This book situates media piracy as a symptom of a much larger restructuring of cultural labor in the era of the internet: labor that is digital, entrepreneurial, informal and even illegal, and increasingly politicized.
Media piracy -- the production, distribution and consumption of media texts in violation of intellectual property laws -- has become an endemic feature of the cultural economy since the rise of the internet. While most analyses present piracy either in terms of moral or legal failings, or alternatively, the inevitable by-product of digital technologies, this booksituates piracy as a symptom of a much larger restructuring of cultural labor in the era of the internet: labor that is digital, entrepreneurial, informal and even illegal, and increasingly politicized. Sketching the contours of this new political economy while engaging with theories of digital media, both critical and celebratory, Mueller reveals piracy as a submerged social history of the digital world, and potentially the key to its political reimagining.
This important and concise contribution to studies of piracy and digital culture will be vital reading for scholars and students of critical media studies, cultural studies, political theory or digital humanities, and particularly those researching media piracy, digital labour and Marxist theory. It also provides an excellent introduction to theories of the digital economy
"This is a beautifully written and engaging publication that makes a very important contribution to the growing literature on media piracy. Mueller not only examines piracy as a culturally embedded activity, but he expertly uses Marxist theory to elucidate his argument that piracy must be seem as a part of the greater reorganisation of labour in the digital era. It is essential reading for anyone interested in looking beyond purely economic concerns and instead examining how piracy is inextricably connected to wider social and political shifts." --Virginia Crisp, King’s College London, UK
Chapter 1: Theories of Late Capitalist Restructuring: Neoliberalism and Post-Fordism
Chapter 2: The Critique of the Digital Political Economy
Chapter 3: A History of Digital Piracy
Chapter 4: Theorizing Piracy
Chapter 5: Global Piracy
Conclusion: The End of P2P