Andrew Whelan on P2P's Impact on the Music Industry
* Article and recorded presentation: Leeching Bataille: peer-to-peer Potlatch and the Acephalic Response
Paper presented by Andrew Whelan within the context of the 4º Inclusiva-net Meeting: P2P Networks and Processes, celebrated in Madrid from July 6 to 10, 2009.
"As a model of resource distribution, social interaction, and collective content management, peer-to-peer technologies (p2p) offer unprecedented insights into the contemporary organisation of information and the limitations of the legal, cultural, and institutional frameworks under which this organisation is currently managed. The utopian ideal of p2p music distribution, for instance, imagines the largest collectively and voluntarily maintained, decentralised (and thus easily accessible), and free archive of recorded sound in human history. P2p is often associated with open source, hacker, creative commons, and general collaborative approaches to content production and distribution, and with the dissemination of a number of niche genres which would otherwise have remained largely unknown (or, indeed, might never have developed at all). Taken in its broader environment, p2p has also arguably been instrumental to the emergence of netlabels as distributive and cultural phenomena. It cannot be doubted that the impact of p2p on the established music industry, the legal framework in which it operates, and the practices of artists, fans and consumers has been profound, and it can also be argued that p2p in some ways contributed to the ground for the user-generated content and participatory nature of ‘Web 2.0’. "