Paul Street

“I'm not afraid of anyone of you. And if you'll come to Paul Street, to take our ground away, we'll be on the spot! And don't you forget that either! I'll show you that with ten of us against your ten, you'll hear a different sort of talk from what I'm giving you now. It was easy enough to get the better of me!...”

Ferenc Molnar, The Paul Street Boys

Public policies are aimed at building a sense of community, which is to be reproduced and expressed in a symbolic system (culture). At the same time the state does not intervene in the market circulation of culture, which led to the convergence of services and resources in the hands of a few major dealers.

1. Society - structure and shared values

In this scenario the state believes that the community is the best thing that could happen to its citizens and therefore it is worth investing. Growing from a tradition of small democracies, whether mercantile republics or free peasants, it cultivates respect for the solutions developed together and the synergy effect, which translates into social and economic development resulting from collectivity.

Citizens decide on the shape of park in their town and how to pave the market square. They vote massively in elections, for absenteeism at the ballot box will be fined. Individualism and apathy here are rare and frowned upon. From kindergarten all learn that only working together you can achieve something.

People avoid controversial actions that go beyond the social norm for fear of condemnation by the community and also punishment by the state - loosing a benefit or certain privileges, or the degradation to the category of “asocial margin.”

A successful life means engaging in the life of one’s community and contributing to the collective existence. The participation in public life, also at the national level - whether as a politician or as a clerk, is a respected and willingly chosen career path. Citizens generally identify themselves with the state - what is good for the state is considered good for the citizens. Patriotism has also an economic dimension: if you are working, you multiply GDP. At the same time the state is trying not to interfere in the market.

The second important career path is to work in a corporation. Here one earns more money, but in spite of envy caused by such a status, in public perception it ranks a notch lower than working in the public sector.

Everyone is watching, reading and listening to the same thing, because they know (from school or authorities), what is good and what is bad, what is high and what is low. Even if it concerns an amateur production. The consumption of culture is passive and frequent, but the cultural competence of the society is high. The state facilitates actively the participation in culture - universal access to culture helps to build a value system and​​ a sense of community - for some it will build a concert hall, for others it will organize a festival with wreaths. Social differences are reduced to the level of aesthetics.

There may be the state ideological emphasis on consumers of culture, who - living in the cult of canon - hardly receive disturbing signals.

2. Economics of culture and the creative sector

The public sector is the largest employer, in terms of administration, strategic industries, and science and innovation. The state also cares about the development of private enterprises, organizing airbags for their employees in the event of a crisis (it supports them during the protracted unemployment, and public works absorb those who have lost their jobs permanently as a result of the replacement of their jobs by artificial intelligence).

The state is also - next to media companies - a major client in the creative sector. It orders music, novels, sponsored films, all this in order to build social capital and skills needed in the labour market, and strengthen the sense of community. Film adaptations of a patriotic novel Stones on the Rampart are re-made year after year.

The state distributes free tickets for children, youths and the poor, it also enriches the canon of open resources on the Web. But commercial companies from the culture sector are thriving too; there is an unwritten agreement that there will be no competition, only the complementation offer: commercial productions are read/viewed/commented on by crowds, the problem of monetizing the “long tail” being non-existent.

The huge library of open public resources is also used by media companies to their financial advantage.

3. Situation of artists of critical or “high” art

Artists are surrounded by public support. Of course, not everyone but the “caste” of those selected is quite large and provides them the means of artistic activity. The artist may receive a salary, scholarship or other forms of state care, with the provided insurance and pension above the minimum. The price to pay for this may be the state’s takeover of copyright, to share content as open resources, in accordance with the principle that a citizen cannot pay a second time for what had already been paid as taxes.

The group of authors is stable, but also static. Those at the top of the ladder, the authors of high art, are considered to be a collective national treasure, forming the establishment of arbiters of taste who decide about the good taste and careers of those still climbing on the lower levels. The status of minor artists is also good. There are strong trade unions of creative sector and culture workers, which is associated with the professionalization of creativity. The boundary between an artist and an amateur is therefore very clear.

Critical art may be an element of the system, and then it is allowed to some extent, because the state and society think that they need it in order to function properly. In this case critical artists would enjoy respect and gain a suitable status – they could count on help from the state. If this is not allowed, we have to deal with a strong taboo; there may appear such phenomena as self-censorship, internal emigration and allusive art. Then the protest against one myth may accumulate in a confined space, where prohibited music, prohibited conduct and prohibited drugs - everything prohibited outside - reigns.

4. Education

The state and local governments ensure a high level of education in public schools, which are well equipped and have highly qualified staff. Pre-primary education is compulsory from the age of three, because the state believes that children should learn working in a group from an early age. The school children have access to modern teaching aids - mobile devices with full access to the network, interactive online and offline courses. It is the result of cooperation between the state and one leading media company - maybe Apple, and maybe one of its successors. All children have been given tablets, they learn through educational applications provided by educational authorities. This does not necessarily mean that the student comes out of this system as a passive performer of commands. With the application you can also learn creativity, but within a specified framework defined already by materials and tools provided.

The schools teach neither critical analysis of phenomena nor contesting the existing order. There is no place for exposing stereotypes or cutting into prime factors of recognized truths. The emphasis is more on teamwork and mediation, that is those skills that are most useful to the community.

Children are not taught challenging the cultural canon, since it is the foundation on which the community relies its postulated values. Instead they get the tools to distinguish high culture from low, because if there is a canon, there must also be something that does not qualify to it.

Open educational resources are abundant and readily available. The state funds free e-textbooks in the form of applications running on the hardware of one of selected companies.

5. The impact of technology on the consumption of culture

The passive consumption of culture dominates, which is mainly due to the fact that the tools the majority of society has at its disposal are a closed set of applications. Therefore, it is difficult to find niches and non-mainstream culture, due to the lack of media they would use.

Narrowing the use of technology to the products of a few oligopolies means that content filtering is very simplified. It is used by both the business (to gain a complete understanding of customers preferences and getting them the right products) and the state worrying about the integrity of the community. Spying on the network does not raise violent protests, as long as there is no fraud; citizens are willing to donate a portion of their freedom in the name of the common good. Filesharing is illegal.

Copyright law

Position of the authors is strong:

The copyright law protects authors as those important for building the social capital, respected and valued pillars of the community. Monetization of their work is extended in time - through an extensive system of royalties - and the term of copyright relatively long. The role of collective management organizations which coordinate the flow of fees between users or intermediaries and proffesional authors themselves is important.

Authors also have a large control over how others will use their works: only the education of future generations is the primary goal that justifies the depletion of the potential artist’s profit. Therefore, “fair use” is extended primarily for educational purposes, there are also programs of redemption of works that best serve these purposes into the public domain. This is done, however, for the benefit of artists whose fees for the transfer of rights are much higher than those for licensing.

Position of the users is average:

They have at their disposal a range of educational resources, free tickets to cultural events, super-equipped libraries, rich pay deals. If, however, they may freely use works in the public domain and for educational purposes, a well-developed system of control blocks their potential as prosumers, when it comes to commercial content. Non-market sharing of culture has been relegated to the online underground - small, because the demand for such services is not large, and in addition it has been limited by the system of control.

Position of the intermediaries is strong:

They control both the commercial market of circulation of culture and the public procurement. For this reason, they want the copyright infringement prosecuted, and the state agrees to this request also for the artists’ sake, with which companies share the revenues. At hand is also the long duration of copyright and rich resources in the public domain that can be commercialized in the derivative works.