Premodern manuscript production was fluid. Books and papers freely changed hands, often against their authors’ wishes. In the absence of copyright laws, certain countermeasures arose. This study considers one of them: self-commentary, meaning an author’s explanations on his own works. The article deals with two cases of medieval self-commentary across linguistic and cultural boundaries: the Arabic author and rationalist Abū al-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī (d. 1057 CE), and the professional Byzantine littérateur John Tzetzes (d. 1180 CE). After an overview of their lives and works, with a focus on the key role of self-explanation, the article considers their respective manuscript cultures, which involved face-to-face educational settings that nonetheless permitted widespread copying. There follows a discussion of textual materiality, which reveals a mutual concern to avoid tampering or misinterpretation. Then, the article shows how both men tried to direct readers by exploiting language’s capacity for multiple meanings. The conclusion ponders the relevance of this study for problems posed by digital book technology.
A study of the global flow of US-based svod s, and their absence or presence within domestic media ecosystems, allows us to move beyond universalist approaches in platform studies. Starting with an analysis of the politics of Netflix’s absence from Iran’s media landscape, this article studies the contribution of domestic svod s to the diversification of the Iranian movie culture. It argues that filtering Netflix in Iran is part of a long history of content regulation and the state’s plan to support local platforms. The dynamic informal circulation networks in Iran also pose challenges for foreign svod s.
Focusing on domestic platforms like Filimo, the article argues that they became part of a national project to battle piracy domestically. Iran’s laws as a non-signatory of international treaties on intellectual property, however, allow them to acquire foreign films through informal markets, situating these platforms in an ambiguous state in between formal and informal services.
Within the last decade alone different distribution platforms have emerged in the Nigerian movie industry. One of the most notable and potent among these is Netflix. Employing Disruptive Innovation Theory (dit) as notional scaffolding, this article uses key informant interviews (kii) and focus group discussions (fgd) to examine what Netflix’s engagement in Nollywood means in terms of the viability of other distribution outlets. It investigates the ‘good, the bad and the ugly’ sides of the Nollywood-Netflix relationship from the Nigerian audience perspective to give an understanding that can contribute to Nollywood’s healthy expansion. The study argues that the emergence of Netflix leaves many Nollywood content creators (ncc s) begging for acceptance when their content is adjudged inconsequential. This must be creatively challenged and negotiated through ncc s and distributors using available technologies to improve production values, set up and collaboratively operate multiple online distribution platforms for the Nigerian audience’s satisfaction.