How The New Technology Effect Economy–Download and Copyright

Technology revolution brings us to a new generation; it changes cultures, human behaviors, as well as the way people exchange their information and “gifts.” According to the article that I chose “The Hi-Tech Gift Economy,” I learned that within a short time using the Net has become a normal thing to do for people today, which at the same time change the structure of economy. This article talks about how the Net and new technology is changing economy recently.

“Information is shared and sold. Copyright is protected and broken. Capitalists benefit from one advance and lose out from another. Users get for free what they used to pay and pay for what they used to get for free,” said Richard Barbrook. Lots of people enjoy sharing and gaining data and knowledge from the Internet, and they are getting used to have it in their daily lives. Most of them rely on the Internet and the World Wide Web to obtain information and knowledge, moreover, some people even totally living and working with the new information technology. However, at the same time, people lose some privacy and the right and power to protect their information. Copyright is an example; most of people download music for free from the Net. Therefore the revolution of technology really changes human behaviors and obviously influences our economic environment in many ways.

To briefly sum up, the new technology truly bring us lots of conveniences; but at the meanwhile we should also aware the crisis behind it. It is good to have an easier way to exchange our information; however, we have to respect the copyright of the authors when we are using or applying their ideas.


Online Market Research Analysis [Video file]. Retrieved from

Kent State Digital Copyright Violation [Video file]. Retrieved from

¡Barbrook, Richard. (1998). The hi-tech gift economy. First Monday, 3(12), Retrieved from

About chiahokang

I am a student in the University of Washington.

Posted on July 25, 2011, in Discussion Leader. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Digital economic is rising as we move toward the future. I personally like both the traditional economic and digital economic. Traditioanl economic is very time consuming but when I need to solve a problem quickly it gives me feekback immediately since it is face to face communication. One time I was having banking problem so I online chatted with sales but it did not solve my problem. There were many times which saved my time, but most of the time the sales told me to visit local bank to discuss further prolem. It took away my time for not solving the problem right away. Although, I think I do a lot of things from internet. I use interent to transfer my money, sending money to overseas and pay bills online. It really saves my time and I trust the websites. I was afraid that my information might get stolen from hackers but trusted sites like banking and popular shopping sites are very safe for many consumers. I have used many online sites to check bank accounts, listen to music and shopping. I recommand people to use online sites wisely, because they could fall into hacker’s cave which can take all of one’s personal information and control how they want.

  2. It is one thing to say in theory that we should respect the copyright laws and not download for free what we ought to be paying for. However, I know there are many who, either due to time or monetary constraints, cannot afford to pay for everything. I am not defending the act of stealing ownership, but merely trying to explain why there is such a high amount of illegal downloading/file-sharing occurring nowadays. In addition, there are those who might argue that people ought to employ patience and wait for files to fall under the category of public domain. As we learned in class though, this could be a long time as the time appropriated to copyrighted files seems to extend exponentially as time goes on.

  3. A very hot button topic for sure…

    Technology has evolved quicker than society’s techno-morals. The battle between old-school and new age is an exciting one, where we are trying to balance what we appreciate of the old and what we want from the new.

    More often than not I prefer to conduct what business I can remotely, online, or via the most expedited process possible without sacrificing much in quality of the result. So, it is no surprise that I have begun to embrace online banking, shopping, gaming, socializing, etc. The online world is amazing and I am increasingly excited by its potential to revolutionize humankind.

    At the same time, the internet is a brand new frontier that I, and others, need to rethink our ways of interacting with because it is a whole new beast. Just because we can do something on the internet doesn’t mean that we should.

    Finding the balance between an individual’s privacy and right to their own successes versus the information age is something I look forward to participating in.

  4. Digital technology has without a doubt had an effect on our economy and on the laws, such as copyright, that are in place to protect our capitalist economy. I definitely agree that new technology has opened up doors for us by allowing us to quickly and easily share information, and ideas through such websites as YouTube, Facebook, and other file sharing websites. Just as any new technology however, there are going to be positive and negative consequences to the effect such technology has on a society and I believe that as a people we sometimes tend to overlook the positive effects.

    A hot topic in society today is the issue of downloading music illegally through websites online. Although I don’t agree that this is necessarily fair to the artists who create such music, there are aspects of this illegal downloading that actually benefit the artists. For example, when a song is leaked on the Web before an artists releases their album it sometimes makes the song that much more popular and allows consumers a chance to create remixes or spoofs which end up making the original song even more profitable.

    I do believe however that boundaries need to be made to protect people’s rights but I think that we can do this without completely eliminating the positive aspect of digital media which allows us to share, build upon and create new information, knowledge, and art. The best example of this that I have seen on the web is a site called Creative Commons. Their goal is to allow artists and publishers to post or share their work with others and to choose their own copyright rules. By being a member of Creative Commons people can choose to allow others to build upon their work under a number of conditions that they choose whether it be that they in turn must share their new work, they have to give credit to the original creator, or they have to reserve all original copyright laws. Although technology is rapidly changing our economy I think that if we allow ourselves, our laws, and society to change with it the possibilities are endless.

  5. I did not have an opportunity to come to your presentation but it seems like you did a really nice job! I think you picked a good topic since it is closely related to what we talked about this week. I think copyright has become a real tricky subject as you also address it. As you state in your presentation digital economic changes the way people function. Information is moving quick and to more people. I think to try to enforce the old copyright laws on the internet is foolish and really is not worth the effort that exerted by the government.

    I am not saying that some things should not be protected, but people now with the internet are able to gain access to so much more and they do not feel bad about taking it. I think honestly it would take a huge societal push against violating copyright by downloading movies or songs off the internet to change people’s opinion. And, I do not see why or how that would happen. The information age is arriving and people will find a way to get informed and do not feel entitled to pay for that information. So, I think personally think the pressure is on corporation to figure out an effective business model that applies to the internet where everyone is happy.

  6. So in class we were talking about the copyright about the online economy, it is clear that when we are online, it is very hard for us to keep the copyright. We can’t keep the copyright for our ideas and when our idea is online, it can be spread out as fast as it can be. Internet is a good place to share all different things, but it is not a good place to keep the copyright. Like in the video we saw, the boy wrote the music but he can’t get a single penny from the music just because his music is online. Nobody would by his music if people can get the music free. Another thing I realize is that the copyright is not cheap to get. One need quiet a bit money to keep one’s copyright. We do need communicate with each other through the internet, but we should always remember that the internet cannot produce a place for people to keep their idea private. How to find the balance probably is what we should working on. While we are shearing ideas, videos, music and all the other stuff can be shared online, we also need to know how to help everybody else to keep their idea be theirs. Help others is help ourselves.

  1. Pingback: week 6 – Monday (25 July 2011) « COM300: Basic Concepts of New Media

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