[-empyre-] youtube VS warner bros VS the users; circuits as technical objects

Julian Oliver julian at julianoliver.com
Sun Sep 27 18:54:55 EST 2009

..on Sun, Sep 27, 2009 at 07:59:06AM +0100, Gabriel Menotti wrote:
> That said, I also meant that I don't believe the concept of (an
> all-powerful and essentially a-historical) apparatus can be
> politically or aesthetically useful to analyze media systems anymore.
> Consider the relation between the engineering sectors of society and
> the cultural production ones, for example – a very stressful relation
> ever since tape recording was killing the music biz. Nowadays we see
> Sony tech department against Sony Music; Apple outdated strategies of
> controlling content-software-hardware at once. In the meanwhile, the
> French government is outlawing photoshop.

Yes Apple is certainly one of the most destructive, monopolistic players in this

To be clear however The French government isn't outlawing photoshop so much as
ensuring that any digitally modified photograph needs to be distributed with a
notice that it has been modified. Photoshop, Gimp or other editing application
is still perfectly legal in this country.

> Is it really possible to see in the negotiations between Google and
> movie companies the synergy of one “capitalist / global
> domination-diffusion system”?
> (btw, I don’t think that the logic going on here is that of the
> supplement, and I don’t believe it is dialectical either. Piracy still
> keeps going on the ‘tubes – trying to adapt itself to the “apparatus”
> just as the movie companies are. Is there any distinction between
> one's tactics and the other's strategies?)

Unofficially allowing the upload of pirated material has been a primary strategy
in pre-Google YouTube's peer publicity model, no different from peer-to-peer
services that later switch to a pay model once a community feels dependent on

Google is however legally absolved of being an enabler or collaborator in the
'making available' of copyrighted content by pushing responsibility onto the
user wherever possible. Thus when they publically remove copyrighted content
from YouTube they are heralded as defenders of content producers/artists.

The end result is a system of mutual benefit that sacrifices the occasional user
regularly enough to give outward appearance of legal obedience. 

An 'ecology' would be a better metaphor here than 'circuit', I feel. A 'society'
even better..


Julian Oliver
home: New Zealand
based: Madrid, Spain
currently: Madrid, Spain 
about: http://julianoliver.com

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