Managing pirate culture: corporate responses to peer-to-peer networking

Freedman, Des (D. J.). 2003. Managing pirate culture: corporate responses to peer-to-peer networking. International Journal on Media Management, 5(3), pp. 173-179. ISSN 1424-1277 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The Internet provides a challenge to existing media structures and cultural values, particularly in the distribution of recorded music. Peer‐to‐peer (P2P) file‐sharing sites like Napster and KaZaA have facilitated the widespread downloading of unlicensed music and the creation of a new kind of shared culture. In response, the established music industry is simultaneously attempting to undermine the impact of these exchanges (describing them as theft) and to take advantage of the possibilities of the Internet in reducing distribution costs and offering the possibility of a more direct relationship between labels and consumers. By drawing on both historical and contemporary analyses of the music industry, this article critiques the argument that digital downloads are necessarily hurting legal’ record sales and then problematises dominant definitions of piracy. The article then evaluates the evolving strategies of the major record companies as they try to come to terms with P2P culture and concludes that, while they may have the resources and the legal clout to withstand the challenge, they lack the cultural capital embodied in these new decentralised systems of cultural distribution and consumption.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies
Media, Communications and Cultural Studies > Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre



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Date Deposited:

22 Oct 2015 11:13

Last Modified:

27 Feb 2019 12:10

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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