Although we have thus far discussed P2P file-sharing in terms of its most representative instances, that is, the exchange of materials drawn from popular culture, other artefact classes are also swapped, from pornography to ‘serious’ publications. Sometimes genre-specific events can bring into focus larger issues arising from cultural commodification, public domain contraction, and resultant counter actions and movements. For example, recently American digital activist Aaron Swartz allegedly downloaded a massive number of papers from the JSTOR academic database. Subsequently the United States Government brought unprecedented charges against him, claiming that he planned to release the material through P2P networks. This case demonstrates how even the spectre of unsubstantiated file-sharing can trigger disordering responses across informational domains (academia, publishing, policing, justice), some of which which might be more rooted in emotions (anger, fear, revenge, spite, etc.) than in pragmatic circumspection.
The Next Layer is a collaborative environment combining open source, experimental and artistic research methodologies.
There are currently 0 users and 0 guests online.