Lambert 1Curtis LambertEnglish 101Professor Bolton18 July 2012 Annotated Bibliography: Media Piracy and Its Effect on the Entertainment Industry One of the major issues plaguing Hollywood and the entertainment industry today is theongoing debate of the definition of media piracy and where to draw the line within the law. Thearticle that was the catalyst for this research topic was Lawrence Lessig’s essay, “Some Like itHot,” which deals with the age old question: what is wrong with downloading music and moviesfor free? I will concede that there are still unanswered questions and on-going debates about howto legally address and correct the apparent plethora of media piracy that exists in our currentdigital world. Nevertheless, lawmakers want those affected by these copyright infringements tocontinue to be patient as current technology is ever evolving: we just need to give the law “timeto seek that balance” (Lessig 92). I will contend that the precedent for media piracy laws havebeen set since before the turn of the 20th century, and although the type of media continues todevelop and progress at a pace beyond our ability to keep up, the basic statute of the law has notchanged: if one duplicates and/or sells or uses someone else’s media, in any form, without theirwritten or express permission, then they are breaking the law.DIY TV, Where the Small Screen Is the New TV Screen. “DIY TV: Everyone is a Superstar.” Open University, 2007. Films on Demand. Web. 11 July 2012. <http://digital.films.com/PortalViewVideo.aspx?xtid=38812#>. The film, “DIY TV, Where the Small Screen Is the New TV Screen,” explores the
Lambert 2burgeoning industry of new media: the internet, and its effect on the big screen and television.The film deals primarily with production companies who develop and broadcast their ownmaterials across the World Wide Web. This new medium is becoming increasingly popular andtheir viewership is steadily on the rise. These companies are capitalizing on the fast paced,information age, society we have become, with our unquenchable need to have information at ourfingertips the moment it is happening. Some of the new internet production companies have asmany as nine hundred channels available to subscribers. I chose to cite this film because it investigates in great detail the rise of do-it-yourselftelevision. The reporting is informative and relevant to my topic and speaks candidly on the mainissue of my thesis and the basis for my research paper: anyone can pick up a camera ormicrophone and produce, or reproduce someone else’s material, for broadcast or publication withlittle or no backlash, much less legal consequences. One of the many commentators in “DIY TV:Everyone is a Superstar,” in the film DIY TV, Where the Small Screen Is the New TV Screenmakes the statement, “…now with the advent of DIY TV, you can all make your own TV andyou can all become superstars. The question is, are you ready to become a celebrity?” The filmoffers Commentary by William Dutton, director of the Oxford Internet Institute, and is producedby the Open University, a United Kingdom based distance learning institution of highereducation, and is only one of only three United Kingdom higher education institutions to gainaccreditation in the United States of America by the Middle States Commission on HigherEducation, an institutional accrediting agency, recognized by the United States Secretary ofEducation and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. I will use this film reference to support my claim that YouTube used groundbreakingtechnology designed to allow anyone to broadcast themselves on the internet, thus allowing
Lambert 3anyone to broadcast anything with no accountability. However, YouTube also recentlyannounced that they are willing to discuss paying revenue [royalties] to some of their morepopular contributors. That being said, if YouTube can figure out how to track their viewer’s everymove, as well as offer to pay those contributors whose videos generate a large number of views,then why are they [YouTube and internet production companies] not able to develop softwarethat will give credit to artists when they broadcast said artists material?Gantz, John and Jack B. Rochester. Pirates of the Digital Millennium : How the Intellectual Property Wars Damage Our Personal Freedoms, Our Jobs, and the World Economy. Prentice Hall/Financial Times, 2005. EBSCO eBook Collection. Web. 11 July 2012. The authors of the E-Book, Pirates of the Digital Millennium : How the IntellectualProperty Wars Damage Our Personal Freedoms, Our Jobs, and the World Economy, address thequestion that most people are asking themselves in the title of chapter one: “Are You a DigitalPirate?” Gantz and Rochester go on to address the question and to clearly define in each mediumwhat piracy is, or at the very least, should be. They deal with music, movies, television, videogames, and literature. I have chosen to use this reference as my e-book because it best defines in graphic detailall the issues artists, famous and not so famous, wrestles with when their new works go on themarket. The authors deal with the risk factors for the artists, and the savvy and indecipherableway media pirates steal their material. This e-book supports my claim, as Jack Valenti, President of the Motion PictureAssociation of America, put it so eloquently , “At this precise moment…works [movies] are…swarming illegally throughout the so-called file sharing sites (a more accurate description would
Lambert 4be “file-stealing” sites)…if you cannot protect what you own you don’t own anything” (1). Thisquote supports the basis of my thesis exactly.Ryan, Johnny. "New Audiences, the Fourth Wall and Extruded Media." A History of the Internet and the Digital Future (2010): n. pag. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 11 July 2012. Mr. Ryan’s essay deals in detail, some 5600+ words, on the history and evolution of thecopyright debate, and the responsibility and role the consumer has played in propagating thedesire for pirated material throughout history. The author writes in his introductory paragraph Since Edison’s first recording of ‘Mary had a little lamb’ on a tinfoil cylinder phonograph in 1877, the recording industry has undergone successive crises of technical transition…the expansion of Internet access among pc users from the mid-1990s may have produced the most seismic shifts yet. (par. 1)The debate today, Mr. Ryan says, is no less intense and no less difficult to constrain, just themediums and our level of technology has changed. Mr. Ryan cites 73 works he used in his research and compilation of the material hereported in his essay and it correlates with my very limited research on the same topic, down tociting some of the same sources. With that amount of research and references I feel he is wellinformed on the subject of media piracy. This article is a valuable resource tool for my research due largely to the fact that itsupports my belief that the issues we are facing with copyright and royalty debates today are notnew, only the technology is new. As Mr. Ryan states repeatedly, we have new media that isrecreating itself almost before our eyes. This rapid advance of the different types of recoding and
Lambert 5our ability to broadcast ourselves whenever and wherever we like is becoming increasinglydifficult, if not impossible, to police.Sanchez, Julian. "Internet Regulation & the Economics of Piracy." Cato Institute 17 Jan 2012: n. pag. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 18 June 2011. This essay details Mr. Sanchez’s research on how the entertainment industry, as a whole,has over dramatized the effect that media piracy and Peer-2-Peer file sharing has had on theeconomics in Hollywood and throughout the entertainment industry. He states in his essay that …I remain a bit amazed that it’s become an indisputable premise in Washington that there’s an enormous piracy problem, that it’s having a devastating impact on U.S. content industries, and that some kind of aggressive new legislation is needed to stanch the bleeding…our legislative class has somehow determined that—among all the dire challenges now facing the United States—this is an urgent priority…But does the best available evidence show that this is inflicting such catastrophic economic harm—that it is depressing so much output, and destroying so many jobs—that Congress has no option but to Do Something immediately?...the data we do have doesn’t remotely seem to justify the DEFCON One rhetoric that now appears to be obligatory on the Hill. (par. 2)Mr. Sanchez is questioning the legitimacy of the need to over haul our current legislation onmedia piracy. He would have us believe that overzealous activists in the entertainment industry[Hollywood] are blowing this issue of copyright infringement out of proportion, and as he statesabove, he believes there is no real need for a swift mandate of reform. I disagree and willeffectively argue that counter-point in my research paper.
Lambert 6 This essay was published by the CATO Institute, a think tank on economics and thegovernment’s involvement in our American liberties. The introduction paragraph from their website defines their mantra like this: The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization —a think tank — dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free marketsand peace. Its scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide rangeof policy issues. I have chosen to cite this particular essay in my research because the author seems to beat odds with the organization’s [CATO institute] basic philosophy. Mr. Sanchez and the CATOInstitute, although they claim to be for less government and more liberties, they are encroachingon my liberties, and the liberties of many others in the entertainment field, by their casualapproach to the effects that media piracy is having on artists in this country and their belief thatCapitol Hill has been whipped in to a frenzy on this issue with no real merit to back up theclaims of these artists.Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property of the Committee on the Judiciary House of Representatives of the One Hundred Ninth Congress, First Session. Content Protection in the Digital Age: The Broadcast Flag, High-Definition Radio, and the Analog Hole. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2006. Print. The hard copy book I chose to cite for my research paper comes directly off the Senatefloor of the House of Representatives. The text of this book is transcripts from the hearings onhow to legislate and govern copyrights on the Internet, as well as other intellectual properties.The book addresses past and present hearings, including written transcripts of the sworn
Lambert 7affidavits of hundreds of testimonies, including testimonies for both sides: those for renewing thecurrent legislation governing media piracy and those opposed to more legislation. There is a need in my research paper for this type of reference because of the magnitudeof evidence in the book: it is official documentation from the hearings by the Subcommittee onCourts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property of the Committee on the Judiciary House ofRepresentatives of the 109th Congress, 1st Session, 3 November 2005. This book deals with thelegalities of media piracy and how to define it, as well as control it to the best of thegovernment’s ability. This reference will support my claim that the government has been lax in its response tothe pressing need to protect artists and their intellectual properties [Committee term]. OnFebruary 22, 2005 the Committee heard testimony via a written statement from CommissionersCopps and Adelstein dissenting on the Commission’s recommendation due, in part, “…becausethe [regulations did] not preclude the use for content…already in the public domain…andbecause the criteria adopt[ed] for accepting digital content protection technologies fail toaddress…the impact…on personal privacy” (99). I will use this statement, and other testimony,to support my claim that the casual and apathetic approach of lawmakers, and the laws governingcopyright and media piracy in the United States are handled in a manner that is directly affectingthe income and the creative rights of artists in this country.