Lessig QCQ – 3/1

Anthony Marciano CMM 240 A – Spring ‘22 3/1/22

QCQ for Lessig

Quotation (with page number or parag number or time stamp if video/audio)
“Massively efficient technology enables people to consume culture created elsewhere. Apple’s iTunes music store allows you to download culture for ninety-nine cents, though only to an iPod and, of course, only to your iPod”.

Comment (250-500 words)
This quote caught my attention because of how it highlights not only how much technology has advanced, but also how ethical issues regarding what classifies as “culture” come into play. I think that this is an important excerpt to not regarding certain ethical issues and how they come into play, for example, why is culture being sold and purchased? Well if we argue that music is a form of entertainment and culture and musicians create culture because we live in a capitalistic society musicians need to get credit and money for what they create. One could say it’s unfair to put a price tag on culture, but it’s the same for any art form –– it would be great to create work for free and have people enjoy your work at their leisure – but we need to pay bills. Ethically if culture is being sold by an external company that is only profiting, then yes it’s not really fair. However, if that company is a platform used to garner popularity for a specific artist, and the creator is getting a portion of the profit, I’d say it’s just a win-win situation. Say we use an example from the beginning of the article on the phonograph, where it was argued that the device would ruin live music — or culture –– and replace human singers (more or less). Yes, that happens in other industries like factories, but because of its culture and a form of creative art, music can never be automated or replaced until robots are able to feel emotion. In fact, the phonograph and now radio have created a way for everyone around the world to listen to an artist’s music instantly. This has caused the music industry to boom in popularity, helping artists, and if you’ve noticed, live shows still occur and people love them. This contradicts the assumption that the evolution and advancement of technology will cause us to forget tradition and culture.

Do you think if cultural aspects (food, music, art, etc.) weren’t profitable, we would have the same economy today? Why or why not?