Digital Pirates

9781503611443: Hardback
Release Date: 14th July 2020

9781503612976: Paperback
Release Date: 14th July 2020

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 208

Edition: 1st Edition

Stanford University Press

Digital Pirates

Policing Intellectual Property in Brazil

Hardback / £73.00
This book can only be pre-ordered within 2 months of the publication date.
Paperback / £21.99
This book can only be pre-ordered within 2 months of the publication date.

Digital Pirates examines the unauthorized creation, distribution, and consumption of movies and music in Brazil. Alexander Sebastian Dent offers a new definition of piracy as indispensable to current capitalism alongside increasing global enforcement of intellectual property (IP). Complex and capricious laws might prohibit it, but piracy remains a core activity of the twenty-first century.

Combining the tools of linguistic and cultural anthropology with models from media studies and political economy, Digital Pirates reveals how the dynamics of IP and piracy serve as strategies for managing the gaps between texts—in this case, digital content. Dent's analysis includes his fieldwork in and around São Paulo with pirates, musicians, filmmakers, police, salesmen, technicians, policymakers, politicians, activists, and consumers. Rather than argue for rigid positions, he suggests that Brazilians are pulled in multiple directions according to the injunctions of international governance, localized pleasure, magical consumption, and economic efficiency. Through its novel theorization of "digital textuality," this book offers crucial insights into the qualities of today's mediascape as well as the particularized political and cultural norms that govern it. The book also shows how twenty-first century capitalism generates piracy and its enforcement simultaneously, while producing fraught consumer experiences in Latin America and beyond.

Alexander Sebastian Dent is Associate Professor of Anthropology & International Affairs at George Washington University.

"Smart, sly, and generatively disconcerting, Digital Pirates is an ethnographically textured and theoretically rambunctious charting of emerging mediascapes. Dent provides a complex and challenging account of contemporary Brazil and a principled exploration of the unpredictable resonances at the contested confluence of media, technology, regulatory regimes, and creativity. And he does so with piratical panache."

Donald L. Brenneis
University of California, Santa Cruz

"Digital Pirates is an insightful and often beautiful exploration of digitization as a dissolving agent for older cultural forms, a catalyst for new ones, and a context for reconsolidating the boundaries that define markets, institutions, laws, and publics. Alex Dent moves fluidly between theoretical and empirical registers to weave a rich account of lived experience in Brazil that illuminates global cultural change."

Joe Karaganis
Columbia University