mate measure of concentration. The result, as political economists of communications consistently point out, is that the views and accounts of the world held by
the capitalist class and aligned class factions and groups are broadly disseminated
and persistently publicized.128 At the same time, the voices and groups that are
most consistent in their challenges to the dominant groups lack economic power
and resources to make themselves heard. Or they find their movements and messages captured and distorted through hegemonic media production practices. A
commonly recognized influence is the need for commercial success in order to
generate the revenues necessary to recover costs and make profits. This in turn
narrows the range of material available in the mass media as market forces exclude all but the most commercially successful products.
The pervasiveness of "ruling-class views," hegemonic media practices, and the
lack of alternative and critical views helps to maintain class inequalities and undemocratic social relationships. The state and the law play an important supporting role in this domination, and it is to these institutions that attention is
turned in the following chapters.
Thomas Jefferson, The Portable Thomas Jefferson, New York: Penguin Books, 1985, p. 530.
Stanley M. Besen, New Technologies and Intellectual Property: An Economic Analysis,
Santa Monica, CA: Rand, 1987, p. 1.
W. Curtiss Priest, "The Character of Information: Characteristics and Properties of
Information Related to Issues Concerning Intellectual Property", Washington, DC: Office
of Technology Assessment, February 1985, p. 17.
Nicholas Garnham, Capitalism and Communication, Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1990,
Robert Sklar, Movie-Made America: A Cultural History of American Movies, New York: Vintage Books, 1975, p. 11.
Thomas Guback, "The Evolution of the Motion Picture Theater Business in the
1980s", Journal of Communication, 37:2, 1987, pp. 60-77.
Robert C. Allen, "The Movies in Vaudeville: Historical Context of the Movies as
Popular Entertainment", in
Tino Balio (ed.), The American Film Industry, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985, pp. 57-82.
Tino Balio, "Part I: A Novelty Spawns Small Businesses, 1894-1908", in
pp. 3-25, p. 20.
The 1909 Copyright Act applied to books; periodicals, including newspapers; lectures, sermons, addresses prepared for oral delivery; dramatic or dramatico-musical compositions; musical compositions; maps; works of art; models or designs for works of art;
reproductions of works of art; drawings or plastic works of a scientific or technical character; photographs; prints and pictorial illustrations. 60th Congress, Sess. II, Chapter 320,
Sec. 5(a)-(k). The act also granted the copyright owner the right to authorize translation,