Piracy & Social Change| From Orkut to Facebook: How Brazilian Pirate Audiences Utilize Social Media to Create Sharing Subcultures

Vanessa Mendes Moreira de Sa


Grounded in case studies in Brazil, this research explores how pirate audiences create an effective parallel system of informal television viewing and distribution. From August 2010 to November 2012, two specific case studies were examined: the informal distribution of U.S. TV shows through downloading websites and Orkut downloading communities, and amateur subtitlers. Informal TV downloading practices are evolving, along with the notions of audiences, television content, television viewing, and piracy. These practices are also incorporated into people’s everyday lives. The article establishes a framework around media practices and proposes that many pirates are members of audiences. Thus, the aims of this article are twofold: (1) to document TV sharing infrastructures in Brazil; and (2) to draw attention to contemporary practices of watching television. The findings fill a gap in the Brazilian research literature on television downloading cultures and contribute to current literature on pirate cultures.


digital piracy, television audiences, Orkut, cyberlockers, fansubbing; cyberlockers; fansubbing

Full Text: