Tag Archives: culture

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum

Week 11:
B) Medosch argues that: “piracy, despite being an entirely commercially motivated activity carried out in black or grey markets, fulfills culturally important functions” (Reader, page 318).Discuss ONE of these arguments while giving an example online.

The good, the bad and the ugly. Nobody likes pirates. The only pirate people like is Captain Jack Sparrow, from Pirates of the Caribbean. I’m guessing a large factor is because he is, after all, Johnny Depp. Pirates hijack boats, kill people, steal jewelry and money. They terrorise people. Somalia is one of the most dangerous countries in the world, simply because pirates terrorise the area.

But alas, those are not the only pirates. There are pirates who are seemingly less dangerous, but have the ability to cause damage too! Yup, I’m referring to pirates who make copies of movies, videos, video games, and sell them off at a cheap price.

Who has…
1) bought a pirated DVD/VCD/video game etc.
2) watched a movie from an illegal source? Torrents, DVDs…
3) played video games off a pirated web host, or on an illegal stream server?

This list isn’t exhaustive.

I found this images online
Credits to 

File sharing
Credits to Tim Groeneveld

As the above images state, by making a copy, you aren’t stealing the movie. But what about the money earned from it?  Shouldn’t it go to the producers and actors?  Why is it going to you?

People are wondering why these few dollars would impact the film industry. But statistics don’t lie. The movie industry lost US $25 billion worldwide to date (Movie Piracy Losses by Country 2011). These few dollars add up to billions lost.

A total of 141,030 jobs were lost in the US due to piracy (Ernesto 2006). How would you feel if ALL of your family members lost their jobs due to piracy? And you were the one contributing to their loss of a job because you joined your friends for a stay over and you guys watched pirated DVDs all night long?

That changes things doesn’t it?

However, with the cons of piracy, some the pros too. Medosch (2008) argues that “piracy… fulfills culturally important functions”, and this can be expanded in the next few points

1) By watching pirated movies, you’re  able to obtain knowledge once not available to you (Medosch 2008).

2) The “poor” will have equal access to what the “rich” have. Why should the rich be allowed access to information, while the poor are deprived? Piracy thus, helps close the gap between social classes.

3) By obtaining newfound knowledge, it does close the gap between culture, race and country. We feel more connected with the rest of the world, watching, reading, doing what they’re able to do. Like Medsoch (2008) argues, it’s not always about the money. We now have unlimited access to everything.

4) Piracy has created jobs for the jobless and uneducated. What they’re doing may not be right, but what other choices do these people have?

Take Indonesia as an example. Children with tattered clothes and no shoes are selling pirated DVDs. What other choices did they have? With no education, with no money for education, how can the poor be educated? And because Indonesia’s government is corrupted, the poor do not get help. Surely it’s the government’s job to help these people. And in a really warped way, does this then mean the government has played a part in piracy too? At least, with the small amount of money earned, they can support themselves, and hopefully be “less poor”. It is a naïve thought, but fact is: piracy has helped create jobs, as much as it has destroyed jobs.

Most may argue that the cons outweigh the pros, just because money is lost, jobs are lost, people aren’t being ethical.

What are your thoughts on piracy? Do you agree that in some way, it has helped the world move forward together? For those who want a good read on piracy, here’s a link. The comments made gives great insight too.


Ernesto 2006, Torrent Freak, viewed 19 May 2011,.” target=”_blank”>http://torrentfreak.com/the-cost-of-movie-piracy-to-the-us/.

Medosch, A 2008, ‘Paid in Full: Copyright, Piracy and the Real Currency of Cultural Production’, in Deptforth. TV Diaries II: Pirate Strategies, London, Deptforth TV, pp. 73-97

Movie Piracy Losses by Country 2011, Havocscope Black Markets, viewed 19 May 2011, http://www.havocscope.com/movie-piracy-losses-by-country/ .


Rulture Cremix


Oh year! Remix culture! Tried my hand at remixing words, obviously now I know it’s not my forte, and I should concentrate on doing other things..

Music has been revolutionized in a couple of ways, from the sharing of music files online (Russell, Ito, Richmond & Tuters 2008), people creating mix tapes, or even putting two songs together to form a “new” song, otherwise known as remixing.

How does this remix culture affect the music industry then? People still listen to songs, people are able to earn money from remixes, music is still being made.. BUT.. this is what we didn’t know! The music industry’s revenue has gone from US $14.32 billion, to US $9.65 in a span of 7 years (2000 – 2006) (Russell 2008).

That’s more than a 50% drop…. Yikes. Not sure how it happened, but for the next trivia, I can come up with a few reasons..

The sale of CDs has declined from 942million to 614 million, also from 2000 – 2006 (Russell 2008).  Reasons.. hmm

1) YouTube. Why buy CDs when you can search for the song on YouTube? You can listen to it all day long..

2) listentoyoutube.com. Wanna listen to your fav song on the go? This website allows one to download just the audio bits from YouTube.

3) Torrents. Think that YouTube’s quality isn’t that good? Torrents allow one to download songs in the original high-quality form..

4) file sending over msn, email. If you plop your CD into your computer, you can ‘drag’ the songs out onto your desktop, and play it with and music player (VLC, iTunes, Windows Media Player). That same way, you can send the song file to your friend, or upload it on YouTube (see the vicious cycle now?)

What about remixing songs? Did that kill the music industry? Or did it help make the industry better?

I’d love to hear your thoughts…

I feel that remixing has actually made the music industry better. I don’t have any statistics with regards to an increase of band popularity or sales due to remixes, so my opinions are on a personal level. I know damn well that without remixing, I wouldn’t have heard the name of many songs, and bands, and I would have never become a fan!

Take the band, Norwegian Recycling. I first heard their song How Six Songs Collide, when a friend sent it to me.  And from there, I went on to search the titles of the 6 songs, and subsequently went on to search for the singers and bands… I’ve yet to buy their album as I’ve never seen it in stores, but I sure would.

One friend, Joshua Simon, has been doing remixes. By himself! Yea, it’s really cool. He did the beats, even made videos… he has a great voice, and his remixes don’t cover just new songs but even older songs.. and I feel, hey if you mix both together, “old” songs won’t be forgotten!

Here are a few of my favourites.. (=

<iframe width=”640″ height=”390″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/f55eT5lU9Ao&#8221; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

Remixes provide a fresh approach to old songs, new twist, sometimes a new melody… and the singer really does affect the portrayal of songs… well, that’s my opinion. Not convinced that remixes are better? Let me hear your thoughts!


Russell A., Ito M., Richmond T., & Tuters, M. 2008, ‘Culture: Media Convergence and Networked Culture’, in Kazys Vernelis (ed.) Networked Publics, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp.43-76.