Communication Ethics book part for Historical Overview of Information Transmission. (This is an automatically generated summary to avoid having huge posts on this page. Click through to read this post.)
in Communication Ethics
Reduced to a sentence, Gutenberg's printing press's primary effect on information reproduction was to make the production of words relatively cheap. For the first time in history, the effort required to make a copy of a textual work was many times less then the effort required to create the original copy, thus making the production model of "Make an original copy of a book, then print thousands of copies of it quickly for a profit" practical.
Ever since then, technology's primary effect is to lower the cost of various production models with various media until they are practical for an increasing number of people. Every major challenge to intellectual property law has come from this fundamental effect.