Peer to Peer and the Music Industry: The Criminalization of Sharing


Matthew David

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  • Back Matter
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  • Theory, Culture & Society

    Theory, Culture & Society caters for the resurgence of interest in culture within contemporary social science and the humanities. Building on the heritage of classical social theory, the book series examines ways in which this tradition has been reshaped by a new generation of theorists. It also publishes theoretically informed analyses of everyday life, popular culture, and new intellectual movements.

    EDITOR: Mike Featherstone, Nottingham Trent University


    Roy Boyne, University of Durham

    Nicholas Gane, University of York

    Scott Lash, Goldsmiths College, University of London

    Roland Robertson, University of Aberdeen

    Couze Venn, Nottingham Trent University


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    View Copyright Page


    For Mike Presdee (1944–2009).

    A great teacher, friend and sharer.


    Matthew David has done a rare and valuable thing with this work. He has comprehensively exposed the inherent radicalism of peer-to-peer communication and exposed the absurdities of the various efforts to quash the practice and technologies. This book is certain to outlast the recording industry. Siva Vaidhyanathan, Professor of Media Studies, University of Virginia

    This book is far-reaching in its implications for our understanding of modern society and culture and should be read by anyone with an interest in the future of music. David's discussion of the music industry's response to digitisation and the culture of downloading and file-sharing dispels the myths about pirates stealing our musical heritage. It puts the spotlight firmly on an industry that has exploited artists and audiences alike for years but which now finds itself imperilled by a mixture of technological change and the creative practices of (mainly) young people. The analysis is scholarly and rigorous yet the book is accessibly written and contains moments of real humour.

    Graeme Kirkpatrick, Senior Lecturer, Sociology, University of Manchester

    Too often the music industry is seen as merely being about entertainment. In this closely and clearly argued book Matthew David explains in detail why anyone interested in the future of our global information society must understand the questions raised by this industry's relationship with its customer base. Clearly establishing the importance of understanding the production and distribution of music for the wider realms of the globalising information economy, Matthew David develops an analysis of much wider relevance. The challenge of openness that confronts the major record companies is repeated across the information economy, and the struggle for control of the distribution of content will be the economic issue of the new millennium; Matthew David offers a clear and informative analysis of these developments that will be of interest to social scientists, lawyers and music lovers alike.

    Christopher May, Professor of Political Economy, Lancaster University

    List of Figures and Tables

    • 1.1 The Nightmare, Henry Fuseli, 1781 (The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea) 2
    • 4.1 ‘Growing old disgracefully’ 56
    • 9.1 Alternative business models prefigured in current developments 157

    Key Acronyms and Abbreviations

    A&RArtists and Repertoire
    ACTAAnti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
    AOLAmerica On-line
    BBCBritish Broadcasting Corporation
    BMGBertelsmann Music Group
    BPIThe British Phonographic Industry
    BTBritish Telecommunications
    CCTVClosed Circuit Television
    CDCompact Disc
    CDPAUnited Kingdom Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988
    CNNCable Network News
    DATDigital Audio Tape
    DCMAUnited States Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998
    DCMSUnited Kingdom Department of Culture, Media and Sport
    DRMDigital Rights Management
    DVDDigital Versatile Disc or Digital Video Disc
    ECHREuropean Convention on Human Rights
    EFFElectronic Freedom Foundation
    EMIElectric and Musical Industries Ltd
    EUEuropean Union
    F2FFriend to Friend Distributed Networks
    FACTFederation Against Copyright Theft
    GATTGeneral Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
    HRAUnited Kingdom Human Rights Act
    HBOHome Box Office
    ICTInformation and Communication Technology
    IDIdentification Documents or abbreviation for Identification
    IPIntellectual Property
    IPRIntellectual Property Rights
    ITInformation Technology
    ISPInternet Service Providers
    ISPAInternet Service Providers Association
    MAFIAAMusic and Film Industry Association of America
    MoU2008 Memorandum of Understanding between BPI and UK ISPs
    MP1,2,3 and 4MP in each case is an abbreviation for MPEG, while the numbers refer to MPEG protocols for digital compression for different media
    MPAAMotion Picture Association of America
    MPEGMoving Picture Expert Group
    MPPCMotion Picture Patent Company
    NBCNational Broadcasting Company
    OECDOrganization for Economic Cooperation and Development
    OPACOnline Public Access Catalogue
    P2PPeer-to-Peer Distributed Networks
    RIAARecord Industry Association of America
    TPBThe Pirate Bay
    TRIPSAgreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
    WIPOWorld Intellectual Property Organization
    WCTWorld Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty
    WTOWorld Trade Organization
    UKUnited Kingdom
    USUnited States of America


    This work would not have been possible without the help of many people. I would particularly like to thank Jodie Allen, Jack Birmingham, Peter Campbell, Tori Durrer, Sergey Erofeev, Betsy Ettorre, Victoria Foster, Gill Gower, Tim Hall, Dan (onions) Hartley, Dave Inker, Paul Jones, Gesa Kather, Devorah Kalekin-Fishman, Jamie Kirkhope, Graeme Kirkpatrick, Andrew Kirton, Lauren Langman, Chris May, Kevin Meethan, Ruth Melville, Steve Miles (the original professor of ‘symbology’), Pete (‘Mr Incredible’) Millward, Dave O'Brian, Sarah Louisa Phythian-Adams (the real undercover economist), Jason Powell, Mike Presdee, Michaela Pysńáková (queen of the mainstream), Chris Rojek, Imogen Roome, Rebecca Saxton, Jai Seaman and Iain Wilkinson. I would also like to thank Chris, Val, Rachel, Sian, Brennan and Jasmine.

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