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Sharing: Culture and the Economy in the Internet Age

Sharing: Culture and the Economy in the Internet Age

Sharing: Culture and the Economy in the Internet Age

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Book Details:

Publisher:Amsterdam University Press
Pages:243 pages
Size:1.28 MB
License:Pending review


This book is about file sharing for creative, expressive or informative works in all media. More specifically, it is about file sharing between individuals and without profit motive. File sharing is the act of making a file available to other individuals by putting it on-line, by sending a copy, or by rendering it accessible through a file sharing software. We defend the view that sharing without direct or indirect monetary transaction – or “non-market” sharing – is legitimate. We also claim that sharing is socially and culturally valuable and will play a key role in the future of our culture and the creative economies. Furthermore, this book proposes a means to strengthen and exploit the synergy between file sharing and creativity, for the general benefit of society and the enrichment of the cultural economy.

Underlying the entire book is an exercise in modeling and empirically studying the popularity of different works in different conditions. How much is this attention concentrated on a limited set of works, or spread over many? We use this analysis to demonstrate the positive impact of non-market sharing for cultural diversity, to reflect on different reward and financing models, to estimate their initial global scope and speculate about their evolution, and to understand how precise the measurement of usage must be for rewards to be fair and respectful of diversity. The analysis and the related models are meant to provide a toolkit for cultural and media studies, usable regardless of whether one agrees with our proposals. Three appendices provide an introduction to these models, explaining their mathematical basis in simple terms, presenting our assumptions, and the empirical studies that support some of our claims.



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