A Proposition

  1. The standard model of communications: Sender –> Message –> Receiver
  2. Unlike a tangible industrial product (eg. a widget), an image-sign does not exist without a receiver to decode its meaning
  3. Therefore, both firm and customer produce the image-sign, in ever-escalating oscillations of meaning
  4. The customer then consumes goods associated with/attached to that image-sign
  5. In this sense, the customer is a prosumer of the image-sign's meaning, while the firm simply takes a producer role
  6. However, the customer/prosumer has few, if any, legal rights with regards to the creation of meaning of these image-signs
  7. Thus the transfer or transaction of meaning is primarily one-way towards the customer/prosumer
  8. This is problematic if individuals increasingly communicate with one another using the image-signs produced by popular culture: language is essentially being privatized
  9. Prosumers must seek ways to assert their fundamental human right to communicate by injecting meaning into image-signs — through fair use or other legal mechanisms, or by illegal means if necessary


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