There are not absolute answers since these issues are complex and multi-dimensional. The present analysis is centered on empirical views.
Miraglia, Law, and Collins (1999) assert that the essential feature of culture is the fact that people learn culture, that 'many qualities of human life are transmitted genetically', but 'culture resides in all learned behavior and in some shaping template or consciousness prior to behavior as well'. These authors state that there are some important elements in any cultural system, which are categorized as follows:
This learning-teaching process for acquiring and transmitting culture is in a 'constant state of change', and since culture is a system of meaning it 'consists of negotiated agreements and processes of negotiation' (Miraglia, Law, & Collins, 1999).
In the Dictionary of the History of Ideas it is stated in relation to the views of Herder that progress or change 'becomes a built-in characteristic of tradition' as part of 'a given culture continuum and the instrument for its transformation' that requires 'emerging goals pointing to the future' (2003).
Regarding the issue of media piracy and file sharing there has been a high degree of controversy and many lawsuits that seek to reverse this pervasive trend, which is possible as a consequence of the technological advances in the digital age. Koman (2001) points out that the record companies should 'be willing to treat online music as radio, as night club, as party tape, as all the ways that copyright-protected music has been used for decades'. But media companies keep fighting piracy from different angles like in France where they are exerting pressure on the Internet Service Providers (Pfanner, 2007). There has been several proposals to help stop media piracy like establishing a 'global license' (Pfanner, 2007) or 'an Internet-wide compulsory licensing scheme' (Lessig quoted by Post, 2004) or 'proposals to shorten the term of copyright, to broaden the scope of permissible "fair use," to reduce the copyright holder's ability to control the production of "derivative works," and to reintroduce copyright formalities' (Lessig quoted by Post, 2004). Indeed the media companies are facing a big challenge, and many authors consider that media piracy and illegal file sharing won't be possible to stop (The McGill Daily, 2008; Close, 2004; Brown, 2005; Biglione, 2006). So far media companies are using encryption for protecting their works and have partnered with online business to sell their products (Brown, 2005). Nevertheless, it is clear that media companies will have to adapt to the new Technologies and find a way to have their intellectual property rights respected (Post, 2004).
2.- What does Manuel Castells' concept of the 'network society' suggest about the cultural consequences of media piracy and file sharing
The concept of 'network society' as explained by Castells has many relevant implications in the way that culture is processed, transmitted, and reconfigured through the tension between the flows of power and the