30438 - USER GENERATED CULTURE
Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
- 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.
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:
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
|For Attending students: