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Transnational Culture in the Internet Age

Transnational Culture in the Internet Age

Elgar Law, Technology and Society series

Edited by Sean A. Pager and Adam Candeub

The insightful contributions shed new light on insufficiently examined issues and highlight connections that cut across the many different domains in which such regulations operate. Building upon the framework presented by David Post – one of the first and most prominent scholars of cyber law and a contributor to this volume – the authors address the implications and economics of the Internet’s astronomical scale, jurisdiction and enforcement of the web as it relates to topics including libel tourism and threats to free speech, and the power of global communication to dissolve and recreate identities.

Introduction: Navigating in the Dark When Bits Have No Borders

Sean A. Pager and Adam Candeub

Subjects: innovation and technology, technology and ict, law - academic, intellectual property law, international economic law, trade law, internet and technology law, politics and public policy, public policy


1 Sean A. Pager and Adam Candeub I.1 INTRODUCTION Digital communications, it is often claimed, accelerate cultural convergence, disrupt local cultures and threaten the nation state itself.2 Whether termed a “Flat Earth” or “Global Village,” the planet’s shrinking and linking is widely accepted as a fait accompli.3 Many celebrate this supposed acceleration and integration, seeing freedom in globally networked communities or profit in the accumulation of eyeballs to monetize. Others fear a monocultural wasteland; the vision of global unity celebrated by Disneyland’s “Small World” is derided as a Potemkin village masking inequalities of access and influence. But the metaphors and pundits’ prognostications hide how little is understood about how the globe produces, consumes, and exchanges cultural media. For example, is it in fact true that the richness of cultural diversity has retreated in the Internet age? The evidence is mixed. Closer examination reveals both peaks and valleys in the “Flat Earth,” and the “Global Village” turns out to be as much “Cyberbalkans” as homogenized 1 The chapters in this volume were first presented as papers at a conference entitled Bits Without Borders: Law, Communications and Transnational Culture Flow in the Digital Age, held September 24–25, 2010, at the Michigan State University College of Law. We thank the Michigan State College of Law, the Quello Center for Telecommunication Management and Law at Michigan State University, and the Donald McGannon Communication Research Center at Fordham University for their support of the conference. The advice and support of our editor Tara Gorvine...