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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/201162
- The 'everyday' ambivalence of piracy
- Meese, James
- Ravi Sundaram, Lawrence Liang and Brian Larkin are a collection of theorists who intervene radically in the existing copyright debate, by working from the perspective of the majority world. In doing so, they present a challenging picture of how piracy and informal economies actually operate in developing nations. However, there is a recurring rhetorical trope which all three use. Rather than argue that transnational piracy is inherently oppositional and politicised, these theorists emphasise the ‘everyday’, ‘ambivalent’ nature of piracy, and position it as a practice, which simply exists as part of life in the developing world. Sundaram provides a workable definition for these types of already existing, informal media ecologies. He views them as part of a ‘recycled modernity’, one that is ‘everyday in its imaginary, pirate in its practice, and mobile in its innovation’. The mobile and transient nature of these informal, non-legal networks implicitly reminds us of the frustrated concession of Maurice Blanchot - that the everyday always escapes. By positioning piracy as ‘rooted in the particularistic concerns of everyday life’, these theorists provide some welcome distance. They manage to intervene between the practices of piracy and the official public sphere, and so avoid the anxiety-ridden claims, which typify much of the current rhetoric around intellectual property. However, they evoke a specific term – the ‘everyday’ – which has a complex intellectual tradition. Sundaram has gone some way to developing a theoretical model of the ‘everyday’ in his work Pirate Modernity, but there are still further iterations of this concept, which can be applied to this still - developing field. I will build on Sundaram’s emerging theoretical linkages between the practice of piracy in developing cities and the ‘everyday’ as a theoretical concept.
- Publication type
- Conference paper
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology
- Paper presented at 'A Scholarly Affair', the Cultural Studies Association of Australasia National Conference, Byron Bay, Australia, 07-09 December 2010
- Publication year
- Southern Cross University
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2010 James Meese.