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  • Print publication year: 2001
  • Online publication date: July 2009

Introduction

Summary

Mr Richard Lehrberg, executive vice-president and managing director of Interplay Productions in California, said, in an attempt to define the notion of multimedia at a conference in Cannes in 1994 on ‘New technologies and their influence on international audiovisual law’:

It appears that [once] there were some blind men who had never seen an elephant before, so they were taken to the circus in order to examine one. They all gathered around the elephant and they all touched it in order to get a feeling of what the elephant was like. They were then asked to describe their experience. One said that the elephant was like a rope, another said that the elephant was like a tree trunk, another said that the elephant was like a wall, another said that the elephant was like a big palm leaf, another said it was like a boa constrictor. The fact is that all of them were right because they had touched different parts of the elephant. The one who had thought it was like a rope had touched the tail; the one who had thought it was like a tree trunk had touched a leg; the one who had thought it was like a leaf had touched an ear; the one who had thought it was like a boa constrictor had touched the trunk. They were all correct but they were also all wrong because they were unaware of the totality. Certainly, an elephant is greater than the sum of its parts. Multimedia is like the elephant and we are blinded by our past.