (86%) believes that music piracy -including copying a CD for a friend or downloading non-promotional music online for free - either is morally acceptable or is not even a moral issue. Just 8% claim that such activities are morally wrong.

In 2004 to 2009, data in the USA has shown that 30 billion songs were downloaded illegally. In 2010, published Spanish statistics for illegally downloading files equated to 97.3%, which is almost the entire population. While statistics for 2013 aren’t out yet, Spain has ramped up the law so if you are caught illegally downloading, you might end up with a prison sentence longer than if you found guilty of rape.

As a society we have become used to taking data to gratify ourselves instantly. We take what we need and not thinking about the consequences and rarely reflecting upon where or whom it came from. While there’s conflicting evidence that piracy doesn’t hurt the creative industries as much as they think, without looking at other alternatives will only harm the new generation Z in giving them channels to consume.

The next steps for the previous generations to keep the pressure on technology makers and platforms to provide us with viable options of consumption. We need to keep building upon the free culture movement to enable the generations after. By further providing legal choices, people will be able to still continue to have ease of access at free or competitive prices, still keep to the same consumption rates. The difference is that we are making a new set of standards where we place culture in higher regard and not to challenge our moral code and influence the generations after.


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  • Morals are standards of behaviour; a set of principles that determine right and wrong. As a society we mostly consider ourselves to be moral individuals. If placed within a moral dilemma we go back to the taught morals that our parents, mostly the Baby Boomer and Generation X have instilled in us to make sound decisions. But what if the internet changed these rules?
  • Where do you fit in?
  • Much has been written about the previous generations, but little meaningful has been written about the current generation. If we look at the traits we see things that previous generations don’t have as a whole. Whether it’s because our generations simply didn’t have the readiness of information and communication channels developed in the last ten or so years to seemingly make our lives easier, we are playing catch up to understand how we use and get information in a meaningful manner in the same way a digital native does. Since the emergence of social media platforms and smartphones, we have had to reeducate ourselves to use these technologies and not seem it as a gimmick whereas Generation Z understand and use them instinctively.
  • So how are these morals questioned?
    An example can be seen within the music industry. As a society we now download more music online via online services rather than going to bricks and mortar stores due to the ease and instant nature that we are used to. But without music piracy pioneered but Napster, we wouldn’t have set the president for entrepreneurs to build viable legal options such as Spotify.
    In 2004, a Barna survey revealed that fewer than 1 in 10 Teenagers Believe that Music Piracy is Morally Wrong. Despite the widespread coverage of the legal arguments and fight against piracy, most young consumers possess no moral qualms about getting music illegally. Instead, the vast majority of teens (86%) believes that music piracy -including copying a CD for a friend or downloading non-promotional music online for free - either is morally acceptable or is not even a moral issue. Just 8% claim that such activities are morally wrong.
    In 2004 to 2009, data in the USA has shown that 30 billion songs were downloaded illegally. In 2010, published Spanish statistics for illegally downloading files equated to 97.3%, which is almost the entire population. While statistics for 2013 aren’t out yet, Spain has ramped up the law so if you are caught illegally downloading, you might end up with a prison sentence longer than if you found guilty of rape.
    As a society we have become used to taking data to gratify ourselves instantly. We take what we need and not thinking about the consequences and rarely reflecting upon where or whom it came from. While there’s conflicting evidence that piracy doesn’t hurt the creative industries as much as they think, without looking at other alternatives will only harm the new generation Z in giving them channels to consume.
  • Free culture allows the freedom to share, distribute and engage a wide range of creative content. These are backed by creative commons licenses and permissions. It’s about lifting barriers to the full range of human potential and empowering those lacking representation and power through media and technology.
    It benefits our economy by allowing companies to flourish and provide services to all in a free or ultra cost friendly manner. It allows the creative industry to have balance. It allows creatives to continue to produce work for public consumption in a defined space and allows consumers to access it without the fear of potential criminal repercussions.
  • Creating a balance is an important aspect of internet use. We must as a society build upon platforms that enable both the needs of the creator and consumer to be met equally. This is a challenging point as both sides often see themselves as the most important. An example of how this works is the music streaming service Spotify.
  • An interesting quote which shows that a moral choice may help people to make a more informed choice if they are provided with good options.
    In Norway when piracy, investigated by Ipsos MMI, it became apparent that services such as Spotify had a hugely positive impact on lowering music piracy rates. It estimated about an 80% reduction due to legal alternatives.
    To put this into numbers, music piracy soared to around 1.2 billion downloads in 2008 in Norway, but was a manageable 210 million in 2012, a sixth of what it used to be.
    The important role of market-led solutions to the piracy problem, the report surveyed users asking if they used the popular music streaming platform Spotify. 47% of users said that they did, half of these users said they paid for a premium Spotify account.
  • The next steps for the previous generations to keep the pressure on technology makers and platforms to provide us with viable options of consumption. We need to keep building upon the free culture movement to enable the generations after. By further providing legal choices, people will be able to still continue to have ease of access at free or competitive prices, still keep to the same consumption rates. The difference is that we are making a new set of standards where we place culture in higher regard and not to challenge our moral code and influence the generations after.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Free Culture, Morals and Generation Z
    • 2. Are you a moral person and where did you learn your morals from?
    • 3. 3 Who Are You? • • • © 2013 Cheil Europe Ltd. All rights reserved. Generation X: Early 60’s to early 80’s Generation Y – Early 80’s to the early 2000’s Generation Z – Late 90’s onwards
    • 4. Who are Generation Z? • Well networked, more ‘virtually’ present, and more tolerant of diversity • Comfortable with and even dependent on technology • Materially satisfied, yet financially conservative • Well educated, informed and environmentally conscious • More connected with their parents than prior generations © 2013 Cheil Europe Ltd. All rights reserved.
    • 5. Example: Music downloads and sharing © 2013 Cheil Europe Ltd. All rights reserved.
    • 6. 6 How does free culture ideas help? © 2013 Cheil Europe Ltd. All rights reserved.
    • 7. 7 Creating a balance •Understanding the needs of a creator •Understanding the needs of a consumer © 2013 Cheil Europe Ltd. All rights reserved.
    • 8. 8 “When you have a good legitimate offer, the people will use it," Olav Torvund, a former law professor at the University of Oslo. © 2013 Cheil Europe Ltd. All rights reserved.
    • 9. The next steps for the future • • • • Quick access to information Growing the creative industry economy Move more amounts of music, film, art, TV, dance to easier platforms for consumers Bring better balance for both creator and consumer © 2013 Cheil Europe Ltd. All rights reserved.
    • 10. The next steps for the future • • • • Quick access to information Growing the creative industry economy Move more amounts of music, film, art, TV, dance to easier platforms for consumers Bring better balance for both creator and consumer © 2013 Cheil Europe Ltd. All rights reserved.