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  • Ip/fair use Report: Album Piracy May Help Musicians Sell

    So how does this sound? The more a music album is illegally downloaded for free, the more money the artist makes. …yeah, it’s an odd thing to envision. But according to a 2012 study from North Carolina State University, albums that are “leaked” tend to sell slightly more than those actually sold. One would think that prereleased sharing would cause the artist to lose more money than gain, but it has been proving the opposite. A theory as to why this is is because the people pirating are able to listen and figure out if they like the songs before they officially buy them.  In return this provides the artist with more public exposure to their content, kind of like free samples given out at a grocery store before the customer knows if they want to buy the product. It was also found that artists who were well known benefited from the predownloads than lesser-known artists. This is a rare case where piracy may actually be beneficial.

    The reason I spotlighted this article is because I knew that with more opportunities to get free content nowadays, it’s nearly impossible to get around piracy. So, I was curious to see if there were any ways that we could benefit from it since people would do it anyway.

    This article was taken from a study conducted by Robert G. Hammond, an Assistant Professor of Economics at North Carolina State University, about how the existence of a black market affects outcomes in the formal market”.

    KOEBLER, JASON. “Report: Album Piracy May Help Musicians Sell.” U.S. News. (2012): n. page. Web. 20 Jan. 2014. <http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/05/29/report-album-piracy-may-help-musicians-sell>.



    Now that people are starting to interact with each other via social media networks, it has become an issue where individuals’ personal lives intersect with their professional lives. Behaviors away from the business world are able to be viewed by coworkers, supervisors, potential employers, or anyone of professional nature. Because of the easy access to this information, it has become a challenge for people to maintain multiple identities in a way that it won’t harm their sense of respectability in the workplace.

    What we have yet to figure out is that there is no invisible boundary between our personal identity and our professional identity because we’re basically putting all of ourselves out there for everyone to see on these sites. Instead, we create this delusion of a “mental fence” which we use to separate and organize our environment, or the “physical, temporal, emotional, cognitive,and/or relational limits that define entities as separate from one another” (Ashforth et al., 2000: 474). In order to lessen the burden of this mental separation, some will try to minimize the boundary by combining the aspects of both the personal and professional world through social interaction. (ex. going out drinking with a coworker)

    When one is interacting with their family and friends on social media sites, they may completely disregard how they’re being seen by executives or other people they work with. Sites like Facebook that are intentionally structured to feel like a personal medium make us feel as though we’re among friends when in reality a majority of them are just contacts that don’t directly interact with us and read our updates like the newspaper. When we post our statuses and pictures, in our minds we’re only showing the people that we connect with regularly (our “visible audience”), and we don’t take into account those from different social groups where the information posted may seem inappropriate since they’re not as familiar with the individual (the “invisible audience”).

    Social media connects us to everyone;  those we know and those we don’t whether intentional or not. Even if our pages are set to maximum privacy, there will still be those individuals who can see or hear about our content through the people we are connected with. Nowhere online is totally safe since everything is capable of being seen. Some of us learn this the hard way when we walk into work the next day and coworkers are laughing at our drunken birthday-suit photos from the night before.



  • Digital Identity: “Facebook Privacy Concerns Prompt ‘Virtual Identity Suicides'”

    Many people have thought about the information they share online and how those things can have consequences when they leave the keyboard.  people come out and post things like what they do, where they are, and how they feel, just writing in a diary. But unlike a private diary, their lives become an open book for different companies who keep track of what they buy and what their interests are. This privacy breech has convinced some people to post less online and even perform what is known as “virtual identity suicide” where they completely abandon their accounts in an attempt to reveal less about themselves. A survey conducted by psychologists at the University of Vienna determined the thoughts of 300 people who still used their Facebook accounts and 300 of those who deleted them. The group who disregarded their Facebooks claimed to do so because of concerns over privacy and online addiction. Some of this paranoia has stemmed from recent privacy breaches like the NSA surveillance scandal and stories from Wikileaks.

    Although I still use my Facebook regularly, I am still one of those people who is cautious about what I post online. A lot of people are unaware that important figures like future employers are checking Facebook pages to snoop out information about who they’re hiring. I feel like if the younger internet surfers were made aware of these repercussions from the start, they would be more vigilant about what they posted.

    This article was based off of a research study conducted by Stefan Stieger, PhD, Christoph Burger, MSc, Manuel Bohn, and Martin Voracek, PhD. So I’m pretty certain that it’s got some good credit behind it.

    Ellyat, Holly. “Facebook Privacy Concerns Prompt ‘Virtual Identity Suicides’.” CNBC. (2013): n. page. Web. 20 Jan. 2014. <http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/09/20/facebook-privacy-concerns-prompt-virtual-identity-suicides.html>.

  • IP/fair use “3D printers: The next intellectual property game changer”

    Because of the rapid increase in production and falling of cost, the 3D printer is now gaining more recognition than ever before. Now things like appliances, toys, utilities, and models can be manufactured in our own homes. Little Suzy wants a new accessory for her Barbie? Now mom or dad can make it themselves! This breakthrough has the potential to enhance our lives in an immense amount of ways, such as reducing developmental costs, but even with benefits like these there are still ways that it can negatively impact our economy. Just like the internet has changed the game when it comes to music, film, and book distribution, digitization has also started working its way into the physical product market. Because manufactures can’t keep tabs on who’s making their products instead of buying them, patents are slowly losing their value. There is now a fear that 3D printing will take away the ownership of intellectual property that has “relied on physical limits to prevent infringement.” This is starting to make it a challenge to put a label on who owns what, and as a result business profits will start taking a dive.

    I found this article after thinking about what was said in class about 3D printers causing blurred lines between patented property and individual property. My favorite quote from the article was, “Digitization has reached the rest of the economy—the economy of things.” Its sort of shocking that something as recent as the 3D printer has quickly caused changes in our lives. No really! Printing out that new thing you wanted for Christmas yourself? It’s science fiction! Although I do feel sorry for the manufactures that will lose money over all this since they cant hide from pirating now.

    This article is a summary of an up to date research paper entitled “Patents, Meet Napster: 3D Printing and the Digitization of Things”
    written by Deven R. Desai from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and Gerard N. Magliocca from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.


    Desai, Deven, and Gerard Magliocca. “3D printers: The next intellectual property game changer.”Constitution Daily. 21 OCT 2013: n. page. Web. 18 Jan. 2014. <http://www.philly.com/philly/news/science/3D_printers_The_next_intellectual_property_game_changer.html?c=r>.

  • IP/fair use “Is Broadband Internet Access a Public Utility?”

    Everyone uses it, and many can’t live without it. We use it to connect with others, pay our bills, educate ourselves, provide information to others, entertain ourselves, and do our daily jobs in the workplace. In this day and age the internet seems to be as vital as electricity was a century ago. So this brings up the question if the internet should be a free, publicly accessible utility.

    Internet service giants make millions every year from their services because they understand how important it is in society. America’s internet services are not only expensive and slow, compared to countries in Europe and Asia, but there is a smaller number of choices when it comes to who we get our internet from. This small group of government-appointed companies dominate us and control our entire digital lives because they know we are still willing to pay.  In countries like Seoul, citizens may be offered three or four providers that sell their services for cheap, but in the U.S. it is much more difficult for an Average Joe to get access to the digital world. Why is it that the country that invented the internet has the most difficulty logging on? This has caused a trend known as the “digital divide,” which describes how a large percentage of the country is deprived from basic online resources and communication due to cost. Comcast, the largest cable company in the U.S. who just recently purchased a large portion of NBCUniversal, now carries  “the “holy grail” of telecommunications”, complete control over content distribution. With so much money flowing into their market, there has been no incentive from the federal government to bring America into the digital age.

    This article is relevant because it summarizes research done by Susan Crawford, a tech policy expert and professor at Cardozo Law School. Crawford is also the author of Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly in the New Gilded Age which discusses the same topic. This article spoke to me because I didn’t realize exactly how much of the U.S. was without internet; and here we are taking it for granted every day! With the internet becoming the primary method of communication and a vital part of our personal and business lives, it is crucial to understand the importance of giving everyone an opportunity to be in the digital loop, with motives other than maximizing profits.


    Gustin, Sam. “Is Broadband Internet Access a Public Utility?.” TIME. 09 Jan 2013: n. page. Web. 18 Jan. 2014. <http://business.time.com/2013/01/09/is-broadband-internet-access-a-public-utility/>.