Copyright, Social Network Markets and the Business of Culture in a Digital Age
Chapter 1: Introduction: From Governance to Entrepreneurial Consumers
This book is about content, technology, globalization and the challenges faced by creative and cultural businesses in a digital age. It deals in part with the tension between state-generated frameworks for managing creative industries and the changing mental technology that citizens carry with them in a rapidly evolving digital world. Most importantly, it examines the shift from statecontrolled cultural production and consumption towards the emergence of ‘entrepreneurial consumers’ in China and considers what this might mean for the way that innovation, knowledge production and sources of growth are understood in the creative and cultural industries in the twenty-first century. In the People’s Republic of China (PRC), social, economic, political and technological transformations are having a powerful impact on the context within which creative and cultural activities occur. Although China remains a single-party state, the shift towards a market-driven economic system means that it is no longer possible for the government to dominate popular culture with the level of effectiveness witnessed under Mao. Economic reform has generated new space for market-driven activity, legal reforms have created new classes of property rights in creative and cultural works and brand identities, and digital technologies are transforming processes of production, distribution and delivery. Systems that were once effective at controlling the ways in which popular culture was made and used are being challenged by an explosion in unauthorized distribution channels, as well as by the growing capacity of consumers to make their own content and to use existing material for new purposes. A market-driven...