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.
Coordinated opposition had defanged the final version of Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), and will continue attacking other supra-national digital enclosures such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Hence powerful copyright advocates including the International Federation for the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) and the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) have concurrently operated outside such treaty frameworks to pressure individual governments in an ‘especially aggressive’ way to force ISPs to police copyright infringements (Bridy 2010: 2). To date Britain, France, South Korea, and Taiwan, have incorporated various forms of graduated response into their domestic copyright enforcement systems (ibid.). Furthermore, other countries are exploring ‘private ordering’ options to enforce online copyright (Bridy 2010: 11-15; Toner 2011). These range from ‘cooperative relationships’ between major content distributors and broadband providers in which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) suspend repeat infringers’ accounts (in the United States), to ISPs being the ‘sole arbiter of the customer’s innocence or guilt’ terminating accounts without court orders (in Ireland). In Australia, the ISP iiNet after winning a precedent-setting law suit brought against it by an alliance of mainly US content owners proposed a graduated response model in which an ‘independent body’ meeting ‘community standards’ mediates the interests of all parties
Escaping the Digital Enclosures 1: Networked Battlegrounds produced by the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)
File-sharing has continued to expand over the past decade regardless of some landmark legal wins against peer-to-peer companies, torrent aggregator websites, and individual file-sharers.
Here is an outline of a chapter for my colleague Jon Marshall's book on It & Disorder. Like much of what I seem to be doing for uni stuff, I have clearly crammed way too many things into this chapter. probably i could reduce it by 2/3 and it could still make a good contribution to the book, which has otjer chapters on software and failure, IT and social movements, IT and financial disorder, and quite a lot of philosophy. anyway, armin's critique of my P2P text-in-progress reminded me about this other thing i am supposed to write this year, and i am thinking some of A's ideas could fit.
About 2 weeks ago it became horribly clear I was stalled on finishing my chapter on the Hong Kong case study. I had done 3/4 of it, but i had no ideas for the final section. Days of a blank screen.
So i eventually went to the library and borrowed some of those comforting books on how to write a thesis. many of them were quite dull, but one is great ..i had read it before but had forgotten some of the good, advice...title is "writing your dissertation in 15 minutes a day" by joan bolker