Torrent Poisoning

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Summary

Marie Lechner:

In the context of this continual game of hide and seek, the cultural industries have proven to be surprisingly creative in the strategies they employ to combat piracy as substantiated by the documents on display in this book: from educational flyers to intimidation, from hologram stickers to game alterations, from false TV signal detectors (mysterious vans equipped with weird and wonderful antenna that are supposed to strike fear in the hearts of those who have not paid their TV licence) to show trials such as the 2009 high-profile case of the Swedish founders of the emblematic peer-to-peer platform, The Pirate Bay. Pirate or “privateer” tactics are even employed by certain corporations. These tactics include torrent poisoning which consists in sharing data that has been corrupted or files with misleading names on purpose. In this particular case, the reader is at liberty to copy the texts of this book and do with them as he/she pleases. The book’s authors (editors?) have opted for copyleft, a popular alternative to copyright. The term copyleft was brought into popular usage by Richard Stallman who founded the freeware movement and refers to an authorization to use, alter and share the work provided that the authorization itself remains untouched. Pirates’ challenging and transgression of the conventions of intellectual property have become a form of resistance to the ever increasing surveillance of users of digital technologies by corporate and state interests. In doing so, pirates have opened the way to new “perspectives of counter-societies that work along different lines.” (http://thepiratebook.net/category/about/)