Keywords: copyright, piracy, intellectual property, informal media markets, social history, printing, communications history, peer-to-peer, file-sharing.
This book uncovers the role of copyright piracy in various cultural ecosystems from the 17th century England to 21st century Hungary in order to understand current file-sharing piracy. Unlike current discourse on piracy, this work addresses (peer-to-peer) piracy not as a legal problem, nor as an economic plague, but rather as a social phenomenon that is neither new, nor exceptional in the development of cultural markets. The longer historical lens detailed in the book suggests that the current crisis of copyright, piracy, and enforcement has much in common with earlier periods of technological change and conflict among cultural producers. The book argues that piracy is not just a drain on the cultural economy, but a powerful productive force whose legacy in social relations will stay with us long after the economic conditions that called it into being – and the power vacuum that enabled it – have passed.
The texts offers answers for the following questions: who were branded as pirates in the history of print capitalism? What common characteristics they share across different times and places? What was their role in local markets? What factors caused their appearance? What factors sustained their existence? What factors led to their extinctions, if any? The book discusses these questions in a social history framework.
Target groups: intellectual property experts, professionals working on the cultural industries and media, policymakers, academics, non-professional, semi professional culture producers, everyday file-sharers
Balázs Bodó (1975), economist, assistant lecturer, researcher at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Department of Sociology and Communications, Center for Media Research and Education since 2001. His academic interests include sociocultural impacts of new media, media regulation, online communities, copyright, copyright piracy. Leader of the development of several commercial internet applications as well as numerous academic research projects dealing with digital archives, online communities. Leader of the Hungarian Creative Commons chapter.
During 2006/07 he was a Fulbright visiting researcher at Stanford Law Scool,.