Summary of differences

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The following table summarizes the differences between the older forms of expression and the new. Given that this table represents an extremely simplified view, one could find objections and exceptions. But if you hold back and read on you will find that this simplification allows us to draw some useful conclusions.

Differences between traditional and twentieth-century mass media

 

Traditional forms of expression

Mass media forms of expression

Most influential media

Written text

Film, music

Viewer attitude

Inquisitive, analytical, rational

Visceral, reactive

Role of the viewer

Individual

Part of a mass

Distribution and reuse

Free (public domain)

Locked down (no copying or sampling)

Who controls reuse

Every listener and reader

The corporation distributing the work


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