I’ll be giving a paper at a very interesting looking conference on postcolonial piracy, hosted by the University of Potsdam in Berlin, this coming weekend. My paper is on depropriation, and looks at a variety of examples of depropriation including ayahuasca shamanism in Colombia, mp3 piracy in the Sahel and the Occupy movements. The conference is connected to the Worldtronics music festival, which will focus on Ghana and Colombia, and we are promised hiplife concerts curated by Awesome Tapes from Africa’s Brian Shimkovitz. Sounds great.
I imagine that there will be plenty of discussion of the fascinating new book/report Media Piracy in Emerging Economies, definitely the most in depth look at this topic that I’ve seen. You can download a copy here. The report makes the sensible observation that most of what is called piracy in emerging countries has to do with prohibitively high pricing of media by corporate producers, in a situation where there are cheap and available technologies for the production of copies of media items. Aggressive law enforcement, according to the report, has little effect on the black/gray market economies that flourish in this void. Appropriately low pricing does however allow for possible integration of such markets.