Thursday, March 25, 2010

Import/Export, Dubbing, Piracy & Imitations

Media Import/Export
•Although EU countries make more films than the US, 75% of the income of European cinemas comes from American films.
•A study on American media in Europe found that the best evidence of influence was the sudden appearance of American names (Jennifer & Jason in the 1970’s)
•Because of its unique geographical position, Europe is “invaded” by media from both the US and Arabic countries. Recent articles discuss less of the US imperialism and more of an Islamic imperialism.

Dubbing is a major process and business in media, read the basics here
•Dubbing for children’s media is standard since cartoon audio is easily replaced
•The most common US import that is dubbed is Japanimation
•Russia, Spain and Italy dub the most. Germany and Austria are close behind
•France simultaneously releases both dubbed and subtitled
•In some countries dubbed voices become famous
•One study on Spain suggested that dubbing films was an intentional effort at maintaining a national language. In other words, Spain which already had problems with dialects, did not want to support the spread of English
•Croatia and Serbia use subtitles because they do not have master audio recording studios
•Israel (Hebrew & Arabic) and Finland (Finnish & Swedish) are examples where double subtitles are common.
•Dubbing can also be used to censor content on broadcast television
•Some issue with translation of dubs and subtitles create conflict
•The Situationists “Can Dialectics Break Bricks?” was an intentional re-dub in 1973

Media Piracy is the unauthorized copying of materials and selling them. Some argue that it has resulted from demand (There are various types or versions of piracy with different laws)

Confiscated pirate dvd's from the black market

Organized crime in China produces the largest number of pirated dvds. Some argue that communism simply opposes the personal claim for profit on intellectual property.

Counterfeits that do not make an overt claims to be original are considered imitations. Many countries create local versions of global hits in order to customize to language and values. For example, Turkish ET uses a young peasant boy who eventually flies his fruit cart in the sky instead of a bike in the original. See more international imitations here.

The larger issue with imports and imitations is how the media influences the cultural identity. In literature we speak of allegories that no one owns (like a hero) but in capitalism Superman is trademarked. Why or why not should media be cross cultural? Why or why not should it be globally regulated?

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