Meeting Eighteen:

Finals Week Meeting: Monday, June 11 11:30AM-2:30 PM

Final Video Essay Showcase!


What claims did Jeff Brazil make about the strengths and weaknesses of print journalism and the resources required for investigative journalism?

What does this mean for an organization like WikiLeaks?

How does this bring us back to our opening material about crisis and opportunity?


Review Case Studies

Thinking about image-centered journalism:

Gina Levy

Lauren Greenfield



Skepticism about web 2.0

how "advertising shapes content" (55)

FCC revisiting media ownership rules (58)

Other groups becoming involved in the "anticoncentration in media ownership movement" (58)

understanding the "media reform movement" (61)

The Yes Men on Bhopal disaster (62)

Need for broader movements rather than "microactions" (63)

"Self-government is impossible without a viable press" (65)

New possibilities for competition (67)

Satellite companies (69)

Lawrence Lessig
The "Introduction" in Free Culture

As the Internet has been integrated into ordinary life, it has changed things. Some of these changes are technical—the Internet has made communication faster, it has lowered the cost of gathering data, and so on. These technical changes are not the focus of this book.They are important. They are not well understood. But they are the sort of thing that would simply go away if we all just switched the Internet off. They don't affect people who don't use the Internet, or at least they don't affect them directly. They are the proper subject of a book about the Internet. But this is not a book about the Internet.

Instead, this book is about an effect of the Internet beyond the Internet itself: an effect upon how culture is made. My claim is that the Internet has induced an important and unrecognized change in that process. That change will radically transform a tradition that is as old as the Republic itself. Most, if they recognized this change, would reject it. Yet most don't even see the change that the Internet has introduced. (7)

At the beginning of our history, and for just about the whole of our tradition, noncommercial culture was essentially unregulated. Of course, if your stories were lewd, or if your song disturbed the peace, then the law might intervene. But the law was never directly concerned with the creation or spread of this form of culture, and it left this culture "free." The ordinary ways in which ordinary individuals shared and transformed their culture—telling stories, reenacting scenes from plays or TV, participating in fan clubs, sharing music, making tapes—were left alone by the law. (8)

The focus of the law was on commercial creativity. At first slightly, then quite extensively, the law protected the incentives of creators by granting them exclusive rights to their creative work, so that they could sell those exclusive rights in a commercial marketplace.8 This is also, of
course, an important part of creativity and culture, and it has become an increasingly important part in America. But in no sense was it dominant
within our tradition. It was instead just one part, a controlled part, balanced with the free. (8)

This rough divide between the free and the controlled has now been erased. The Internet has set the stage for this erasure and, pushed by big media, the law has now affected it. For the first time in our tradition, the ordinary ways in which individuals create and share culture fall within the reach of the regulation of the law, which has expanded to draw within its control a vast amount of culture and creativity that it never reached before. The technology that preserved the balance of our history—between uses of our culture that were free and uses of our culture that were only upon permission—has been undone. The consequence is that we are less and less a free culture, more and more a permission culture. (8)


Lessig on "What Things Regulate?"





How do these four forces work?

How are codes that are laws and codes that are programming instructions related?

Want to know what Network Neutrality is? Ask a Ninja!