Digital Culture Industry: A History of Digital Distribution was the result of a three-year research project into the history of digital piracy. The project attempted to understand how media retail went from discs to downloads, accounting for individual agency, software design and the wider social changes. This lecture will provide an overview of the project and examine how the research method topic and structure all influenced each other within a social research project.
This lecture was delivered as part of the BA in Sociology at the University of Essex, Spring 2014.
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.
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!