Communication is the process by which culture is developed and maintained. For it is only when people develop language, and thus a way of communicating, that a culture can, in fact, emerge and be imparted. Information, the content of communications, is the basic source of all human intercourse. Over the course of human history, it has been embodied and communicated in an ever expanding variety of media, including among them spoken words, graphics, artifacts, music, dance, written text, film, recordings, and computer hardware and software. Together, these media and the channels through which they are distributed, constitute the web of society, which determine the direction and pace of social development. Seen from this perspective, the communication of information permeates the cultural environment and is essential to all aspects of social life.
– United States Office of Technology Assessment, Intellectual Property Rights in an Age of Electronics and Information (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, April 1986), p. 49.