Peer to Peer and the Music Industry

The Criminalization of Sharing

by Matthew David

Series: Published in association with Theory, Culture & Society

Have the music and movie industries lost the battle to criminalize downloading?

This penetrating and informative book provides readers with the perfect systematic critical guide to the file-sharing phenomenon. Combining inter-disciplinary resources from sociology, history, media and communication studies and cultural studies, David unpacks the economics, psychology and philosophy of file-sharing.

The book carefully situates the reader in a field of relevant approaches including network society theory, post-structuralism and ethnographic research. It uses this to launch into a fascinating enquiry into:
  • the rise of file-sharing
  • the challenge to intellectual property law posed by new technologies of communication
  • the social psychology of cyber crime
  • the response of the mass media and multi-national corporations.

Matthew David concludes with a balanced, eye-opening assessment of alternative cultural modes of participation and their relationship to cultural capitalism.

This is a landmark work in the sociology of popular culture and cultural criminology. It fuses a deep knowledge of the music industry and the new technologies of mass communication with a powerful perspective on how multinational corporations seek to monopolize markets, how international and state agencies defend property, while a global multitude undermine and/or reinvent both.

In The Press

A detailed and comprehensive account of the current state of the sector... will do much to help reorientate the file-sharing debate towards achieving sustainability for the industry, as well as de-emphasizing the regulatory approaches adopted so far. This book will be of interest to all those studying or researching in the fields of cyber-crime, network studies or cultural sociology, as well as those engaged with cultural policy and the preservation of intellectual property within the creative industries.