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Throughout the world, it is quite understandable that there are countries that place policies in order to restrict the flow of foreign programs, movies, and magazines into their territory. For example, in Canada and France, such forms of entertainment that were produced in the United States are given restrictions in terms of number; hence in a way, placing a limit upon the influences of such forms of entertainment to the local community.
Understandably, the reason for such policies is so that Canadian and French culture will be maintained and locally made forms of entertainment will not be faced with additional competition. However, such policies and restrictions were apparently made for conventional forms of distributing programs, movies, and magazines. In this sense, given that distribution may now be accomplished through the web, then there is a possibility that such policies will no longer be effective. Therefore, it is important to reflect upon the possible implications of the web on such policies.
First of all, the most apparent feature of the web is how freely one may be able to share and distribute multimedia content to a virtually infinite amount of individuals (Baase, 2008). In this sense, popular movies and programs may now be easily acquired or downloaded from different areas of the web. In addition, even magazines may now be distributed through cyberspace because the means to electronically reproduce written documents through scanning and file conversion are widely available.
Considering that the movies, programs, and magazines transferred throughout the web are distributed as data and not actual physical objects, it is quite expected that the conventional ways in which the government may keep watch of the number of such forms of entertainment are no longer effective. To expound, while it is possible to monitor the activities of individuals through the internet, many believe that such a pursuit is quite complex and cumbersome due to complications in methods of tracking (Baase, 2008).
Aside from difficulties in terms of which methods may be used to track the transfer of programs, movies, and magazines through the web, the issue of privacy adds further problems for those with interest of limiting the flow of such items into their countries. For one, aside from the innate sense of anonymity that the web provides to its users, web privacy either in law or in the form of augmentative software has already been considered by many users of the web (Baase, 2008). In this sense, effectively tracking the users of how files are being distributed has become an even more difficult task.
Given that each user is entitled to a certain level of freedom in his or her activities on the web, then technically an individual may be involved in either legal or illegal acts. Having illegal means of file distribution furthers the possibility of increasing the presence of foreign programs, movies, and magazines, due to the fact that people would not need to pay for such items in order to be acquired or accessed. Hence, locally made programs, movies, and magazines which are most likely to be sold throughout different outlets are given intense competition.
It is perceivable that the web is very much unlike the previous means of distributing programs, movies, and magazines. Aside from providing a sense of freedom, anonymity is also maintained at different degrees depending on the knowledge of the user of how the web functions. In addition, previous means of distributing programs, movies, and magazines, are limited in terms of the number of actual physical objects while distributing such items throughout the web allows for a massive amount of audience as well as the potential to make it endlessly reproducible (Baase, 2008).
It is quite certain that the web will affect the policies regarding limitations on the number of programs, movies, and magazines being allowed into the country. Therefore, if restrictions are to be maintained, it is necessary that new and more applicable policies are formed since it is apparent that previous policies are already obsolete. Reference Baase, S. (2008). A Gift of Fire: Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues for Computing and the Internet. 3rd Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.