Saturday, February 27, 2010

Internet Privacy- Final Paper

Jessica Vanacore
Understanding New Media
Professor Strate
February 27, 2010

Internet Privacy

Internet privacy is a concern to users globally, but the concept of internet privacy has yet to be clearly defined. There is no definite understanding as to what internet privacy is, and if it really even exists under any context. The purpose of this paper is to discuss some of the definitions and conceptualizations of “privacy” in the age of the internet, and some historical back ground as to what privacy has meant to the individual in light of new technology in the past. Threats to privacy and personal information that is processed over the internet will be explored, such as the implications of computing power, technological developments, connectedness, as well as governmental and non governmental surveillance issues. Some programs and websites that appear to invade privacy will be discussed as well as the effects of internet viruses. Security protection programs and a closer look at how personal information is collected and used for marketing purposes will also be discussed.

The idea of privacy originated in the late 19th century, when Warren and Brandeis in 1890 co-authored a famous article entitled “Right to Privacy,” defining privacy as “the right to be let alone” (Woo, 5). After the increase of print technology, new affordable texts such as the Penny Press allowed individuals to read information in their own homes for the first time. This provoked individualism within society, with a new value of private property, and privacy as a “social value being able to read a book in your own private home” (Woo, 6). Privacy began to be viewed as a power against authority, and a means to balance social control from others; information becoming a source of privacy. The birth of the printing press and the affordability of the news fueled mass media. Soon, technology developments, as author Louis Brandeis discussed in his article regarding the effects the then new camera was having on the individual’s privacy, enabled the mass media to produce pictures and print private information on citizens, making it public (Waldo, 88). This increased the importance of privacy in the individual, and also shaped it as “the people’s right to be free from the government and mass media intruding into their lives (Woo, 6).

It’s important to remember that media is always growing, and new media always succeeds an old media that once was new. The printing press, photography, and the telephone, have always questioned the ability to maintain an individual’s privacy.

Today, the computer age has posed new threats. Since its birth in the 1980s, the internet as a new mass media is still dealing with the issue of privacy, and it is becoming an ever growing problem the more it is being relied, used, and integrated into the modern world. The National Research Council established the Committee on Privacy in the Information Age, who identified four key factors of privacy in the modern age. The first was the areas of concern associated with new technologies and the individual’s personal information. Next were the technical and sociological effects of technology, ranging from the collection devices and methodologies that put personal information at risk. These include storage, communication, and the user’s voluntary and involuntary sharing of information. Next was to asses the developments in government and private sector practices with the growth of technology and last to examine advertising aspects of information sharing (Waldo, 20).

As technology develops, so does the computational power. Today, the amount of storage space that is available is ten-fold to what it was in the last decade, allowing there to be traces of data left from nearly any action that users take while using a computing device (Waldo, 92). The more power, the more data can be stored for purposes the information was not originally intended for, such as advertising. Additionally, the massive amounts of storage space leave enough room that files may not even need to be erased, but can be compressed and uncompressed, making information nearly impossible to destroy once it has been produced. Even on a home disc drive, it is possible to recreate deleted files, and restore erased data. This ability to never really destroy stored information and processes questions how private a digital aged archiving system is (Waldo, 93).

Yet, storage doesn’t just have to be looked at from a computing power angel either. Today it is easier than ever to take and store pictures and video on cell phone and music devices than it was. And with this it makes it easier for there to be an invasion of ones privacy if you have the ability to record, store, and transfer private acts on a device. But cell phone computing power poses new issues of privacy such as GPS, calling and message records that are solicited for purchase on the internet, from companies that fraudulently obtain user data over the internet (CNET). Such abilities to buy cell phone records make it easy for any individual to threaten and stalk another.

In addition, the connectedness that the internet has enveloped has now made it easier to access information that was previously only obtainable physically. Now it is possible to track credit history, real estate transactions, and public records over the internet (Waldo, 99). Overall one would argue that this eases the invasion of ones privacy by making it easier to obtain documents on an individual that might normally have taken more time, effort, or required a legal reason. But there are also benefits to the connectivity that straddles the privacy line. Such websites like Family Watch Dog ( enable anyone in the United States to look up and discover where registered sex offenders live, what crimes they were prosecuted for, and any additional offenses they have made in addition to their photographs and detailed descriptions of the individuals.

The website

However, the Family Watch Dog website also makes it possible to search email addresses and uncover personal photos that have been on websites and video from any individual with a working email address. The website,, searches through social networking sites to reveal personal details on individuals by use of their email address. The service offers for free the individuals name, age, sex, location, pictures, and networking information if found. There is also an option to pay to allow the service to offer more data that is linked to the individuals email address, such as blog posts or anything published on an online networking site. Many websites like these exist, such as supported by Intelius that allows you to do background checks on individuals using their paid service. It also offers free searches that allowed you to view the town and state the individual lives. For a fee of a dollar you can find out DOB, address, telephone number, address history, average income, and value of an individuals home. Intelius is a public record database, and their privacy policy states that all the information they collect is either of public record, or is personal information that was made commercially available. The Intelius privacy policy states,

Publicly available information consists of online and offline information that
is generally available but is not maintained by a government agency, such as
names, addresses and telephone numbers of individuals and businesses,
professional licensing and trade organization information, press releases and
newspaper articles and content from blogs or social networking sites. Commercial
records consist of information that is maintained by enterprises and is
available for purchase, such as marketing and telemarketing lists, phone connect
and disconnect information, and business profile data (Intelius, Privacy

These websites exist and are a testament to the fragility of personal information and privacy in cyberspace. What’s even more important to note is that many users of the internet are unaware of these websites and what they are capable of uncovering.

The growth of technology has also allowed surveillance easier access, speed and a wider scope. Surveillance is defined as the collection and processing of personal data, whether it is identifiable or not for purposes of influencing or managing those whose data have been garnered. The surveillance becomes broader and more prevalent, but harder to identify as the technology advances. Private and corporate agencies are using increasing technological capabilities to build knowledge about consumer behavior for commercial purposes and citizen behaviors to detect crime (Dinev, 214). Cybercrime defense began in 2002 by the FBI who declared cybercrime their third top priority, and began internet surveillance of vendor and online service providers (Dinev. 215). Other laws such as the Patriot Act make the government’s surveillance legal and legitimate, with the government having the ability to tap into phone conversation without a warrant (Lee, 2003). This also allows room for government seizure of internet history from search engine providers such as Google, who refused to turn over data from their repositories after the Bush Administration in 2006 issued a subpoena, fearing it would be an invasion of its user’s identity and privacy (PBS). Other search engine powerhouses such as Yahoo and AOL turned over data, but did not fully comply with the government’s requests.

The government’s access to new technology in the internet age has given them the ability to watch dog users, and look for suspicious behavior, as opposed to having probable cause then observing for suspicious behavior. The technology removes the first step of probability, and instead just observes for out of the ordinary behavior, putting every user under the scope of surveillance (Waldo, 256). As well as surveillance, the government has control over censorship of internet materials. For example, China is one of the most policed countries in the entire world, and in 2006 Google agreed to censor search results from its search engine to meet Chinese government standards in order to enter the largest internet market in the world (BBC). Four years later, Google announced on January 12, 2010 that they would no longer comply with the Chinese restrictions of their services (Business Week). But it took Google several years of backlash from the Chinese government, people of China, and activist groups before the company buckled and refused to comply with the censorship. Another reason why Google may have finally went against the Chinese government was because they only had 35.6 of the Chinese internet market, where as BIDU was the leader by a substantial amount. Was Google finally making a statement of the right to information and privacy of the Chinese people, or was there not enough money involved to make it worth censoring China?

Despite government and nongovernmental surveillance, another main concern and aspect of internet privacy is the collection and use of personal information. A major threat to a user of the internet would be marketing practices. A users understanding of privacy strategies also hinders the ability for there to be effective tools to protect information being distributed over the internet. There are several practices that are performed by websites that have to deal with the dissemination of personal information.

Internet cookies, which are data that is sent between the website and the web browser, contain tracking information of a user’s internet history; what websites are visited, for when, how long, and what they are looking at. Mobile phone numbers, and those shopper loyalty cards (those CVS, Shoprite cards) are also used, much to people’s surprises, for marketing purposes (Zero Knowledge, 1). These sources and cookies help collect information and store them in databases that log the activities, movements and purchases online of a user. This information is used for advertising purposes, and the “knowledge guiding the treatment of the individual” (Zero Knowledge, 1). Websites are serving as surveillance for advertisers, tracking internet behavior in order to classify them into certain groups for advertising purposes. An example would be the practices in which the Wall Street Journal uses internet cookies. WSJ has eight categories it uses cookies to track its users into, and then feeds this information to advertisers who use ads to target a user’s particular interest, like business or travel.

Personal information is also used by social networking sites that benefit from advertising to generate revenues. So do websites that request information in exchanges for services. Let’s examine two of the most visited websites who fit this description according to the web information company Alexa: Facebook and Google. Facebook has a unique advertising platform that it established in 2009 in order to generate increased revenue after it anchored itself as the leader in the social networking market. Facebook advertises to potential clients that their site enables a business to display their ad to the exact demographic that they need in order to generate the most business. Directly from the Facebook website, they use an example of a wedding photographer who was able to use Facebook ads to have their ad displayed on the pages of 25-30 year old, recently engaged women.

"Over 12 months, CM Photographics generated nearly $40,000 in revenue
directly from a $600 advertising investment on Facebook. Of the Facebook
who were directed to CM Photographics’ website from the ads, 60%
qualified leads and actively expressed interest in more information."
(Facebook Ad Page)

The question now is, how does Facebook collect this information on its users? On their privacy page, Facebook states their privacy policy, and states how basic information that the user provides in exchange for the Facebook service are used for advertising purposes in order “to serve personalized advertising to you” (Facebook Privacy Page). Facebook has an intricate privacy policy that addresses every possible issue related to the user’s information.

The next site to examine is Google and its privacy policies and pages. Their privacy center claims that it has 5 privacy principles to describe how Google “approaches privacy and user information across all out products” (Google). Their five principles are as follows:

1. Use information to provide our users with valuable products and services.
2. Develop products that reflect strong privacy standards and practices.
3. Make the collection of personal information transparent.
4. Give
users meaningful choices to protect their privacy.
5. Be a responsible
steward of the information we hold.

The page also has videos describing Google’s privacy standards, and there is a privacy page for each of Google’s products. Google also lists how they collect user information and how it is used. The first is information that the user provides in exchange for services. They also use cookies, log information, various user communications, affiliated Google Services on other sites, Gadgets, location data, and links that are formatted to track the users use of them. Google also includes a note that their privacy policy is for Google services only, and does not translate to search results that are clicked and selected from Google’s search engine. They also note that they process personal information for the use of:

• Providing our services, including the display of customized content and
• Auditing, research and analysis in order to maintain, protect
and improve our services;
• Ensuring the technical functioning of our
• Protecting the rights or property of Google or our users; and
• Developing new services. (Google)

It is important to note that information that can be gathered and stored with speed also can be analyzed, changing the economics of what it is possible to do with information technology. Hardware, hardware connections over networks, advances in software to extract data info, organizations and companies that sell/offer information they have gathered themselves can organize and analyze information without the user even knowing it, any time they use the internet (Waldo, 93). The Federal Trade Commission five core principles of fair information practices: Notice, choice, access, security, and enforcement. But how often is a consumer aware that their information is being collected and used?

Other technologies called “Data Gathering Technologies” that are on the rise are GPS devices and cell phones that are emergency 911 capable. Sensors, infrared and thermal detectors, radio-frequency identification tags, spy and remote cameras, and traffic flow sensors are among many new technologies that invade personal privacy that have been embedded into normal every day life (Waldo, 94). Certain cell phone and GPS enabled devices are able to trace an exact location that the user is at any given moment in time, and are sometimes marketed for parents being able to trace their children. There are even mobile applications and services from Google that allowed a user to see other users on a map, and know if they are at work, school, or at home. Users consent to using these devices, but how do you know if you are being tracked or not when using a phone? What kind of surveillance is united with all of this technology, and what price is privacy paying?

An example of GPS technology invading privacy is the “Guardian Angel Locator” cell phone company. It allows parents to view their child’s exact location by tracking it via GPS embedded software and viewing a map on a computer. The site says that it uses GPS technology to send data over the cell phone provider’s network to their secure servers. Satellite views of maps make it possible for a parent to track a child’s exact movements, and even speed and direction of a vehicle they may be in. It also stores locations that the child has been in for up to a month. Services like this exist within cell phone providers, who in emergency situations can track where the user of the cell phone is.

Below is a link to a promotion video from the Guardian Angel website, that shows how the technology works.

This is a picture from the website of how the monitoring system works via the internet.

As for pervasive sensors and remote cameras, they are becoming a normal part of ordinary life. In the UK, CCTV (close circuit television) has become a complete norm- with millions of cameras located all over the country and cities, as they are used to reduce crime. According to the BBC, the average citizen in the UK is on CCTV cameras 300 times a day, and that was a record from 2002. The smaller these devices become, the less they are noticed by citizens.

Some other examples of technology that exists, but is often not though upon, are advances in software such as the programs used by banks that monitor and check credit card purchases. These programs, referred to as “data mining and information fusion” assist understanding user behavior. It is not uncommon for a person’s credit card to be denied, or suspended if “suspicious” use is sensed by a program. For example, someone one who travels to another credit card may be denied it’s usage in another country if they do not alert the credit card company (Waldo, 96).This programs are designed to track the consumers’ behavior and be able to identify any uncharacteristic purchases. But is this invasion of privacy or protection? What if a consumer is denied usage of their credit card in an emergent situation? The problem with this technology is that the software believes it knows your behavior, but sometimes can become a bigger problem for the user.

These “data mining and information fusion” programs are also used for government agencies, whether it is to track potential terrorist threats, or to reveal someone’s identity based on a name and color of a vehicle. These programs create a system that allowed the exchange and transfer of information over incredibly broad fields, sometimes facilitating behaviors that are not in the interest of protecting a user, but abusive such as target marketing. The technology is making it easier to classify and group users into categories that can be used for advertising, or manipulative services (Waldo, 97). And because most of these programs are operated over massive networks, they are easily accessible, and there is allowance for massive storage on sever bases anywhere in the world.

Another simple example of GSP technology is when you sign into an internet service provider from a Starbucks coffee shop. In order to use that service you need to give personal information and create an account in order to access the internet. From there, once you log in, the system shows you where your location is (the Starbucks store you are in). For all intents and purposes, if you have supplied a real name and personal information, this internet provider now knows exactly where you are.

But for all that threats privacy, there are companies that privately own and operate the internet. VeriSign is one of those companies, founded in 1995 by Jim Bidzos, present Executive Chairman and current President and CEO Mark McLaughlin. VeriSign manages two of the world’s 13 internet root servers and is considered national IT assets by the U.S. Federal government, and generated 1.026 billion dollars in revenue. VeriSign quotes itself as “the trusted provider of Internet infrastructure services for the networked world.” It protects more than one million Web servers with digital certificates, protecting the majority of secure Websites on the internet, including 93% of Fortune 500 sites.

VeriSign is the company that issues SSL certificates that legitimizes the companies name and website, providing them with a secure connection. How SSL Certificate works is it establishes a private communication channel which enables encryption of data during the transmission. Any website that is SSL certified will have a little handshake or padlock during transmission. Any website with a log in feature, an online store that accepts online orders and credit cards, and if you process sensitive private data (addresses, phone numbers, etc). VeriSign gives users a real sense for privacy, and protection. VeriSign also is the SSL Certificate and provider of choice for 96 of the world’s 100 largest banks. An SSL certificate allows the user to know that the site is real, and any information they share is secure.

But how many users of the internet know that these systems of protection exist, and how to look at the indicators that a site may not be legitimate? Despite all of the private sector and governmental protection, threats still lie to the uneducated internet user. There are still programs out there that intend to do harm, at a PC level, such as the more recent phenomenon of “phishing.” Phishing is when a spammer lures a user into clicking a malicious link where they will ask for their log in information to proceed to the next site. It’s called “phishing” because the user is tricked into clicking a link that appears to be a real message, and when the user clicks on a malicious link, the website appears to be identical to the true website.

Recently in the news, Twitter was invaded with phishing links that were able to trick several important people into getting their information, including UK’s Secretary for Energy and Climate Change, and subsidiary of HSBS Bank. Once they clicked these malicious links, they were prompted for login information that appeared to be legit. Their Twitter accounts then proceeded to spam porn links. Although none of this situations happened to be too detrimental, it just can example of the privacy issues that are facing us today. Newer versions of Windows no have built in Phishing detectors that warn the internet users the possibility that the site may be “phished”, and ways of detecting if it is.

In addition, there is also the threat of spyware, spam clients, malware, and the fear of cybercrime that put the users’ privacy at risk. Spyware is malware that collects small portions of a user’s information without their knowledge, hidden within software files that may have been downloaded onto the computer buried within a system. Certain types of spyware that has been prevalent have been programs that are disguised as trusted anti-virus programs, but are really spyware. Spyware is on the list of concerns by the US Federal Trade Commission. In 2005 AOL and the National Cyber-Security Alliance conducted a study that revealed that 61% of those surveyed had spyware on their computers. Of 61%, 92% of those said they did not even know it was on their computer (Stay Safe

Anti-virus programs such as Norton and McAfee , Kaspersky, F-Secure, and Bit-Defender are additional, and often necessary programs installed to prevent a computer from being infected. Users can subscribe to these services, with the top providers being based on monthly or yearly fees. These anti-virus programs now provide the user with a protective armor; one of which they are willing to pay. Free anti-virus programs exist, but often times do not have the detection capabilities that paid programs do. This software is able to detect threats to your internet usage, and protect email, web activity, instant messaging, and file sharing (Symantec).

Cybercrime most recently has come in the form of malware, bots, phishing, and Trojan horses and is aimed at stealing personal information for profits. Cybercrime comes in the form of identity theft, ways of accessing bank account information, or credit card numbers to make purchases online, or drain bank accounts. Today, this is the biggest form that Cybercrime has taken. Again, the question can be asked as to how private is personal information on the web, and is it possible to completely keep every aspect of one’s cyber life private, even with the use of security services. After examining many of the technological developments, it seems that privacy may never truly be able to exist in a digital world.

It is conclusive to say that privacy in the internet age is constantly being threatened. Although protective services are available to a user such as Anti-Virus software and companies like VeriSign, there are still a number of other implications that arise from new technology, such as viruses, malware, spyware, surveillance, and phishing. In addition to software threats, there are company threats that exist just to sell personal information, such as Itelius and Computing power now makes it almost impossible to destroy data that has been produced, and allows the ease of collection of mass data from “data gathering technologies”. Even though websites and companies have privacy policies and post them, how many internet users are aware of what their information is being used for? The internet is still shaping and growing even today, but privacy is crucial issue that still remains to be solved.

Works Cited

Dinev, Tamara. Hart, Paul. Mullen R., Michael. Internet privacy concerns and beliefs about government surveillance – An empirical investigation. Science Direct, 2007.

Hong, Traci. McLaughlin, Margaret. Pryor, Larry Internet Privacy: Practices of Media Outlets.Conference Papers -- International Communication Association; 2003 Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA, p1-24, 24p, 2 charts, 5 graphs

Krup, Nathalie. Movius, Lauren. US and EU Internet Privacy Protection Regimes: Regulatory Spillover in the Travel Industry--Top Student Paper, Communication Law and Policy Division. Conference Papers -- International Communication Association; 2006 Annual Meeting, p1-28, 27p. Conference paper

Phillips, David. Zero Knowledge: Articulating Internet Privacy. Conference Papers -- International Communication Association; 2006 Annual Meeting, p1-24, 24p. Conference Paper

Zwarun, Lara. Yao, Mike Intrusion, Threats, Rights, and Strategies: Using Multidimensional Scaling to Identify People's Perception of Internet Privacy.
Conference Papers -- International Communication Association; 2007 Annual Meeting, p1-21, 21p.Conference Paper

Woo, Jisuk "Internet Privacy and the “Right Not To Be Identified”.
Conference Papers -- International Communication Association; 2005 Annual Meeting, New York, NY, p1-40, 41p.Conference Paper

Waldo, James. Lin, Herbert Millett, Lynette I..
Engaging Privacy and Information Technology in a Digital Age. National Academies Press, 2007.

Google Privacy:

Facebook Privacy:

PBS Online News Hour:


Guardian Angel Technologies:

Business Week:

Semantic Anti-Virus:

Family Watch Dog

Whats the point and how much will it cost?

Hi class,

Yet one more thought. Something was occurring to me a little while ago. The new new media is for the most part all about the internet, which was originally conceived of to make the dissemination of information easier. Yes, the internet has become a haven for advertising and money-making, there can be no disputing that fact. The question I have is how much technology companies are going to use the consumer’s reliance upon the internet and new new media to make more and more money.

I feel as though on the whole people have become so reliant on their connection to the web that they are willing to pay any price to stay connected. It seems as though everyone these days has an iphone, a blackberry, a pda, or some other way to wirelessly connected. I constantly see high school students and younger children with internet technology way beyond anything I own, could afford, or more specifically, would want. I can understand certain people needing these technologies in accordance with their job, but for the most part it seems to me as though technology companies are feeding the internet addiction latched onto the general populaces back as a method of making money. Personal internet technology has come to a point in which the purpose is more focused on as a status symbol and addiction rather than a tool used for the dissemination of meaningful information.

Creation - Technology On Screen

Margaret Maria Roidi

Dr. Lance A. Strate


27 February 2010

Creation: Technology on Screen

Technological innovations are an integral part of every evolving society. The drive to enrich one’s life through the creation and implementation of new media continues to grow as the public seeks ease, comfort, and control over its environment. The endless possibilities provided on a daily basis generate further demand for change to occur as various tools are aimed to satisfy, and even increase, individuals’ needs to manage and select the material to which they are exposed. The unconventional on-demand lifestyles, promoted through the use of new media, demonstrate people’s aspiration to function as gatekeepers; the quest to find one’s creator is now replaced by each person’s need to become that ultimate being. Technology offers this opportunity along with the burden of all its consequences. The duality of new media has inspired filmmakers to depict on screen the interaction between people and technology as they attempt to undertake the role of the creator. The genre of science fiction demonstrates the use of such tools and the inevitable costs with which they are associated. James Whale’s Frankenstein (1931), Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982), and Steven Spielberg’s Artificial Intelligence: A. I. (2001), present the ethical challenges that arise when people’s obsession with the reflection of their own image turns into a window, revealing a world they have yet to foresee.

Science fiction films are inspired by people’s endless desire to explore future possibilities. New technological innovations provide filmmakers with the proper means to enrich the depth and impact of their craft, enhancing viewers’ cinematic experience. The mystical worlds presented on screen expose a fascinating characteristic of human nature that of taming and controlling one’s environment. Undeniably, cinema provides an escape from reality while it highlights people’s deepest aspirations. Marshal McLuhan notes, “The movie is not only a supreme expression of mechanism, but paradoxically it offers as product the most magical of consumer commodities, namely dreams,” (390). This medium, therefore, depicts the complexity of human instincts as they are demonstrated by people’s use of technology.

An egotistical sense of superiority is promoted by the introduction of new media in each given society. James Whale’s film Frankenstein (1931) focuses on the tremendous power bestowed upon a scientist. Dr. Frankenstein, played by Colin Clive, embodies the absolute example of narcissism, which is encouraged by the forceful and careless implementation of technology. A man’s desire to create his own image, thus attaining immortality, is the ultimate incentive towards exceeding the boundaries of morality; the tools available make it possible for this doctor to fulfill an unattainable dream. Technology offers the dangerous illusion of control over nature, blinding in a way the doctor’s judgment. The new tools of his profession will be employed to conduct an unorthodox experiment, one that is meant to give him the false sense of control he seeks. The filmmaker focuses on the irony of the dual nature of any new medium: use versus misuse.

Based on Mary Shelly’s book, Frankenstein challenges the viewers’ understanding of progress. Any innovation which is accepted and incorporated into people’s conventional lifestyle changes the core of every society with unpredictable consequences. Dr. Frankenstein’s work defines who he is with technology serving as his nemesis. His castle is isolated and inaccessible; the establishing shot frames the troubling actions taking place within this facility as the scenery and overall misé-en-scene suggest the disturbed mental state of the protagonist. The massiveness of every room demonstrates the characters’ powerlessness and the temporality of their existence. The immense size of his laboratory functions as a mirror, externalizing his inability to understand the risks of creating his own reflection. Low-angle-shots and low-key lighting are used throughout this film to promote a sense of uncertainty and fear as distorted lines and expressionistic features dominate the screen. Each frame is filled with shadows, leaving the characters unprotected against the threat of the unknown.

The symbolic use of fire in the film presents man’s historic transformation. The monster seems to be frightened by it, suggesting that every technology has the potential to harm its user. The paradox of this situation is that the monster fears and avoids the tool – fire – yet the doctor does not recognize the same danger in his own creation. Sue Barnes’ essay, “Cyberspace: Creating Paradoxes for the Ecology of Self,” addresses the inevitable questions about a-life research; the rush of creation overpowers one’s decision making process, leaving him vulnerable to a myriad of repercussions. The fascination of employing new means diminishes people’s ability to estimate and prevent any potential risks (237). The monster suffers by his creator’s misuse of power; Dr. Frankenstein wished to find god, but in the process he chose to take his place instead.

The following sequences present the doctor’s absolute disregard for his creation. Dr. Frankenstein flees his laboratory where chaos and disorder prevail as a direct result of his irresponsibility, and finds shelter in the warmth of the life he had previously abandoned. The filmmaker, however, confronts the audience with the consequences from which the doctor attempts to escape, exposing them to the fact that once change is introduced balance cannot be restored. In the meantime, the monster continues to wander until he is invited to play with a little girl, Maria. Whale uses a long shot to create a false sense of security; the child cannot recognize the danger she in as she throws flowers in the lake carelessly with her new friend. Frankenstein’s monster appears as fascinated by the flowers floating at the top as Maria. Nevertheless, the doctor’s inability to fulfill his role as the creator and “father” of this new life is reflected by the monster’s inability to comprehend that throwing the little girl in the water will lead to her drowning.

The uproar does not take too long to generate a mob of angry villages running to protect their territory. Frankenstein himself is viewed as the victim while his creation is prosecuted for showing as much sympathy to others as it was shown to him. The doctor made the mistake to overlook the significance of his actions and assume that if he were to pretend that nothing ever happened, life would simply go back to normal. “Any invention or technology is an extension or self-amputation of our physical bodies, and such extension also demands new ratios or new equilibriums among the other organs and extensions of the body,” (McLuhan 67). The director shows the battle between the old and new technology; the monster kidnaps his creator and demands revenge for the suffering he was forced to experience. Inevitably, Frankenstein is consumed by his own reflection since he was unable to understand the extent of his actions. The symbolic burning of the monster is meant to warn the viewers about the reckless use of modern media as he presents the creature dying by the tool he feared the most.

The director concludes the film with the characters’ world appearing intact. However, the seed of knowledge has already infiltrated their society, waiting for the proper moment to transform their conventional rhythms. Frankenstein shows the dramatic events following the implementation of new tools as a way of satisfying one’s narcissism. The idea of change is a common theme in science fiction films as it captures the essence of human nature and its endless yearning to prevail over all creations. Naturally, the enigma of progress inspired Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), which undertakes the task of presenting a chain of evolutionary events through a pioneering and critical perspective. The director’s unique vision of the journey people have embarked upon is initiated by the depiction of tools as divisive instruments of destruction from the “dawn of man” to the infinite universe and beyond.

The director’s sophisticated and carefully thought-out use of the cinematic means of the late 60’s enables him to take cinema into an unexamined path. The film opens with the soundtrack setting a mysterious tone while the black screen encourages the viewers to clear their minds and be transported into the unfamiliar past. The uncertainty of the opening sequence, therefore, is accomplished by an unconventional establishing shot which frames the emptiness and chaos. As this film was released a year before the actual landing on the moon, the spectators did not have a previous reference in mind; 2001 constitutes the very first attempt to present outer space and challenge people’s position within the infinity of the universe (Mast and Kawin 542). The symmetrical presentation of the planets after the film’s opening indicates that there must be a master plan directing the evolutionary cycle of life. A question that is difficult to answer when one is blinded by the power bestowed by his creations.

The vast and crude environment of the primitive past is overwhelming. The level of coexistence among the early creatures is defined by the mutual need to survive; however, territoriality and procession of one’s space initiates the quest for a tool that will enhance their natural self. It is then that the humming sound of progress invades and transforms permanently their world. The slab is a neutral element, a carrier of information and knowledge; it is entirely up to the user to interpret and decide how to implement this new power. Bolter and Gromala argue, “Each installation calls its participants into an active relationship, asking them to perform rather than merely to view,” (15). The secrets held within this tall, smooth, and unidentifiable object are meant to be unleashed and incorporated into the lives of those exposed to its sight. Kubrick’s cynicism about any technology is clear in this shot. The appearance of the slab comes in contrast with the crudity of the environment in which it is located.

Tools are always impossible to tame as they carry their creators’ flaws. The ape’s thought process, sparked by the bones in front of him, is identifiable. He attempts to apply another meaning to an object by questioning its use. A long shot frames this scene of discovery with the ape at the centre of the screen. The bones could be interpreted as the stability and foundation of familiarity; nevertheless, they could be employed as a form of destruction and empowerment. The stages of this realization are immediate and gratifying, encouraging change to occur. The presentation of the ape’s movements in slow motion compliments the significance of this moment; a medium shot follows the hand holding the bone as an extension of itself. The ironic presentation of evolution lies in the fact that creation goes hand-in-hand with destruction. This montage sequence foreshadows the events that are to follow.

Kubrick’s cinematic approach demands his audience’s attention. The oblong white bone of the Stone Age has turned into an orbiting station in space in which the journey to find the meaning of life continues. The depiction of the transition from the past to the present is accomplished successfully by this match-on-action cut, demonstrating the impact of a simple tool on the technological advancement of the future. Richard Barsam discusses further the meaning of this rapid transition:

An “ape-man” rejoices in his newfound weaponry, a bone, by tossing it into the air, at which point it becomes technology of a far more sophisticated kind. This astonishing leap of sight, space, and time introduces several of the movie’s principal themes: the relativity of time, the interaction of inventiveness and aggressiveness, and the human race’s desire to conquer the unknown, (318).

Viewers are forced to become active participants in the story by creating connections between the time periods, considering the reasons that might have led to this evolutionary cycle and questioning their abilities to survive in a world ruled by their own creations. The serenity of this futuristic scene presents the harmonic coexistence between technology and man. The characters are driven by their desire to find answers; on the way to discover the ultimate creator they give life to other forms of existence, taking the human race a step closer to that being by making them small gods.

The intrusive nature of technology seems to follow the characters even in space. Two of the men taking part in this mission, Frank and Dave, represent each spectator as their experiences are meant to shed light into the bizarre world of machinery. When Frank does not supervise the tools of the scientific station, the technology comes to him. A message from his family, celebrating his birthday, interrupts him in the form of a video call; the sense of time is lost. The creation overpowers its master with ease, depriving him of privacy and control. The machines may be far more improved in the future, but people still cannot rid themselves of the same old destructive instincts that characterize them. The most obvious example of this complex relationship between master and creation is HAL, a highly intelligent computer. Today, this medium’s behavior is dated by the perception of the past, which viewed computers as an electronic brain rather than a tool of representation. He is the highlight of human invention. HAL’s standing in the mission is valued significantly more than that of the human beings he is accompanied by. Even though his capabilities exceed those of any person, he carries the mistakes and weaknesses of his creators (Bolter and Gromala 89).

HAL is inquisitive and skeptical. He is programmed to distrust his associates and has no mercy or sense of sympathy. HAL’s intrusive tone is meant to manipulate Dave into confessing his thoughts about the mission, exceeding the boundaries of humanity. Lies and mind games are qualities which transferred into the technology by people. The computer plans to divide and conquer the two men by ordering them and challenging their knowledge; a computer can never be wrong, only a human error would be the answer to the mistakes halting the mission. When HAL is questioned, he does not hesitate to blame calmly the discrepancy for which he is accused on humans’ poor skills. Kubrick presents this incident in order to ridicule people’s inability to admit their own mistakes; the computer simply acts the way he is programmed. This demonstration of arrogance and superiority by HAL awakens Dave and leads him to investigate the source of the problem. In an attempt to escape from HAL’s watchful eye the two men try to conspire against him and plan accordingly. However, their underestimation of the machine’s intelligence is proven to be a deadly mistake as HAL’s instinct to sustain himself leads him to kill first.

The charming qualities that made HAL special are overshadowed by lies, manipulation and, a murder. The twofold use of any tool is easy to question, but Kubrick seems to believe that people will always be defeated by their own limitations to acknowledge their mistakes. HAL, much like humans, feels entitled to act this way since he considers himself superior to his master. However, he soon realizes his own immortality when Dave proceeds with the plan to terminate him. During this sequence, the machine exhibits a puzzling quality. HAL behaves as a child and tries to appeal to Dave’s emotions; HAL begs for him to stop, he sounds regretful, and begins to retrieve to an earlier stage of his life as a computer by singing a children’s song. The table is reversed. The creator is taking responsibility for his creation’s actions and begins to employ technology in a positive way, taking control of his life and that of the human race.

Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece ends with the symbolic “Starchild.” A transparent mass of light becomes the home for Dave while he has regressed to a fetus-like stage. “The electric light is pure information,” states Marshall McLuhan in his examination of this medium without a message (19). Consequently, the future of the human race lies in the incorporation of knowledge and technology within an ultimate being. Serving as a medium within another, light carries the depth of human experience and transports it across the universe. The director presents the “Starchild” next to Earth as if he is a reflection of the actions in which people engaged, giving life to a new form of absolute balance and harmony. This film’s unconventional structure derives from the complexity of human life; any tool provides a new experience which morphs its creator and takes evolution into a different direction.

The genre of science fiction provides a plethora of interpretations regarding the future of humanity. In 1982, Ridley Scott released the film adaptation of Phillip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?. Scott’s Blade Runner presents a quite different atmosphere from that of the classic science fiction films of the past, sparking a new cycle of on-screen pessimism. Its plot and visual elements classify it generally as a neo-noir, pointing to the existential movies of the 40’s and 50’s, while its futuristic setting and storyline foreshadow a glooming outlook for humanity. The director’s use of cinematic elements transfers the audience to a world in which people have satisfied their egotistical need to replicate themselves by creating androids – a result of conquering new media and advancing into the NEXUS phase. These humanlike machines are used as slave labor to serve their creators, whose initial fascination with this scientific accomplishment has faded. Therefore, much like HAL, replicants developed a unique sense of self turning against their creators and confronting them for their mistakes.

People’s misuse of androids prevents them from seeing the transformation of their environment into a new interactive entity. Even in this highly evolved society, mankind is preoccupied with its quest to recreate life, keeping the endless desire to dominate and overpower others alive. “Scott’s Director’s Cut raises philosophical questions about the worth of humanity and humans’ control of the world which they have created,” (Galagher 1). The filmmaker’s depiction of people’s journey through time and space is challenged by the social uproar the NEXUS phase brought upon them. The psychological consequences of facing the rage of one’s own creation are unsettling as he is confronted by the reflection of his actions’ true intentions. The realization of mankind’s selfishness to give life to its own image for the pure joy of admiring new media’s advantages is too difficult to bear. In Blade Runner, technology provided the tools to manage everyday tasks with ease, but the intoxicating power that came along fooled the citizens of this planet once again. The only solution to eliminate further casualties lies in the characters’ persistency to “retire” their replicants, demonstrating mankind’s need to restore order in the only way proven successful by destroying their reflection.

Harrison Ford’s character, Rick Deckard, is a well modernized version of the classic noir hero. Rick is a middle-aged detective searching for life without the continuous pursue of replicants as it has ostracized him in the darkest corner of the Earth. He is a loner, whose existential choices determine his fate and course of action; it is Rick’s job to detect and “retire” the replicates from the world that created them. The director’s purposely made decision to conceal Rick’s connection with the creatures he seeks to destroy is meant to challenge the audience directly. Turning the spectators into active participants in the mysterious pursuit of truth and justice is an unconventional way of holding them accountable for the events depicted on screen. In a sense, Ridley Scott’s approach is aimed to warn the public of the dangers that ignorance, indifference, and arrogance disguise as signs of progress. Lev Manovich’s interpretation of the implications presented in the film brings up an interesting view about new media’s direction:

Like Blade Runner, Macintosh’s GUI [Graphical User Interface] articulated a vision of the future, although a very different one. In this vision, the lines between the human and its technological creations (computers, androids) are clearly drawn, and decay is not tolerated. In a computer, once a file is created, it never disappears except when explicitly deleted by the user. And even then deleted items can usually be recovered. Thus, if in “meatspace” we have to work to remember, in cyberspace we have to work to forget, (63).

Blade Runner centers on the gray area in between order and chaos. Rick’s inability to escape from his past is illustrated by his interaction with Rachel, an android who is not aware of the fact that she is a replicant. The memories implanted into her brain appear and feel real; one is to wonder what reality is and whether Rick could be an android as well.

This perplexing presentation of spaces and characters is another indication that appearances can be deceitful, just like technology. The futuristic background is enhanced through the extensive use of low-key lighting and expressionistic set design, conveying the story’s cynicism. The sets’ obscure treatment turns them into canvases of visual information. The paradox of creation challenges the audience’s expectations by revealing the unexpected richness found within each environment. The multiple layers of humanity cannot be defined or preprogrammed, but perhaps the replicants share much more in common with their creators than the characters dare to admit. The suffocating air is made worse by the rain and smoke, which linger in the atmosphere; the crowded scenes are followed by deserted ghost-like areas. It is evident that technology acted as a tool of regression, depriving humanity of its opportunity to evolve and achieve greatness. Scott promotes this imbalance to resemble the chaotic world of Frankenstein rather than the “harmonic dysfunction” of Kubrick’s 2001.

J. F. Sebastian, played by William Sanderson, portrays an ingenious man whose creations serve as a window into a world he will never come to enjoy. Suffering from a terminal genetic disease he is forced to live in fear; as a result of this condition, he is given a refreshing perspective on life that none of the other characters are capable to comprehend. The filmmaker presents J. F. Sebastian’s apartment in a remote and abandoned building that does not reflect the magnitude of his creativity. Nevertheless, its interior opens the door to another universe. It could be argued that J. F. Sebastian lives in a parallel virtual world using his dolls and toys as his avatars, comforting himself while waiting patiently for the inevitable. This illusion of control brings joy into a life that occupies multiple spheres of existence. Roy Batty, the leader of the androids seeking revenge, is a part of Sebastian as well. The interaction between the two characters makes it clear that both men share the same sense of reasoning, but also the weakness of the limited time they have on the planet (Bolter and Gromala 130-131).

The battle between Rick and Roy composes the climactic sequence of Blade Runner. The anticipated confrontation of creator against creation – human versus technology – presents the ultimate dilemma as the audience wonders what difference each result would make. Rick’s weakness lies in the fact that he has embraced narcosis while Roy’s pessimistic view of the future cannot be altered. Technology has the potential to create dreams, but also to externalize humanity’s worst nightmares; Roy condemns people for being doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past as they choose to let the memories of their failures fade in time. All the moments of destruction and suffering will be lost until the next cycle of violence begins. Confronted once again by their own flaws, people will attempt to destroy the mirror rather than use it as a window into their soul. Information is power, but it is how it is employed that makes all the difference.

Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner paved a new path for future science fiction films to follow, addressing the concept of technological innovation with the use of a dark and cynical representation of the distant future; thus illustrating technology’s chaotic consequences. The most elaborate and original concept, however, came from Stanley Kubrick’s and Steven Spielberg’s collaboration in Artificial Intelligence: A.I. (2001). The initial idea for the story was eventually morphed into a relatable plot of loss and gain. A. I. centers on the dramatic journey of a machine attempting to become a real human being so as to gain the affection of the couple who programmed him to love them unconditionally. The film’s use of technological elements to portray the creation of a harmonic coexistence between man and machine satisfies a certain desire for a tangible, yet dreamlike, future.

Based loosely on the story of Pinocchio, A.I. centers on a world in which people’s on-demand lifestyles redefined the meaning of life. Embracing technology as the only tangible instrument worth believing in, they modified the moral and social standards of the past. The skepticism surrounding artificial intelligence is now eased by the convenience of having highly advanced, yet loyal, robots attend to mankind’s every need. Nevertheless, Cybertronics continues to target people’s demand for emotional support creating robot lines that provide just that. The newest breakthrough is the introduction of humanoid children programmed to simply love; it is expected that this product with have a tremendous appeal to parents who have suffered the loss of a child. David is a machine which will continue to love unconditionally with the same depth and devotion until one’s final moments. Science cannot predict the complexity of human nature or narrow the vastness of its emotions, thus presenting a significant limitation that cannot be resolved through any lifeless medium. The ultimate question raised in the end of the meeting may bring people to tears. Is there an individual capable of returning this kind of love? David will function as the window, showing people what they have scarified in order to accept progress.

The imminent isolation and loneliness David will be forced to experience is portrayed on the screen. A collection of shots is used to foreshadow his character’s dramatic journey through a world where the overproduction of on-demand services has narrowed people’s judgment and deprived them of their humanity. It appears that his presence and love will only be accepted when and if requested. For example, in the sequence where David is first brought to the house, he approaches and observes his new environment as he finds himself looking at a framed family picture. His reflection lies masterfully on an empty spot away from the rest of the characters, demonstrating that he is created solely to substitute people’s need for a child. Even though David appears to be real, he can never fully become human. The audience is aware of this, but David will never understand why. The conflict of this situation is impossible to be conceived by a technology that is given specific limitations. David – unlike Frankenstein, HAL, and androids – is incapable of feeling any other emotion than love. He is a machine, whose only task is to love his “parents,” when his mission is not accomplished he has no means of protecting himself against the pain of failure and rejection.

In the final sequence of the film David tries desperately to find the “Blue Fairy” and become a real boy to gain his mother’s love. The viewer is faced with a familiar desire of being united and accepted by his creator. When David’s wish is granted and Monica returns, he comes to experience one last special day with his mother. David carries the knowledge of the past and future; his mother’s perception of time and space is insignificant, therefore for this one day, the child gets to be the adult. It is the degree of awareness that determines and measures age, not the manmade sense of time. The visual indicators of the child’s emotions are reflected in the room in which he is waiting patiently for his mother to be returned to him. David is surrounded by cold and metallically shaded lighting, while when the time has come to be with his mother, the environment changes quickly with reddish hues leading him to her. In the final medium shot, where David and Monica share the bed for the first and only time, it is clear that they have finally become one; both of their faces are bathed with a naturally earthly color as the camera moves away.

The purity of the ending sequence depicts Steven Spielberg’s optimistic interpretation of what the future holds for humanity. David is the only transparent link connecting the past with the future; the act of sharing his knowledge ensures the continuity of mankind’s accomplishments across the universe. The compassion and love he was programmed to feel never faded and his memories will never be tainted by anger or regret. Artificial Intelligence: A. I. presents a window into a world in which man and technology have found a harmonic balance. Nevertheless, sacrifices are always expected in order to accomplish such a transition. Frankenstein’s inability to face the cost of his actions resulted in chaos as the creation mirrored its creator’s flaws, much like HAL in 2001 and the androids in Blade Runner. In A.I. people were stripped of their emotional independence, but David’s memories will help restore a world long forgotten by evolution. Technology is a pure carrier of information; it is up to each individual’s use that defines whether its consequences will benefit or harm life.

Works Cited

Barnes, Sue. "Cyberspace: Creating Paradoxed for the Ecology of Self." Communication and Cyberspace. Ed. Lance Strate, Ron L. Jacobson, and Stephanie Gibson. 2ndnd ed. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, Inc., 2003. 229-53. Print.

Barsam, Richard. Looking at Movies: An Introduction to Film. 2ndnd ed. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc, 2004. N. pag. Print.

Bolter, Jay D., and Diane Gromala. Windows and Mirrors: INteraction Design, Degital Art, And the Myth of Transparency. Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2003. Print.

Galagher, Nola. Bleak visions: Ridley Scott's Blade Runner. Director's Cut. (NSW Film As Text)(Critical Essay). Australian Screen Education 29 (Winter 2002): 169(6). Expanded Academic ASAP. Thomson Gale. Bergen Community College. 1 May. 2007.

Manovich, Lev. The Language of New Media. Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2001. Print.

Mast, Gerald, and Bruce F. Kawin. A Short History of the Movies. Nineth ed. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc. , 2006. Print.

McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. Critical ed. Corte Madera, CA: Gingko Press, 1964. Print.

When New Media Meets Copyright

Menchun Kuo
Professor Lance Strate
Understanding New Media
27 February 2010

When New Media Meets Copyright

New media is a new word for our society. Few years ago, people only know what media is, but now, new media is a tendency. New media changes our life a lot. It is convenient when we can contact our friends or clients by Internet. For example, you can use on-line chatting software to talk to friends or send email to connect with clients. In addition, people can use some websites to present their feelings, thoughts, and life, such as Facebookcy, Myspace or Twitter.

Cyberspace is the main access for people to communicate everyday. People can post anything on the internet; they have their own blogs or pages. They can share anything they want to share. Someone shares his lovely music or pictures on his blog, someone post the articles that he likes on his website. People can do many things on the internet. However, when something is overdevelopment, it won’t be a good thing anymore. People should figure out what the right things are when they did. Also, people have the right to protect their own ideas and productions. That is copyright.

Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States (title 17, U. S. Code, 2006) to the authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works. This protection is available to both published and unpublished works. (U.S. Copyright Office, 2010) Now, how do people take a balance between new media and copyright is a big issue. It is a conflicting situation. People always want to get information and resources easily, but they do not want to be illegal. That is why there are so many lawsuits about new media and copyright.

Lawsuit cases

1. Google Book Search

As we know, Google is a famous website for search. From 2004, Google started their “Google Book Search” Project. This searching is a latest technology at the time. This searching is also known as Google Print. Google scans and converts the entire text book into its digital database. When relevant keywords typed into the system, it will automatically display the relevant results. When users click into the link and open up an interface, it allows users to view the book and including some advertisement s, publisher’s website and booksellers. Because this tremendous convenience may generate lots of arguments from publishers, Google limited the pages for users to view, prohibited users to print and protected the copy right. Also, Google has the right to allow users access to their system. (Earlham College — Richmond, Indiana, 2005)

This book searching is the first scan all the texts into the Google digital system then link to the original website and allows users to browse part of the documents. However, this is a fair use and very legitimate in the business point of views. Viewers can only view the index but not the entire book. If viewers like it, they have to purchase it or rent it from the library in order to view the entire book. When this software established, many of the internet users’ benefit but the publishers and authors dissatisfied about this software and lead to a lawsuit. (Earlham College — Richmond, Indiana, 2005)

In October 28 2008, the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers represented all of the authors and publishers to had a resolutions with Google. This including hundreds of thousands of books that allow the rights for Google to use but Google has to pay one hundred and twenty five millions to establish the Book Right Registry and to pay off the lawsuit. Forty five millions is for the publishers and authors who suffer for the copy rights. Also Google has to spend thirty four millions paying off this lawsuit. (Google, 2010)

2. YouTube V.S. Viacom

YouTube is the most successful and powerful online video supplier in the world. As an influence supplier, YouTube has to handle thousands of video for offering its members to upload, share, and display videos. (YouTube, 2010) And Viacom is a global entertainment content company that has very diverse audiences around the world. Viacom deliver a wide range digital media through television and motion pictures including MTV Networks, BET Networks, Paramount Pictures and Paramount Home Entertainment. (Viacom, 2010)

By early 2007, Viacom had noticed that lots of fans of SpongeBob had been uploading clips and episodes to YouTube. As the fans of SpongeBob were a numerous and evasive bunch, Viacom thought it might be prudent to also engage in negotiations to license SpongeBob to YouTube. Such a license would bring revenue to Viacom, while obviating the unpleasant task of tracking down and prosecuting its base of loyal customers. However, the negotiations broke down, and on March 13, Viacom filed a $1B lawsuit against YouTube for copyright infringement. (Copyright Website, 2010)

Viacom's complaint alleges six counts of copyright infringement, consisting of three types of direct infringement, and three types of indirect infringement.Viacom claims that YouTube itself publicly performs the SpongeBob videos on the YouTube site and other websites. (Copyright Website, 2010)

According to the internet news information, YouTube believes this behavior is not illegal, and YouTube pointed out the reasons that Viacom mentioned are over the law requirements. (YouTube, 2010)

However, the court in Field v Google had no problem finding that users clicking on the ‘Cached’ link did not constitute direct copyright infringement because there was no volitional act on the part of Google at that point in the process. This is the same situation; users clicking on hyperlinks cause the SpongeBob videos to be streamed to their browsers. Consequently, there can be no direct infringement of public performance. (Copyright Website, 2010)

The debate

1.Who is the winner?

From those two cases, we can find out there is no correct winner. No one can announce he is right with the law. There is no happy ending, too. Let’s take a view from Google case. Google not only establish the Book Right Registry to protect the authors and publishers but more significantly is Google innovatively creating a new business model. Nowadays, Google already had close to seven hundred thousand books into their system. In this system, it includes four to five hundred out of print publications. According to the resolution, internet users can read those books which are expired of their copy rights publication. For those books that have the copyright, viewers can only read 20% of the book. The best of all is, those out of print publications can allows any viewers to view. (Google, 2010)

Also, the resolutions framed many agreements. Google can only get 37% of the revenue and 63% revenue will be shared to the publishers and authors. In addition, universities, libraries and other public institutions are allows to purchase these digital books from Google. (Google, 2010)

Although Google just only allow internet users to view part of the books but this makes Google very profitable because it has the advertisements revenue. That is why Google wants to develop Google Book Search project.

However, if Google win it, which means the market will be more competitive and allows competitors such as Yahoo, MSN to emerge. This will drive down the profit margin and become less profitable. From the publishers and authors point of views, they want to keep and protect their rights. They hope they can keep the value of the produces. If everyone can pay less money and download on the Internet, which means it is more possible to share to others people for free.

Even the law, there is a correct way to determine which is right and wrong. The most important thing for people is their benefit. People always support the things which benefit themselves. For Google, the company wants to make money, even it tries to find a way to balance, and it is still useless. Because the authors and the publishers can not feel fair in the same way, and they do not trust this way can benefit them better than the original way.

2.Should we stop people download by the Internet?

Nowadays technology is very popular and very easy for people to violate the copyright, and the worse is, it is very hard to track down who violate the law because these websites may located in other country and it is not a cost effective way to track down who violates the copyright law.

For Google case, because of the easiness of searching information from the internet, books selling are sky rocket. Once the court gives the right for Google to legitimate the search, it will be a disaster for publishers and authors. However, if it is free of charge for Google to put books into the system, those publishers can save the cost and allow many users to know of their products. In the Google point, one hundred thousand books already grant authorization and other hundred thousand is in very long history and is not protected by copyrights thus, it belongs to the public domain. The other five hundred is already out of print publications and lack of business value. Because of Google, these books can regenerate of their life and sell worldwide. (Google, 2010)

So how about change our thinking, Google provides another way to keep our culture. It might is a perfect way, but Google understand new media is a tendency and wants to make good use of it. In the future, it will be a digital world. People read e-books, e-magazines, e-comics, and e-novels. Even we have online courses and use e-text books. We can not stop the quick change of new media. The one thing we have to focus on is how to use those resources legal.

3. Does it happen again?

People all want to stop everything illegal or negative effects for them. However, who can promise it would not happen again? Or people will be afraid of this issue. YouTube is a famous website, it offers the user to upload videos, but the most different characteristic of YouTube is when it gets the video information, the information will be saved into database. YouTube provides a share platform that can allow everyone upload videos and share with others.And other websites like Yahoo and MySpace can share the videos in their own space.

However, YouTube has the lawsuit about copyright, but other the similar websites, like MySpace, TorrentSpy, DailyMotion, and, they all smaller than YouTube, but they do not have lawsuit. Therefore, does it really can stop people share files online?
There are so many websites on the world. Maybe we can stop the biggest and powerful websites to spread videos or music, but how can we stop all cyberspaces? In other sides, People can not download any mp3 or videos on YouTube. If they want to see the video, they have to go to YouTube to see it. Why don’t we just make a good use of YouTube?

There is an excellent example happened few months ago. The CW TV released a model-centric drama --- The Beautiful Life. But this drama was been canceled since this past Wednesday’s episode was seen by just 1 million viewers. However, some of people still want to see this drama, so the producer of this drama --- Ashton Kutcher decided to release the drama on YouTube. If this drama is popular on YouTube, it might be survival or play on television again. Ashton Kutcher expressed, does this drama can survival or not all depends on audiences. People can vote online and show how they like this show. Also, this drama plays on YouTube can keep its high quality to watch. It is a new try and it makes people excited to see what it will be. (, 2010)

This example shows how people change their way when copyright meets new media. New media is a tool that depends on what you use. If we can not stop people share files online, why don’t we jump the tradition model and find a new way to protect our copyright.

4.What is the real value of copyright?

When someone discovers or creates something, and he registers the copyright, then he owns the right. However, what is the real value of copyright? It can protect people who want to steal your ideas or sell those ideas that you might spend all life to create.

But if you do not share your ideas, it is still no use for you and people. Now we can use any kinds of new media as your tool to help yourself. When you share your ideas to more and more people, you will become famous. And most of people will know what your idea is. If they find someone steal your idea, they will help you to accuse him. Also, if your idea is creative or can help people, you should spread it out. An idea can influence other ideas, and then it will make more new ideas.

If we just want to keep our ideas, and do not want to share it. It does not have any meaning. Or if we just want to earn money for keeping ideas, it is selfish and does not have any help. New Media let people have more changes to touch other different sides, it also help our world to be closer and happiness. We can use new media well and create a new world for ourselves.

5.Is law the best way to protect copyright?

When someone does something illegal, the first thing we think is law. Law can punish him and prevent people do something bad. However, law always is the last step when we face problems. If a child steal 1 dollars form his mom, his mom might punish him by many ways, but not go to police office. Why? That is human nature. People always give other second changes when they did something wrong. Otherwise, you bring a child to police office then tell the police the child steal one dollar, the police will do not know how to do.

Now go back to talk law and copyright. New media grows so fast, and the law can not really follow. Moreover, the law is dead, and people are live. We should not rely on law to solve everything. New media is changing, and people can be changing, too. Even we can suit a website for copyright, but there are still a lot of websites in the world. We can not control all cyberspaces. Also, people can find some way to avoid the law.

Because of that, it would be better to corporate the main websites, such as YouTube or Google to create a win-win situation. They pay the money for use the copyright, and tag the authors when they use. People all know what resources from and do not copy it, because if someone copies it, it would be found out easily than before.


Today everything become very easy and convenience, You can use your cell phone to record everything you see and share to everyone, which affect everyone around you.

Regarding to the violation of copyright law, United State in 1998 already established the law-DMCA. Under this law, once the Internet Services Providers get the call from the author about the violation, the ISP needs to immediately isolate all the sensitive information and not allow anyone to get it. Then, ISP will not be reliable for the violation of copyright law. (U.S. Copyright Office, 2010)

If information can be created and benefit people, we should properly distribute. YouTube parade of their platform “your channel”, in this everyone can share their videos with others. And Google provides a simple and easy way for people to search websites. However, this is the most important problem that every author cares. How can we take balance between new media and copyright? Also, it is the most important dispute that new media has to deal with.

New media is a big change and challenge for people. There are many special functions when we use new media, we can chat with different people easily than before by We can have own place to show anything what we like on MySpace. We can follow the person who we like in Twitter, it might be a super star, famous people or your friends. We can find our old friends, keep in touch and follow friends’ life on Facebook.

In the future, there will have more and more special new media be produced, we should realize that we can not just live in traditional way. In the past, people published books, newspapers, magazines, and novels can protect the copyright. However, we have to adjust our mind. If new media can provide a space to share our ideas and we can get benefit from it.

Moreover, people all know this ideas belongs you, it is enough. For example, everyone all knows Thomas Edison was famous for inventing the light bulb. This is a truth and it won’t change.

With the progress of new media, our thoughts should follow the progress. We should pay more attentions about the importance of copyright. We should understand how to respect copyright and make good use of it. When we share music or articles online, we should tag the sources or who the author is.

The only way that we can keep balance between new media and copyright is respect to each other. Copyright not only exist on books, it also could be used on new media. And new media not only spread information fast, it also could preserve our culture easily. People can make a win-win situation, when they have a common consensus. It is a goal that we can reach, but it takes time. Nothing is impossible to the man who will try.


Copyright Website. (2010). Retrieved February 27, 2010, from
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Earlham College — Richmond, Indiana. (2005). Retrieved February 27, 2010 from

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Lisa Stolarz Final Paper

Lisa Stolarz
Dr. Lance Strate
Communication in New Media
February 27th, 2010


Lisa Stolarz
Dr. Lance Strate
Communication in New Media
February 27th 2010

“Why Gen –Y Jonny Can’t read Nonverbal Cues” was the title of the article I recently read in the Wall Street Journal by Mark Bauerlein that inspired this reflection paper. Many studies throughout the years have shown that approximately 80% of all communication is non-verbal with facial expressions and body language. I can clearly see the lack of socialization among the youth in this country as presented in this article. The article also addresses the time spent on social networking amongst middle and high school students. The statistics as shown in this article are astounding. According to the Nielsen mobile survey, teenagers spend an average of nine hours per week on social networking not including email, blogging, IM, tweets, and other digital electronics. Bauerlein goes on to state that all of our communication tools today involve the exchange of the written word alone. The cell phone is really the only transmission the youth of today experiences with voices, and verbal tones of communication. He stresses that what is absent in the text dependent world is that the users can only insert smiley faces into emails, but we cannot see each other‘s posture, hand gestures or body language. He speaks about anthropologist Edward T. Hall and how he reviews human expression as “the silent language.” The author feels that his writing on nonverbal communication deserves continued attention. He goes on to say that Hall explained to U.S. diplomats that they could enter a foreign country knowing their native tongue, but they will still have miscommunication amongst each other due to not using the proper manners and gestures, along with the words of that country’s native language. These are known as cultural miscues. For example, I heard a story once where an American executive went to a Muslim country to do business. During his business meeting, the American crossed his leg and the sole of his shoe was facing his Muslim counterpart. He did not close the deal because in Muslim countries, the sole of the shoe is considered to be very dirty. Therefore, the Muslim businessman was extremely insulted and offended by the American’s behavior. Another story was related to me about another American who was trying to do business in India. At the business dinner, the American went to reach for something at the table with his left hand. The dinner ended abruptly as the American unknowingly had committed a faux pas. You see, in the Indian culture, they consider the left hand to be reserved only for bathroom hygiene. Thus, the American’s cultural miscue lost him a big sale. Hall believes that this “silent language” is not learned in schooling but is acquired. Mark Bauerlien states in the closing of his article “the next time people are faced with a twenty-something who doesn’t look them in the eye, who slouches and sighs for no apparent reason, who seems distracted and unaware of the rising frustration of the other people in the room, and who turns aside to answer a text message with glee and facility, they shouldn’t think, “what a rude kid.” Instead, they should show a little compassion and perhaps, seize on a teachable moment.” “Ah,” they might think instead, “another texter who doesn’t realize what he is doing right now, with every glance and movement –and that we’re reading him all too well.” (Mark Bauerlien)

Cyberspace is becoming a new frontier for relationships; people can make friends, join social networking sites, clubs, and even a child can have a relationship with a stuffed animal through imaginary play by signing into cyberspace and bonding with their animal and connecting with other followers. What happened to the way your sacred beloved animal made you feel when you embraced it?

The sensors which differ between “face to face” relationships to cyberspace relationships begin with hearing which does not occur while the written word is being used. There is no emotional aspect to the thoughts unless you add a symbol to your text such as a smiley face icon. Now all computers have a built in process for doing so. Critics state there are no emotions connected to your words via texts or email. You can ultimately respond when you want too, and anywhere you want. The user also even has the advantage of saving part of the communication or the entire communication within the relationship if the user wishes to do so. This was very evident in the recent Tiger Wood’s scandal, where the media was able to show the public all of the text messages saved by his alleged mistresses. With face to face communication, your words and your gestures do have meaning, and it is very much so in the physical world. People have different styles of communication as well. For example, I am more of a verbal communicator and prefer “face to face” communication; I am often referred to as a people person. Seeing is another sensor, although new media is allowing the computers to be more transparent with applications like Skype. Skype uses VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to send voice over an internet connection instead of standard phone lines. Skype has all the same features as a standard phone. However, it offers many extras like an online phone number and video calls. Skype’s software interface also has many nice features like instant messaging, text messaging and call forwarding. Calls between Skype users are free and only require users to install the Skype software to establish a connection. Experts believe that this will untimely affect cyberspace relationships, because you will be able to visually see the other person, and you will not have established prejudged notions about the other person with whom you are connecting. In other words, through the written word or text messaging, one is able to be freer with the words and communicate more openly, and by visual images you sometimes establish a prejudice about individuals and do not take time to learn their inner soul.

I am more in tune to my changing surroundings and their connection to cyberspace now that I have been introduced to the studies of Neil Postman, Walter Ong, and Marshall Mchuhan. I am also old enough to feel the change and be part of it. I just recently was on an outing with a group of women whom were in their , 60’s and 70’s , I can’t tell you what a pleasure it was to sit around the lunch table with 12 women whom were not texting, IM’ing, and were truly engaged in conversation with each other. This was, however, until my friend, who is a twenty-something herself, texted me from three banquet tables away to tell me she was full. That just killed the moment for me. I notice that my younger colleagues cannot remove themselves from their hand held devices like the blackberry or their phones during work hours. It is amazing to watch the quest for cell service in the building where I work. It becomes part of their daily ritual. These people will practically stand on their heads to gain a bar on their phones. At any chance they are given to move around the hospital with their devices they do, just to get a glimpse of their Facebook or to post their status. I now have to put a ban on all electronics from the lunch table while I am eating with coworkers during the day. I just don’t want to look at the back of a blackberry and have no face to face communication – just call me old fashioned.

Social networking has its advantages, however, especially during the recent earthquake in Haiti; people were drawn to their computers, posting pictures of missing loved ones and reaching out into this cyberspace culture for support and help. This social networking worked as almost an instant comfort for families whom were affected. It also gave the instant gratification of hope. In addition, I will never forget one of the images shown on the news covering the stories of the ravished earthquake country. It zoomed in on one of the tent towns which were set up. There was a group of men sitting around a make shift generator that had a long piece of wood where a row of cell phones were being charged by a Delco car type battery in hopes to stay connected. Social networking is often equated to people sitting around an open campfire taking and telling stories. This vision of these survivors really hit home to me that in the worst of times people are drawn to this new media resource as a life line. Cell phones also are playing a large part of the fund raising relief. One is able to donate by texting a certain message via cell phones, and I believe that this was the first of its kind in any fund raising efforts.

As I stated in my blog “New New Media” Can you remember a time when you could go to the mall or see a show without getting interrupted? Furthermore, can you remember a time when you could not be found for even five minutes, and that was okay with everyone around you? Those days seem to have long passed us by. It appears that we, as a society, have become obsessed with the current technology age, or are we just “amusing ourselves to death?” (Neil postman) I believe it is a little of both. It now seems that you cannot go anywhere without someone texting around you or posting on their status. It can be a salesperson in between the counter and cash register, a student trying to hide behind a book, the person in line to receive communion in church, or most of all, the audience in a live theater performance, which ends up looking like a room full of lightning bugs in a open field. It seems like the teaching of Marshall Mchuhan’s theory of media being an extension of man was not so far removed from where we are today in the era of texting and social networking sites.

In social networking the three “E’s” (event, experience, and environment) apply, but are different in face to face communication. The event in cyberspace is what takes place, when you are posting on your status, or blogging. It also could be the search for new online friends or groups with the same interests, relatives, past friends, or friends that are being connected to you through others. There is now a website called On this website you enter your zip code and all of your hobbies and interests. They, in turn, send you a listing of all groups such as book clubs, hiking clubs, etc. that are meeting in your area.

When I first signed up for Facebook, I was a little unsettled at the fact that the instant I was in the cyberspace world, I had immediate friends’ requests. I agree with Paul Levinson’s theory on online friends and offline friends. Paul Levinson, in his book, “New New Media” refers to friends on your social networking sites as “online friends.” The principle behind “online friends” is that they have little in common with real-life friends or friend’s offline, in the real world. According to Levinson, to be friends with someone offline, to be even a casual acquaintance, means you know many things about them, including what they look and sound like. Offline impersonations are, of course, possible, but they happen much less frequently than online. Levinson states the following, “Indeed by far the best of way of authenticating an online friend’s identify is to know that person offline- we might say that online friends are bona fide to the degree that they are offline friends.” (Paul Levinson pg.103).

The second “E” – experience is what you take away from the sites. I believe that these sites are formulating into a “global village”, that Marshall Mchuhan warned us about. Citizens share a culture in common with that of an oral culture, but now has reversed back to the printed word form of communication through electronic speed. I myself am what you call a realist. I prefer face to face communication and believe it is the oldest form of communication. I do not find all these meaningless posts and status updated on the social networking sites enjoyable. I do not need to know the up to date minute to minute going on in the lives of my online friends. I must admit, however, I am drawn each day to these sites as part as my daily ritual. Face to face communication requires interpersonal skills and real time social interaction and non verbal gestures which are missing in cyberspace.

Computers introduced us to computer mediated communication; this form of communication is able to unite people in groups, another process that can be traced back to oral culture. Therefore, Walter Ong refers to this as the concept of secondary orality. “According to Lance Strate, secondary orality, such as micro-blogging, can have a leveling effect on people. Computer mediated communication that is made possible through the technologies of chat room, instant messaging and micro-blogging are more of an informal nature that communication in a primary oral culture. People are usually addressed by their first names or nicknames. We can argue that this leveling effect goes even further in that it gives everyone the idea that their opinion matters. Because you blog, you exist.” (Stephen Barmentioo, Matters of Media, October 2008).

The final “E” - environment, is in the present, and with social networking, you leave the physical world behind you. The environment is what you yourself create when you go on to these websites, or use technology, whether it be booking a Caribbean vacation, and you are engrossed in the vision of white sand beaches, or blogging on your interest. The virtual environment is brought to you by your media. You can be connected anytime and anywhere. This is different from years ago when you just had your computer screen to stare into. Now cyberspace is mobile. Just like in the Women’s Snowboarding Olympic event, I recently viewed; an athlete in Vancouver was getting ready to embark on
the race of her life, when she reached into her pocket and changed the tunes on her I-pod. The iPod became the setting for her virtual environment. She was ultimately creating her setting while using “new new media.”

“In cyberspace communication, such as e-mail and chat, people travel across time and space with the physical body. But in contrast to ubiquitous, media, and teleconferencing spaces, computer networking systems do not include personal visual information.” Hiem (1993), in “The Metaphysis of Virtual Reality,” states that “being a body constitutes the principle behind our separateness from one another and behind our personal presence. Visual information about the physical body in cyberspace communication has positive and negative implications. On the one hand, eliminating the body makes us more equal because we no longer have access to the visual information of sex, age, and race. But on the other hand, the quality of human relationships narrows, because unlike face to face communication, we do not have a full range of visual and verbal sensory information.” (Strate, Jacobson, Gibson pg.249)

All of this new cyberspace technology has created a culture of impatience within our society. How many of us when we start up our computers, for example, sigh exasperated at the two minutes it takes for the computer to boot up, saying to ourselves “How long is this going to take? “ We tap our fingers on the desk and breathe heavily in frustration. “We live in the culture where the

young people –outfitted with I-phones and laptops are devoting hours every evening from the age 10 onward to messaging of one kind and another are ever less likely to develop the “silent fluency” that comes from face to face interaction. It is a skill that we must learn, in actual social setting, from people (often older) who are adept in the idiom, as the text-centered messaging increases, such occasions diminish. The digital natives improve their adroitness at the keyboard, but when it comes to their capacity to “read” the behavior of others, they are all thumb”. (Bauerlein)


Levinson, Paul. New New Media. Penguin Academics, 2009. Print.

Strate, Lance, Ron L. Jacobson, and Stephanie B. Gibson. Communication and Cyberspace. second ed. N.p.: Hampton Press, 2003. Print.

Postman, Neal. Amusing Ourselfs to Death. N.p.: n.p., 1985. Print.

"The Importance of Face to Face." Communication at work. Ed. Chuck Martin. N.p., 6 Mar. 2007. Web. 19 Feb. 2010.

Bauerlein, Mark. "Why Gen -YJonny Can't Read." Wall Street Journal 28 Aug. . Print.