Content Rights in Individuated Media

Here is a quick, anecdotal example of the difference in legal rights between Mass Media and Individuated Media.  I am an American who lives within sight of the building in which ‘Saturday Night Live’ is filmed. I would have like to see this short video clip from that program. However, I’m today in the Republic of South Africa at a conference.  Due to the obsolete contents rights laws of the waning Industrial Era, laws that have temporarily been shoveled over (‘Digital Rights Management’) into online media during the dawning Information Era, I cannot see the clip because I’m not in the U.S. and rights to view this clip are sold according to nation and not individual.

Mass Media is almost always targeted and sold based upon a mass demographic — for example, Americans, tennis fans, women ages 25-45, gays, bonsai enthusiasts, et. al. By contrast, Individuated Media is almost always targeted and sold based upon individuals regardless of what demographic group they belong.

With Individuated Media, I should be able to see content for which I subscribe (such as my NBC cable television subscription, NBC content on Hulu.com, or NBC content legitimately uploaded to YouTube.com, no matter where I happen to be that day. Not so with Mass Media, in which rights depend not upon your payment but where you happen to be at the time.

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