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  • Titill er á ensku Downloading, an indicator of a new techno-economic paradigm
  • Október 2009
  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    Since 1999 the recording industries have seen a dramatic and steady decline in the sale of the compact disk or the CD, a digital format for storing and playing music that has mostly replaced other formats intended for such use.
    Music file-sharing was non-existent prior to 1998 but by the year 2000 this activity had grown exponentially and was seen by the recording industry as posing potentially terminal dangers to it’s infrastructure. The rise of Napster, and it’s fall in 2001 following an accusations of vast copyright infringements from the music industry and a subsequent court order, marks the explosive beginning of what can safely said to be an entrenched battle.
    On one side is the recording industry led by RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and IFPI (International Federation of Phonographic Industries) claiming that an aggregated decrease in CD sales from the year 1999 to date is due, in it’s entirety, to what has become known as illegal file-sharing or piracy. Along with large corporations in the music distribution sectors these organizations have lobbied intensely, in the public, political and legal arena.
    On the other side are diverse and dispersed groups of internet users and file-sharers that dispute the claims put forward by the recording industry and keep up a robust downloading culture on a global basis. Arguments presented by this side cite exaggerated claims of loss, colluded overpricing and oligopolistic industrial structure, changing consumption requirements and indirect attempts at regulating a common ecology that is the Internet and cyber-space.
    Research and scholarly work can be found to support the arguments put forth by both sides and despite recent softening of position by institutional bodies such as the DCMS in the UK and the EU Commission for Telecoms and Media, direct attempts at imposing infringing legislature on a national basis are taking place in various countries around the globe. This paper is an attempt to shed light on the current situation by outlining the major strands of a debate that has raged for a decade by viewing the digitalization of creative content and it’s distribution and dissemination over the Internet as a part of a technological revolution. Such revolution, as defined by Schumpeter and Kuhn, and later by Freeman, Perez, Dosi and others, is not seen as an engineering phenomenon but as a complex social process involving technical, economic, social and institutional factors that establish and become part of a techno-economic paradigm that eventually causes a fundamental change in the socio-institutional sphere.

Birtist í: 
  • Rannsóknir í félagsvísindum 2009, bls. 371-386
  • 21.5.2013

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