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Music 2.0 (or 3.0?)

We move on at COST298 to Stijn Bannier, who focusses on the musical network in the context of Web 2.0 (or 3.0, as the case may be). By 'musical network', Stijn means the network of artists, producers, labels, distributors, and other music industry institutions, which together constitute the industry itself. These are affected by the rise of Web 2.0, not least as it enables users to create, consume, share and remix music; this is potentially exacerbated by further developments towards Web 3.0.

Stijn points as an example to artist self-promotion and self-distribution on MySpace and elsewhere; to musical reproduction, tagging, and metadata sharing (e.g. on, which may also be analysed quantitatively; to distribution networks built on social networks, peer-to-peer filesharing, and other Web 2.0 media; and to the abundance of content which this creates. This is where Web 3.0 may come in, with its increased emphasis on metadata generation and evaluation.

Movie Filesharing as a New Distribution Mechanism

Next at COST298 is Rita Espanha, who shifts our interest to the effects of peer-to-peer filesharing of movies on cinema in Portugal. She begins by taking us through the key features of European cinema (as opposed to Hollywood) - the different content and narrative style, the funding support by national governments and related institutions, and the comparatively more limited distribution.

There are a number of different consumer types here, too - traditional consumers (mainstream TV channels, regular cinema goers), mainstream consumers (mainstream channels, less frequent cinema goers), and innovative (networked) consumers (also using other media, and especially the Internet, to access cinema content).

Politics, Transhumanism, and The Pirate Bay

The next speaker in this politics session at WebSci '09, A. Priftis, switches back to Greek. He begins by noting his own online presence in a variety of online environments, but says that what he does is nothing special. The Obama campaign, by contrast, very actively placed itself directly in the paths of people as they moved about online, and prepared its supporters with material that could be used to argue the Obama case in any such environments. This was very successful on a number of levels - for example in engendering the support of American youths (some of whom even changed their middle name to 'Obama').

Disruption 2.0: Broadcast vs. Social Media (AM&BC 2008)

Disruption 2.0: Broadcast vs. Social Media

Axel Bruns

"FASTRACKED FROM THE US." The words appear every day on our television screens. But apart from the embarrassing misspelling, what do they tell us?

The Australian Media Industry: A View from the Top

I've travelled south for the Australasian Media & Broadcasting Congress, at which I'll speak tomorrow. Arriving this morning I've missed the opening keynote, but I'll try and blog as much as I can of the rest of the proceedings.

So, we start with a panel by Australia media industry leaders. Michael Anderson from Austereo begins by talking about the launch of digital radio, which he sees as an enhancement to what radio does - no longer something significantly new as it's taken so long to launch in Australia, but a useful addition nonetheless. He suggests that in the US Internet radio has not yet been a success - it is nigh anemic, and largely a failure, he says. The industry there is trying to grow through cost-cutting. The UK isn't much better, and Australia is in fact ahead of most other nations in terms of its digital radio market.

Beyond Broadcasting: TV as a (Deficient) Form of Streaming Media

Beyond BroadcastingContinuing the streaming media theme from Wednesday: the latest issue of the journal Media International Australia has now been released - "Beyond Broadcasting", edited by Graham Meikle and Sherman Young. I've contributed an article and have received permission from the editors to re-publish it here. In the article, I try to take a fresh look at television in an increasingly Internet-driven media environment.

Traditionally, the Net's equivalents to television (mainly, streaming media) have been viewed through the lens of the older technology; to some extent, streaming media has tried to mimic television's feel and format - this is visible in the user interfaces of media players like Windows and Real, and even (though perhaps with some irony intended) in brand names such as YouTube,, or Democracy TV, the original name for the podcast feedreader Miro. I would argue that this is a case of what we could call a paleomorphising process: the tendency to shape new media technologies in keeping with older technologies. (In much the same way, it's taken decades for the mobile phone to look and feel like a mobile media and communications device, rather than simply like a wireless handset.)

Web2.0 Critiques

(I'm afraid I accidentally deleted a couple of comments here last night - please repost them if you can!)

It's the last day of MiT5, and we're in the first session of the day. Mary Madden from the Pew Center is the first speaker, on Socially-Driven Music Sharing and the Adoption of Participatory Media Applications. She notes that the term Web2.0 is imperfect but convenient for summarising many of the current developments in the online world. Tom O'Reilly defines Web2.0 as harnessing social effects; it may not be a revolution, but there have been important changes. We now need to think critically about how and why it emerged as a major force in the first place.

Towards More Democratic IT Infrastructures?

We're continuing in a law and policy vein. The final session for today is on the potential for a democratisation of IT infrastructures. Dan Wielsch is the first presenter, focussing on infrastructure governance. He notes that the governance principles of distribution technology are changing - more people than ever before have access to the means of information production and exchange, drastically reducing entry costs to communication (also known as 'cheap speech'). This is markedly different from the previous industrial information economy, of course. In the new network information economy there is a serious increase in non-market content production, leading to more and more diverse content and content producers.

Yet More DGM, and Less DRM

Following up on my "More DGM, Less DRM" post a little while ago: in his diary, Robert Fripp has now responded to some of the reports about the launch of DGMLive, and clarified some of the usage restrictions for downloaded music which apply for DGMLive downloads. "Act rightly" is the governing phrase - an idea which is positively alien to the mainstream music industry, of course.

More DGM, Less DRM

I've been meaning to flag the fact that DGMLive has gone online. The site is the new online arm of Discipline Global Mobile, the record label founded by King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp, and offers a growing number of Fripp and Crimson concerts and other goodies for purchase and download. This interests me as a fan, but also for other reasons: music purchased through DGMLive is available in MP3 and FLAC (lossless audio) formats, and is downloaded through the peer-to-peer filesharing software BitTorrent.

Neither of these facts sits well with standard music industry wisdom (now there's an oxymoron for you) that 1. the customer is the enemy, and cannot be trusted, 2. p2p filesharing tools of any kind are evil, and must be destroyed, and 3. because of 1. and 2., there is a need for new music formats which include strong digital rights management (DRM) measures to prevent unauthorised duplication, filesharing, or other supposedly illegal activities. At the same time, having been cheated by industry players at various times during his 40-odd-year career, Fripp can hardly be described as a friend of the music industry - which he has described repeatedly as being 'fulled by greed' -, so perhaps it's not so surprising that he would take a different approach to online distribution.


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