File-Sharing as Social Practice
* Paper: File-Sharing as Social Practice. Do-It-Yourself Access to Knowledge and its Relation to the Formal and Informal Market. By Volker Ralf Grassmuck1. Research Group on Public Policy for Access to Information (GPOPAI)2 at the University of São Paulo, for The 3rd Free Culture Research Conference. Free University Berlin, 8.-9. October 2010
"Online sharing of files has become a significant socio-cultural mass practice, whether the works they contain are authorized or not or in the public domain. Because of the economic implications of the infringing uses of file-sharing it has also been turned into an important, if not the central topic in the political debate on copyright law and its enforcement.
The aim of the upcoming GPOPAI research project is threefold: to explore the social and cultural universe of file-sharing in Brazil, to develop and test tools and methods for empirically researching this universe and to develop a national and international interdisciplinary research network. The project is intended to lay the groundwork for a second research phase in which the tools and methods that were developed are applied in a comprehensive manner in Brazil and other countries by the partners in the network, so as to gain empirical and comparable insights into national and cross-border file-sharing activities.
The research project starts in the final phase of the current copyright law reform in Brazil. The bill is expected to contain a public licence that would legalize private non-commercial filesharing in exchange for a levy on broadband Internet access. If the proposal gets passed into law, the research project will be able to accompany its implementation. GPOPAI would be uniquely positioned for closely studying, monitoring and, based on its empirical expertise in this field, advising public policy makers in, this historic event.
This paper presents the results of a preparatory literature review on the state of research primarily in economics and primarily on the effect of file-sharing on the market for recorded music." (http://wikis.fu-berlin.de/download/attachments/59080767/Grassmuck-Paper.pdf?version=1&modificationDate=1285065963000)