The amount of literature created for online access has increased over the years and has also been, and will continue to be, under extensive scrutiny from copyright laws. YouTube videos are constantly being uploaded and, just as easily, being removed because of copyright infringements. As I stated in my previous blog, this relates directly to Kirby Ferguson’s ‘Everything is a Remix’ videos because I believe it is in our nature that we are driven to copy, improve, and share ‘creative’ products. The focus of this will be to analyze communities of ‘producer-consumer’ literature in media and touch on possible copyright issues that may arise.
The largest community that exists for users to upload their personal literature (i.e. status’, pictures, information, etc.) is social media outlets. ‘Social media platforms’, as Lev Manovich in The Practice of Everyday (Media) Life: From Mass Consumption to Mass Cultural Production says, “give users unlimited space for storage and plenty of tools to organize, promote, and broadcast their thoughts, opinions, behavior, and media to others” (Manovich, 2008).
Manovich’s explanation of a social media platform follows on point, arguing that social media is the largest community for ‘producer-consumer’ literature. People use websites (particularly Facebook and Twitter) to update things such as their thoughts, quotes they like, how they are feeling at that particular moment, and other things that would probably not be publicly known about them if it weren’t for a social media platform.
In relation to his, Bennetsblog says that, “Another website I often contribute to would be Facebook. I will sometimes upload pictures, chat on friends walls or update my status on this website. Facebook seems like it’s part of our culture these days and it is almost strange for someone to not have an account.” I fully agree with his interpretation of Facebook being part of our culture. It has advanced so immensely from its creation, that many people are unable to go a day without ‘checking their Facebook’.
On the other hand, there are users like Hana’s Blog who do not feel the need to post online ‘literature’. She says, “I hate producing content. In a perfect world, I would be able to be on the internet and not have to post anything at all about myself.” I think from a subjective standpoint, raising to light these two different Internet users argues that everyone has their own online preferences when it comes to what they allow others to see about them.
Bennetsblog didn’t mind uploading pictures, or statuses and so forth, but on the other hand, Hana’s Blog’s intent was to use the Internet for an observing-type of perspective. Each user has their own preferences when it comes to an online community.
Personally, whenever I meet someone whom is of interest to me (i.e. group project, etc.) I will almost automatically try to search them on Facebook to see their profile. If I do not see them on Facebook, or something throws me off about them, (like weird pictures) my judgment of them might be impaired significantly – which is rather blunt and judgmental to say the least. But that’s what Facebook and other social media sites have done to consumers. The way users portray themselves online, based on the literature they upload, can create an image in a viewer’s mind that may be more predominant than face-to-face interactions. I believe this is one of the many reasons why employers are doing Facebook checks of possible job candidates.
An interesting statement I found from Manovich starts by saying, “Since the companies which create social media platforms make money from having as many users as possible visit them (they do so serving ads, by selling data about usage to other companies, to selling ad-on services, etc.), they have a direct interest in having users pour as much of their lives into these platforms as possible” (Manovich, 2008). This builds off what was previously mentioned above, concerning the cultural feel towards using a social media platform. Manovich describes that the companies behind these websites basic goal is to get us, as users, to provide as much information possible about ourselves so that they can, in turn, make a profit. From this, one could state that there are not only pressures from inside us to ‘stay up to date’ on these sites, but also an online attempt to persuade us into providing personal literature to the online community.
I think the major copyright infringement that exists among social media sites is stealing other users intellectual property and uploading it as if it was your own. Many people upload images, quotes, stories, etc. that leads to this type of infringement and I’m pretty sure the majority do not even recognize that they are stealing other peoples work.
Everyone has their own personal preferences when it comes to providing personal literature to an online community, but no one way is wrong or right. I think the main message is just to avoid purposely and negligently copying other persons’ literature.