Politics of Digital Media, Piracy and the Commons

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* Draft Syllabus: The Politics of Digital Media: Piracy and the Commons.NYU Department of Media, Culture, and Communication. Gabriella Coleman

URL = http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/scmsAdmin/uploads/005/008/Coleman-Politics-Digital-Media-Draft-2010.pdf


"In the last ten years, the Internet has witnessed an explosion of what is often deemed “piracy” as well as vibrant communities of collaborative peer production (Free Software, Wikipedia, for instance), the latter often conceptualized in terms of a digital commons, the former rarely so. This course takes as its primary objects digital piracy and collaborative peer production and pairs them together in order to: 1) critically appraise the nature/definition(s) of the commons and piracy and the possible relationships between the two 2) interrogate the politics of technology, including technical affordances, the role of social actors (such as hackers), and the law in sustaining and dampening these phenomenon 3) examine a range of political theories about law, politics, democracy, technology and capitalism that will help us more richly grasp not only the rise, constitution, and politics of piracy and peer production but the politics of digital media more generally. Although we will narrow our optic considerably by focusing primarily on these two domains, we will also expand our optic by examining historical examples of print piracy and reproduction in order to provide a foil by which to think through what might be distinctive (or not) about digital media and the contemporary moment." (http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/scmsAdmin/uploads/005/008/Coleman-Politics-Digital-Media-Draft-2010.pdf)