Unlecture # 11

This week unlecture was quite hard for me to understand since I don’t know what is “ Gift economy” and never heard of it before.

As I understand gift economy is when you given something just for the sake of giving. As Internet has become huge and become the Universal source of information for millions of people which almost for free and this is one of the gift economy.

However everything have two sides. Sometime it cause troublesome by requiring you know the technique or illegal about “ copyright” issue. Because anything that is posted on the Internet is instantly available to anyone else connected to it. Furthermore, there are no technical limitations to the process of copying: as soon as information is uploaded once, it exists—by the very nature of the technology involved—as an infinite series of copies.

As Richard Barbrook, “The Hi-Tech Gift Economy” explained: “The Net reflects two different value systems. The first is that of open source, inherited from the hackers who invented it and the academics who first defined its structure through their early use patterns (see Janet Abbatte, “Inventing the Internet”). These hackers and academics both functioned on the basis of gift economies, and carried those values over into the design of the Net. The result is a structure that is inherently hostile to the idea of “copyright”.”

The big problem is once it has been uploaded; no one can control the flow of it. For example: the new music video of Britney Spears- “ Work B**ch” has been leaked before the release day and they can’t stop the low quality version is downloading by their fan.

Or The leak of the draft “ Bui doi cho lon” not only shocked the film producers but also has caused the lost of millions dollar since no one would go to the cinema to watch it as Vietnamese-American director Charlie Nguyen expressed his frustration on his Facebook page regarding the leak of the draft, in which the storyline, sound, light, color and special effects aren’t properly edited.

However no one could stop the flow even if the police try to shut down the free movie watching and download website, the other one will appear. Just like the famous download movie website “ Movie 2K.to” been shut down by the police the other “ Movie 4K.to” appeared to replace with the new icon “ F**k Police” as daresay


We all can see “ Gift Economy” from Internet is not always good. It brings benefits to millions people but somewhere in this world still have other (authors, producer, company, etc) who are suffering from what we are enjoying.

For me when walking out the lecture room, in my head a question was raised: Can our own personal blogs be considered part of the gift economy? Are motives the only things that determine whether online contributions are part of the gift economy? since we also contribute something and exchange informations.


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