Digital Technology and Cultural Policy
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Kieran Healy: University of Arizona
No 45, Working Papers from Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Arts and Cultural Policy Studies.
This paper reviews how digital technology, and the devices and broadband networks associated with it (the Internet, for short), can be expected to a ect the ways in which books, music, the visual arts, libraries and archived cultural heritage (cultural goods, for short) are produced, distributed and consumed. The paper has four parts. First, I place the growth of the Internet in historical and comparative perspective. I argue that the United States is presently engaged in a regulatory e ort similar in intent to those imposed on earlier communications revolutions. In this context, I outline the ways that the Internet can be expected to change how people produce and consume cultural goods. I distinguish between practices the technology makes possible and practices likely to become established as typical for the majority of people. Second, I discuss some of the new arenas for cultural policy thrown up by the Internet. I argue that, just as it has bound many kinds of cultural content into a single medium, the Internet has tied together a variety of regulatory issues and brought cultural policy into contact with areas of policy-making not normally associated with culture. Third, I focus on the relationship between creativity, consumption and copyright law. Fourth, I describe a number of key conflicts over the Internet's architecture and content. How these are resolved through policy choices will have important consequences for how we consume and experience cultural goods of all kinds in the future.
JEL-codes: Z11 L86 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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