Structures of Participation in Digital Culture
Social Science Research Council, 2007 - Computers - 284 pages
Digital technologies are engines of cultural innovation, from the virtualization of group networks and social identities to the digital convergence of textural and audio-visual media. User-centered content production, from Wikipedia and YouTube to Open Source, has become the emblem of this transformation, but the changes run deeper and wider than these novel organizational forms.
Digital culture is also about the transformation of what it means to be a creator within a vast and growing reservoir of media, data, computational power, and communicative possibilities. We have few tools and models for understanding the power of databases, network representations, filtering techniques, digital rights management, and other new architectures of agency and control. We have even fewer accounts of how these new capacities have transformed our shared cultures and our understanding of and capacities to act within them. This volume addresses these issues and supplies the demand for a comprehensive critical framework that places these developments in context.
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Napster and newer file sharing networks are examples of the unpredictability and
low barriers of entry associated with end-to-end innovation— the original Napster
, like the first Mozilla browser, was written by a college student and freely ...
invoked by ISPs in 1998. Unlike the ISPs, Napster lost this argument: The
presiding judge ordered Napster to eliminate infringing files from its network. The
scale of this task necessitated a technological fix. Napster began by filtering files
The Napster case revealed the limitations of targeting individual services. As
Napster's filter diminished its value to users, music sharers simply moved on to
other file sharing networks— Grokster, Morpheus, KaZaA, eDonkey, and others.
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Picturing the Public 164
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