Shift or Stasis| The Changing Geographies of Pirate Transnational Audiovisual Flows

Tristan Mattelart


Breaking with perspectives that merely criminalize audiovisual piracy, this article describes this phenomenon as one of the key elements of an informal economy of communication that shapes unofficial transnational flows. We analyze to what extent the networks of this informal economy have concurred in the changing geographies of global audiovisual flows. We first study under what conditions piracy has fueled the rise of new contraflows of non-Western cultural products and then discuss whether these have given form to counterhegemonic flows, that is, flows that carry content running counter to the dominant meanings of American programs. At the same time, we explore the ways in which piracy has contributed to an increased global presence of U.S. cultural products.



: Piracy, informal economy, transnational cultural flows, videocassettes, VCDs, DVDs, online networks

Full Text: