Digital Culture Industry: A History of Digital Distribution
I’m very happy to announce that my book is finally out with Palgrave Macmillan.
If you’re interested in the history of peer-to-peer piracy and how it shaped digital media today this is the book for you. Covering MP3.com, Napster, GNUtella, Kazaa, Streamcast, Grokster, BitTorrent and The Pirate Bay this comprehensive history is a great read for anyone interested in the field of digital media.
….if I do say so myself.
For a more comprehensive overview of the book head over to the book page where you can see reviews and chapter summaries.
There was a lot of research that went into the book, and a lot of resources to boot. If you’d like to see some of the things I made related to the book head over to this blog post and also take a look at the resources.
Yes I shall be attending OrgCon 2012; the shindig put on by The Open Rights Group to discuss many important issues in the sphere of digital rights. If you are able to get to London with relative ease I thoroughly encourage attendance. The primary benefits involve hanging around in the general vicinity of the rather excellent Lawrence Lessig, Cory Doctorow and other well credentialed individuals. Clearly it is the Tech-and-Civil-Liberties-Nerd event of the year so get to it!
Get your tickets here If you’ve ever paid for an academic conference you will find the prices pleasantly surprising.
Just updated the videos on how peer-to-peer networks work to Youtube videos. Now they are available in glorious HD, with surround sound, 4D vision and an immersive simulator technology that makes you feel like you really are there…. in a diagram of a network architecture. Well the HD is cool I suppose.
Also having not checked my stats for the site in a while I was pleasantly surprised to see I reached a new daily peak of visits this week. I have no idea why there was such a spike as apparently all visitors reached the site entirely on their own (without an outside link or google search). Ego me wants to presume my website was cited in some high class lecture and then all the students simultaneously loaded it up on their iPads as in this fantasy the University is horrendously well funded.
However realist me also knows that not all visits to a website are human, and it may just have been a case of the spiders; a phrase which gives me the jibblies.
I have my Viva in precisely seven days, which is rather terrifying. A viva is essentially a time when you, after slaving for three years over a tome of 100,000 words, are questioned on it relentlessly by two very clever people. It’s the academic equivalent of the realising-you’re-naked-in-the-classroom nightmare; they may as well be picking holes in your soul.
Finally in other news I’m currently knocking out book proposals to a variety of publishers to see if I can’t get my history of digital distribution published. Responses so far have been positive so you never know I might be shamelessly hawking my book on here in a years time, we can only hope.
I’m in Oxford at the moment at the Oii Symposium ‘A Decade in Internet Time’. It’s been a lot of fun, I got to present my research have some great feedback from interesting people. The paper I presented is available on the SSRN and you can grab a copy if you like. The conference still has a few days left so I’ll try and cobble something insightful (passable) together when I get home.
The site is back!… and mildly snazzier. The UI has had an overhaul and things should be a bit simpler now. The primary addition is that new menu bar up there that should help you get around if you feel like wandering off the blog-beaten trail.
However the real reason the UI got updated was because now the site is hosting a load of new goodies. My thesis is due for submission in just over a week and because I like to be revolutionary (awkward), a lot of the resources I produced to go along with the thesis can’t be conveyed on paper that easily. So instead they’re here for the reader to access, and as a bonus, that means they’re here for anyone to get at. So what can you get your hands on?
Peer-to-Peer Networks: How do they do it!?
Ever wondered how Napster worked, or maybe you’re confused about the complicated majesty that is BitTorrent. Be confused no more as the video guides show you through handy animations the operation of the most popular peer-to-peer protocols over the last decade.
The History of Digital Distribution: There’s a lot of it.
The main aspect of my thesis is the histories I’ve produced documenting the development and impact of the major piracy systems of the last decade. As part of this history I generated a fairly dense timeline of events running from 1998 to 2010 which helped me keep things in order as I wrote. I’ve provided the timeline here for your perusal.
There’s a bit of Pirate in us All
One of the more interesting things I found during my research was where those legally fuzzy peer-to-peer technologies ended up. The Illicit Influence Map shows how the illicit tech of the piratey world impacted on the businesses and media delivery systems of today. Unfortunately the diagram won’t tell you exactly how (you’ll have to read the thesis for that) but maybe once you see the connection you’ll be inspired to go find out more.
Everything is accessible under ‘Thesis Resource’ and licensed under Creative Commons, so go forth and tinker!
I got an update on the progress of open-accessing my article and it is both good and bad all at the same time. The wonderful White Rose Foundation has now begun hosting my paper for people outside of academia to access. However, as much as they want to free it to the world, Taylor and Francis, the publishers of the journal have placed an 18 month embargo on making articles open access.
She's a sexy sassy MEP
That means it won’t be truly free until April 2012, at which point the masses of (two) people who want to read it will have given up and gone elsewhere, distracted by the hover-boards, jetpacks and flying cars that will be plentiful in 2012.
There is a silver lining however; if you want a copy you can go to the White Rose page and press the request button, at which point I will email one out to you post haste. The form just asks for an email and a reason for requesting it. I don’t mind if you put a reason or not but stick ‘DCI’ in there for good measure.