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Culture and the Economy in the Internet Age

Philippe Aigrain

244 pages
Amsterdam University Press
In the past fifteen years, file sharing of digital cultural works between individuals has been at the center of a number of debates on the future of culture itself. To some, sharing constitutes piracy, to be fought against and eradicated. Others see it as unavoidable, and table proposals to compensate for its harmful effects. Meanwhile, little progress has been made towards addressing the real challenges facing culture in a digital world.

Go ahead. Take a copy

Sharing is Legitimate
An in-depth exploration of digital culture and its dissemination,
Sharing: Culture and the Economy in the Internet Age offers a counterpoint to the dominant view that file sharing is piracy, analyzing it rather as the modern form of long recognized rights to share in culture. Sharing starts from a radically different viewpoint, namely that the non-market sharing of digital works is both legitimate and useful. Philippe Aigrain looks at the benefits of file sharing, which allows unknown writers and artists to be appreciated more easily. It supports this premise with empirical research, demonstrating that non-market sharing leads to more diversity in the attention given to various works.

New Business Models
Concentrating not only on the cultural enrichment caused by widely shared digital media, Sharing also discusses new financing models that would allow works to be shared freely by individuals without aim at profit. Aigrain carefully balances the needs to support and reward creative activity with a suitable respect for the cultural common good and proposes a new interpretation of the digital landscape.

Living Book
Sharing is also published as a ‘living book’ on WWW.SHARING-THEBOOK.NET. The author will continuously update the book with the latest developments in the field of digital file sharing. Readers are also invited to join in the discussion and provide updates to the book. Sharing is an Open Access publication and can be distributed under under a Creative Commons (CC BY NC ND) license.
Author Bio
Philippe Aigrain is the CEO of Sopinspace - Society for Public Information Spaces and one of the founders of La Quadrature du Net.