The Hidden Demography of New Media Ethics
Published 2013 in Information, Communication & Society
34 Pages Posted: 24 Oct 2013
Date Written: November 27, 2012
The early years of the 21st Century have been characterized by an explosion of new "configurable" cultural forms and practices, such as mashups, remixes and machinima, enabled by rapidly proliferating global digital network technologies. These new cultural forms blur the distinctions between traditional production and consumption and have come increasingly into contrast with the letter of copyright law. In the absence of functionally relevant economic and legal frameworks, communities around the globe have developed their own ethical criteria to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate configurable practices. In the present article, the authors share data from surveys fielded in 2006 and 2010, showing that as these practices have become more prevalent, the ethical frameworks people employ to make sense of them have continued to proliferate and mature. Finally, we analyze the demographic profiles of respondents employing each ethical framework, revealing hidden national, class and ethnic distinctions underpinning the disparate value systems that have been employed to make sense of these new practices.
Keywords: remix, mashup, survey, media ethics, copyright, demographics
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