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An Alternative InternetRadical Media, Politics and Creativity$
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Chris Atton

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780748617692

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748617692.001.0001

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Radical Creativity and Distribution: Sampling, Copyright and P2P

Radical Creativity and Distribution: Sampling, Copyright and P2P

(p.91) Chapter 4 Radical Creativity and Distribution: Sampling, Copyright and P2P
An Alternative Internet

Chris Atton

Edinburgh University Press

Amongst radical creators and producers, the Internet is being employed to foster new forms of social authorship. Also known as open copyright, anti-copyright and copyleft, such strategies have both an economic impulse and a cultural imperative. In the field of music, radical sampling artists such as the Canadian John Oswald and the American group Negativland ‘steal’ their raw materials from popular culture to construct critical commentaries on that culture. The use by music fans of Napster and subsequent music distribution and downloading software can serve as a formal protest against a record industry that is seen to be self-serving and rapacious. This chapter explores morality and economics in relation to intellectual property rights on the Internet, and does so through an examination of the implications of the exercise of those rights for creative practices and in particular the legal and commercial threats to social authorship. It examines peer-to-peer file-sharing networks (such as Napster and Gnutella) from this perspective and considers such practices as aspects of social creativity, not simply as intellectual property theft.

Keywords:   Internet, copyright, social authorship, music, sampling, morality, economics, intellectual property rights, social creativity, file-sharing networks

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