Three Guiding Questions To what extent does the Internet media sector mimic the long-established patters of concentrated ownership in the broader print and broadcast media? To what extent has it altered the processes shaping a central area of media content: news production and distribution? What has been the effect of the phenomenon of file sharing, the rise of open-source software, and other intellectual property disputes? Chadwick, chap. 12, p. 289.
Key Scholarly Works on MediaConcentration Ben Bagdikian, The Media Monopoly (6th edn. 2000) Eli Noam, Media Ownership and Concentration in America (2009) Robert McChesney, Rich Media, Poor Democracy (2000) Robert McChesney, The Political Economy of Media (2008)
Key questions How does the diffusion of ICTS affect the distribution of power? Does it empower individuals and small groups or does it privilege large organizations and institutions? Does it undermine existing hierarchies?
Definitions of Power Robert Dahl and Jack Nagel (relational power) Bachrach and Baratz (non-decisions) Steven Lukes (interests instead of preferences) Susan Strange and Steven Lukes(structural power) Joseph S. Nye (soft power) “A Position of Power” video
ICTs and Firm Capabilities: PowerTransitions among Big Firms IBM Microsoft/Intel Google Facebook Twitter What’s next?
What is Google? Founded 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. IPO 2004 ($23 billion) World’s most popular search engine. World’s most popular web site. Built on PageRank technology. ASU students video on Google
Google Executives Larry Page Eric Schmidt Sergei Brin TED video Ken Auletta talking about his book, Googled
ICTs and national capabilities US is ahead in movies, music, software and web-based businesses Taiwan and China are ahead in PCs Korea is ahead in broadband, but also in flat panel displays (with Taiwan) China is coming up but is not in the top tier yet
Relational power Definition: A has power over B if A can get B to act against his/her preferences but according to A’s preferences. Relational power can be coercive or non-coercive. If A can persuade B to change his/her preferences to be more like A’s, then A has influenced B without using coercion.
ICTs and Relational Power Google vs. China Google vs. print publishers/authors Google vs. EU on digitized libraries RIAA and MPAA vs. average consumer of digital music and video Cyberdiplomacy Cyber warfare
Google vs. China Jan 27, 2006 Google launches Google.cn Chinese government forces Google.cn to censor certain Internet searches (Dalai Lama, Falun Gong) Chinese government hacks into Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists Google redirects Google.cn searches to Google.hk (Hong Kong), search results not filtered there Google establishes “evil meter” to monitor traffic restrictions around the world Attack of the Show video
Google’s Library of the Future Google makes deals with multiple libraries Google digitizes books for indexing on Google Libraries get free access to full text versions of digitized books plus money In 2005, The Author’s Guild files a class action suit against Google in defense of copyrights Nov 2008 settlement gives authors and publishers royalties on sales of digitized books in exchange for granting Google legal immunity from copyright infringement
EU vs. Google European Union opposes Google policies of retaining user information; wants it to follow EU privacy policies Google agrees to anonymize data after 18 months; EU not satisfied with this response Bibliotheque Nationale de France begins project called Gallica 2 Project to digitize books of 50 European publishers; authors support this effort Dec 2010: Google opens an e-bookstore, potential rival to Amazon
Cyberwarfare Wikipedia entry 2008: Russian and Georgian sites attacked during the war in South Ossetia 2008: Defense Department reports espionage- oriented attack in the form of a USB flash drive 2009: cyber spy network called GhostNet, using servers in China, taps into classified documents about Tibet in 103 countries 2010: US government uses Stuxnet worm to attack nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz, Iran
Structural Power Definition: the ability to control outcomes that derives from the ability to shape the rules of the system. Example: the ability of the RIAA and MPAA to get the copyright laws they want. Example: the ability of the US government to veto decisions by ICANN Example of attempt to alter structural power of copyright holders via the Creative Commons
New Forms of Structural Power: Architecturaland Algorithmic Power Who determines ICT architectures? PC platform iPod/iTunes 3G and 4G smart phones Who controls central algorithms? Google search engine
Meta Power Who is able to frame the issues in a way that permits people and organizations to redefine their interests and preferences? How does this reframing occur? Consider the cases of net neutrality and SOPA/PIPA How important were ICTs in enabling the Arab Spring?
Lessons: Impact of Diffusion of ICTs Easier to organize and mobilize people who are separated by great distances Internet users feel more empowered; seem to be more active in politics Greater concern over the monopolization of control over channels for the diffusion of digitized content and power of large companies like Google Google and open source software may be undermining the power of other companies and institutions; in some cases this empowers individuals and small groups but not always An important counterexample in the decline of print
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