Monday, April 02, 2007

Music to Our Ears

Speaking of Apple, I've been meaning to do some rhetorical analysis of the big news today that EMI will be offering DRM-free music to its listeners, which would not be crippled by code that limits it to certain music players and a set number of copies. However, the official Apple announcement emphasized that the main pay-off to consumers would be higher sound quality and thus set the premium on reification of the artifact not the social practices surrounding it. In contrast, the EMI announcement addressed concerns about prior interinoperability directly. In many ways, the visual rhetoric of the photograph is more interesting, and the way that the digital media norms of oratory (seated, podium-less, hands-at-crotch, casual Fridays fashion, etc.) telegraphs the message about ownership and authorship.

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