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Course 2016-2017 a.y.

30438 - USER GENERATED CULTURE


CLEACC
Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English


Go to class group/s: 31

CLEACC (6 credits - II sem. - OBS  |  SECS-P/07)
Course Director:
LORENZO MIZZAU

Classes: 31 (II sem.)
Instructors:
Class 31: LORENZO MIZZAU


Course Objectives
  • To understand the fundamental changes in creative content access, production and distribution caused by the interrelation of: low-cost creation and production infrastructure, digitalization of content supports and the sharing culture
  • To understand how this impacts different stakeholders such as users, creators, intermediaries, independent organizations, etc., with a particular focus on the so-called user-driven innovation and the participatory and/or collaborative processes of cultural production (co-production, co-creation, co-design).
  • To evaluate the traditional principles of copyright law in the light of the paradigm shift that affects cultural production and distribution.
  • To investigate users’ engagement and the new ways of doing culture to grasp motivations and different perspectives of the current debate on copyright modernization.
  • To examine the potential of alternative modes of financing for content creation, protection and dissemination, and artist support (e.g., remixing, crowdfunding, sharing, co-creation, free-publicity, etc.)
  • To be able to imagine and discern strategic choices for content management and monetization in the current landscape, be it for a startup, a communication agency, a non-profit or public agency, and/or your own artistic career.

Course Content Summary
Studying the content industries from a managerial perspective normally implies a concern for how economic value is generated, captured and distributed among content creators and brokers (cf. the Production of Culture perspective in sociology). However, recent forces such as low-cost production (e.g. music software), digital reproduction (e.g. movie streaming over the internet) and the sharing culture (e.g. the YouTube phenomenon) rendered the ‘classic’ analytical frameworks such as the value-chain not suitable any more for representing how content is created, circulated and monetized.
From this vantage point, key issues that emerge are:
  • How much does the landscape of content creation change? Who are the new actors within this landscape, and how does the work of intermediaries change?
  • Who are the new intermediary actors between creation, consumption, and further (edited) creation? What do they do? What are the motivations behind the involvement of users in creation and intermediation of content?
  • How users’ engagement is modifying the concept of creation? How does the culture of user-generated content change the perception of copyright among different “users” of creative content (e.g. Internet users, creators, intermediaries, public agencies)? What does this imply for creative industries involved in cultural production?
  • How copyright can be protected in this mutated scenario? How that is remodeling the lawmaker vision with respect to the mission of copyright protection?
  • How do users, fans, sponsors and the like contribute to sustain creation activities through different means than copyright streams and sales of (either digital or physical) copies? (E.g., crowdfunding, sharing, co-creation, free-publicity, etc.).

The main purpose of this course is to study such questions across different content industries (that we used to call ‘recorded music’, ‘book publishing’, ‘motion pictures’, etc.) using a threefold framework common to virtually every type of content. The framework is based on the following key processes:

  1. Content Dissemination: The aim is to represent the switch from a linear system where ‘control points’ and roles were well-defined and effective, to a complex, circular system where content versions, uses and conditions of appropriation and value capture are manifold and control is shared among a plurality of actors (users included).
  2. Content Protection: The aim is to make sense of the crisis of traditional copyright protection due to new technologies and users’ engagement through the Internet, analyzing the reactions to the digital revolution, and comparing different strategies and actions.
  3. Content Creation: The aim is to investigate the collaborative affordance of new media and digital technology, with its implications in terms of social creation as well as profit- and decision-sharing; issues such as the UGC life-cycle and the changing professional landscape in terms of roles, career prospects, etc.

Detailed Description of Assessment Methods
For attending students  the exam will consist of:
  • 2 written exams (midterm and final), based on an open book exam with 2-3 open-ended questions  (50% of the grade)
  • A project work to be developed in groups, to be presented in two occasions: partial and final (the remaining 50% of the grade). 
  • The final grade will result from the average (not the sum) of the individual grades of the written exams and the collective grade of the project group. The faculty might add up to 3 points for active class participation.
For non-attending students  the exam will consist on:
  • A written test, based on a selection of mandatory texts and readings, accounting for 100% of the total grade. The exam will be based on open-ended questions. It will not be possible to refer to the mandatory texts and other readings during the exam.
Attending students have to attend at least 75% of classes in each of the two periods (before and after mid-term).
Students have to decide whether they will be attending or non-attending within the firsts 5 classes. Quitting the group project work will determine a penalty in the final assessment, even if the students eventually opt to be non-attending.

Project work (attending students):
Attending students will work in groups in order to develop a project to be carried on along the whole course. Ideally, the projects will be monitoring the creation, protection and dissemination of one or more content(s) across different platforms. However, students may propose their own ideas for a project pertinent to the course topics. Guest speakers and other actors (e.g. firm representatives, bloggers, fans, etc.) may be involved in the stages of idea generation and/or implementation.
The expected deliverables are a short document (up to 10 pages) and a presentation (PowerPoint, Pretzi etc.). Groups will be assisted and tutored along the project development, and they are expected to present the project idea, preliminary findings, and to-dos (midterm) and final results (in the last session of the course). The best projects may be presented (along with those prepared for other courses/workshops) during special sessions open to students and faculty from outside the course.

Textbooks
For Attending students:
  • Slides of the sessions and other materials will be made available on Bocconi e-learning during the course.
For Non-attending students:
  • H. Jenkins, S. Ford, J. Green, Spreadable Media. Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture, New York University Press, 2013.
  • R. DeFilippi, P. Wikström (eds.), International Perspectives on Business Innovation and Disruption in the Creative Industries (Part II: Co-creation, Crowdfunding and Crowdsourcing), Edward Elgar Publishing, 2014.
  • N. Elkin-Koren, User-Generated Platform, in Working within the Boundaries of Intellectual Property, in Dreyfuss et al (eds), 2011.
  • Ericsson, The Recorded Music Industry and the Emergence of Online Music Distribution: Innovation in the Absence of Copyright (Reform), Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law Research Paper No. 11-09.
  • D.J. Gervais, The Tangled Web of UGC: Making Copyright Sense of User-Generated Content, Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law, 11, 2009, 841-870.
  • D. Halbert, Mass Culture and the Culture of the Masses: A Manifesto for User-Generated Rights, Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law, 11, 2009, 921-961.

Prerequisites

Last change 18/04/2016 11:55