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The reading for this week is “Who Controls Digital Culture? By Mark Poster, he discusses multiple issues of control in our technologically enhanced digital culture. In this reading, Poster addresses controlling information and its hazards, the politics of control, or politics as control, fixed vs. variable cultural objects, copyright law, authors, artists, creators, innovators, peer-to-peer networks, the music industry, and lastly the politics of digital music. Furthermore, in today’s society, many things such as books, movies and music are made accessible online and are accessible for free, through peer-to-peer networks and online programs which allows users to reformat music and videos on YouTube for free. This brings up the main point of the reading, which is, who really controls the digital culture in today’s society.

Poster discusses how everything has become commodified, meaning, that culture is now an industry to sell and promote. In this cultural industry, corporations face issues concerning the control of “production, reproduction and distribution of texts, sounds and images” (1). He also explains that because technology has become quite advanced, how much more advanced can technology become and what affects will they further have on control are questions to be asked. Complex information machines, provides us with the ability to interact online, communicate, search, produce, and to download through the Internet. When Poster uses the Matrix analogy on information machines, he explains that although we have the ability to turn off our machines, many of us don’t because we are so attached to the capabilities these information machines offer us. We may be the ones who control these machines in terms of its usage, but in a w...

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...r-to-peer networks will diminish the amount of music in circulation” (2). However, I don’t believe that this will be the case, like the video show in class on copyright, I don’t think the peer to peer file sharing will cause less music to be made, but it helps to spread music more, which also aids the music industries who use work of art by people they find through peer-to-peer networks, which contradicts their need to control the flow of information in terms of the capitalist view for profit. I also believe that just as many people will continue to buy music as others download from peer-to-peer networks. Furthermore, peer-to-peer networks allows creativity to flourish rather than consumption, and it combines production and consumption, dissolving the line between them. Overall, I liked this reading and I found it very informative and I learned a great deal from it.

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