Elgar original reference
Edited by Ruth Towse and Christian Handke
Chapter 10: Copying technologies
Copying ñ the ability to duplicate discrete packets of information with varying levels of fidelity ñ is a function of all information communication technologies (ICTs). The importance of ICTs derives from their impact on the production, manipulation, and distribution of information ñ activities central to any economy. Producing an exhaustive narrative history of such technologies is not feasible here (a partial list includes lithography, etching, photography, telegraphy, telephony, the typewriter, motion pictures, magnetic tape recording, radio, photocopiers, digital scanners, and video cassette recorders). Instead, the framework of general purpose technologies (GPTs) ñ a set of technologies defined by their characteristics that tend to have transformative effects on the structure of economies ñ is employed to structure a historical analysis of a select few ICTs. The focus is on text-based copying technologies and not those designed to copy visual and/or aural information. The chapter attempts to place aspects of digitization within the historical context of past copying technologies. It starts by defining GPTs and developing the concept of ëtechnological principlesí, turning next to analyze the channels through which ICTs typically impact the economy. A central argument of the chapter is that, by altering the cost structure of producing, manipulating, and distributing information, ICTs that are themselves GPTs (general purpose ICTs) are often socially and economically ëtransformativeí. The chapter then considers three important copying technologies ñ writing, printing, and digitization.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.