Piracy Cultures| The Business of Anti-Piracy: New Zones of Enterprise in the Copyright Wars

Ramon Lobato, Julian Thomas


From the perspective of copyright holders, piracy represents lost revenue. In this article we argue that piracy nevertheless has important generative features. We consider the range of commercial opportunities that piracy opens up outside of the media industries, identifying four overlapping fields of legal anti-piracy enterprise: technological prevention, revenue capture, knowledge generation, and policing/enforcement. Our analysis notes the commercialization of these activities and their close relationship with the informal media economy. A case study of recent “speculative invoicing” lawsuits demonstrates the extent of this commercialization and its detachment from the mainstream content industries.

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