Piracy by Adrian Johns


The contemporary discourse surrounding the issues of copyright law, file-sharing, and intellectual property might lead you to believe that piracy is a relatively recent endeavor, one which was ushered in by the digital age, the Internet and Web, the proliferation of digital devices, and the ease with which digital files can be copied, distributed, and shared among users. However, Adrian Johns’ book Piracy (published by The University of Chicago Press) reveals that piracy, as currently defined, has a long, colorful, history beginning in the mid-1600s. In ancient times craftsmen formed guilds to uphold the standards, customs, and duties of the craft. Similar to a contemporary professional licensing board, each guild governed its members and its craft by issuing rules regarding proper conduct, professional courtesy, and the requisite knowledge and skills of each craft. The guild protected its craft and its members’ interests in the preservation of standards.

Social Networking Sites Taking Action


Marc Rotenberg, Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, told Congress last year that “There’s concern that Facebook and other social networks manipulate privacy policies and settings to confuse users, extract more personal information from them, and transfer the information to application developers and websites.”

The Ethics of LinkedIn Invitations


If an employer is seriously considering hiring you, its human resources department (HR) will probably conduct an Internet search and explore your social media posts to learn more about you. Now, HR trolls social media to find potential job candidates without having to post or advertise an opening.

The Ethics of Book Pirating


The ethical and legal issues surrounding the illegal downloading of music and film have been exhaustively played out in the media, court and public opinion.  And yet, people continue to pirate media. An often overlooked area of media piracy—at least in comparison to that of music, film and television—is the pirating of books.  The rise of “ebooks” – digital versions of publications that can be read on computers or special electronic devices - has made book piracy much more viable. However, scanned PDFs have been a problem for some time.  Author Stephanie Meyer abandoned her ‘Twilight’ saga novel Midnight Sun due to leaked online drafts. Despite differences between books and other media, ethical debate over book pirating often simply runs in accordance with the principles laid down in the existing, lively ethical discussion over music, film and television piracy.

Too Much Information: The Blurring of Private and Public Life Online


I remember the day I first logged on to the Internet. It was the early 1990s. I had a desktop Windows PC, and one of those never-ending America Online [now AOL] promo discs that we all received in the mail. Sitting at an old wooden typewriter desk, I was about to upload and pay for the service and send my first email. There I was, no longer isolated in my apartment, but now connected to the world.  The excitement, the thrill of that moment, to suddenly feel expansive, global, a part of something so much larger than myself.  Fascinated, I spent hours on the Internet discovering websites, people, music, and photos.  It was an intoxicating, bordering on addictive pastime.

Fan Blogs


For years, Mike Hubbell, an engineer more comfortable with chemical equations than sentence composition, devoted fall Saturdays to his alma mater’s football team.

The Rise of the Content Mill


The Internet has not only altered the method of delivery for a variety of media—including text-based, audio and video—but it has also redefined the publishing industry’s business model. Traditional content creators, such as established print magazines and newspapers, have historically had difficulty competing in this new digital realm. This is evidenced by a number of dismal statistics. For example, according to the Newspaper Association of America, newspaper print ad sales fell by a record 29.7 percent in the first quarter of 2009. Meanwhile, online ad sales for newspapers saw a historic 13.4 percent drop for the same period. Magazines failed to avoid a similar fate, with 367 magazines shutting down in 2009 according to MediaFinder.com. Although the rate of magazine closures has slowed since—74 magazines folded in the first half of 2011—the industry appears to be far from healthy.

Travel + Technology


In recent years, the travel industry has witnessed a series of technological innovations. Long gone are the days of trekking to the local travel agency to find plane tickets. With online booking, such intermediaries have become superfluous. Not to mention the discounts that add up by booking a hotel online. Prior to departing, travelers can visit locations virtually through the World Wide Web. Once there, a Smartphone app can guide travelers around using the latest GPS updates. And before the plane even lands, friends and family can know about the trip through posts on Facebook, photos on Flickr, or a combination of both on a personal travel blog.

How much can you trust what you find on the web?


The reliability of online information has been a serious concern since the start of the digital age. And I recently found myself stuck in a rather uncomfortable situation in regard to an online review of my novel, “Karaoke of Blood.”

The curator’s challenge: Balancing new tools and traditional journalism ethics


The thousands of people who crowded around the New Hampshire State House one day in late April 2011 were there for a single reason: to protest planned budget cuts and proposed changes to collective bargaining laws. And they used every available tool to convey their discontent.

British Tabloids


“Rogue” members of an org. almost never are really rogues. Their rogue modus operandi almost always reflects the organization’s modus operandi, or ethos.

The Neda Video


June 20, 2009, is the two-year anniversary of an event that shook both the media landscape as well as humanity. As a culture, we did not realize how far-reaching the new age of civic journalism would be. At that point, our society had three years of Twitter, four years of YouTube and even more years of Facebook experience—all tools that journalists of this younger generation must (and do) utilize, or face being left behind.

Digital Ethics and Kids


As digital communication continues to evolve as a way of life, it is nearly impossible to avoid the digital era from our homes, schools and workplaces.




Advocating Ethical Design


Visual lies are deadly, according to David Berman, a Canadian graphic designer and author of Do Good Design: How Designers Can Change The World.

The Rise of Snark


Outside a barn along a flat-country highway in southern Delaware, hamburgers grilled over charcoal flames. A pile of watermelons – the prized crop of a local farm – sat nearby, for sale. Inside, men and women gathered on the concrete floor ready to bid on NRA belt buckles, pictures of Ronald Reagan and homemade pies.



Openness and sharing may be the hallmarks of social media and online communities, but transparency and disclosure can be a tricky area for companies to navigate when building their online profiles and presenting information to clients and customers in the digital world.


Web2.0 Suicide: The Luxury of the 21st Century


“Great, I’ll just friend you on Facebook,” a girl said to me. Probably seeing the blank expression on my face, she added: “You do have Facebook, right?”