Matching metaphors: Ebooks and cable television

Standard

A recent thesis by Stefan Larsson, entitled “Metaphors and Norms – Understanding Copyright Law in a Digital Society,” received a lot of attention for examining the metaphors being used to quantify digital products like ebooks, MP3 files, etc. The thesis asserts that the many problems holding the ebook industry from a stable, sustainable state have been the result of applying the wrong metaphors to ebooks, for instance, comparing it to physical goods like printed books, to limited data like an email, or public presentations like a website.

In the arena of ebooks, that discussion has predictably covered a lot of apropos and inapropos territory, effectively providing plenty of evidence in Larsson’s assertion; but thanks to his well-informed attack of the problem of recognizing digital products, quite a bit of the discussion about and following the thesis has been exceedingly intelligent and well-considered. Continue reading