|Title:||Of Ducks and Downloads The Moral Economy of Intellectual Property in Post-Soviet Society|
|Citation:||Haigh, M. (2009). Of ducks and downloads: The moral economy of intellectual property in post-Soviet society. Libri, 59(4), 248-258.|
|Key Related Studies:|
|About the Data|
|Data Description:||Data has been extracted from written statements submitted by students during focus group sessions at the Informatics Department of NaUKMA, a Ukrainian university, were the author spent six months teaching courses on intellectual property issues. However, the author does not specify the number of participating students, focus group sessions, or amount of statements used as data sources.|
|Data Type:||Primary data|
|Secondary Data Sources:|
|Data Collection Methods:|
|Data Analysis Methods:|
|Cross Country Study?:||No|
|Government or policy study?:||No|
|Time Period(s) of Collection:||
As living standards have risen in recent years the citizens of post-Soviet states are turning increasingly toward newly available high bandwidth Internet connections as a new medium for the exchange of music, films, and computer software. Taking Ukraine as an example, the author argues that users are literally and metaphorically reconstructing imported Internet technologies in accordance with their own pre-existing cultures. The author probes these understandings through analysis of statements on file sharing behavior made by a sample of Ukrainian Internet users. To explain this distinctive technological path, the author examines the interaction of technologies, users, and regulatory regimes. These have shaped the understanding of ordinary users toward what the author, following E.P. Thompson, calls the “moral economy” of copyright and file sharing. The transition from this moral economy of intellectual property to the global intellectual property regime has occurred in law but not in practice.
Main Results of the Study
- Thompson's concept of moral economy has relevance for today’s shift to a globalized intellectual property regime. Users of computer networks struggle to assert traditional rights in a world remade by new technological and economic systems, yet the traditional understandings and norms on which Internet users draw vary in each country.
- In Ukraine, assimilation into the emerging global intellectual property regime involves paradoxical developments. Proponents of membership in the World Trade Association argue that this is a crucial step in Ukraine’s transition from socialist serfdom to capitalist freedom.
- Yet Ukrainians are aware that full entry into the global intellectual property regime means giving up other kinds of freedom, threatening deeply rooted practices of file sharing that they justify on moral grounds such as poverty, practical necessity, or religious obligation.
- The freedom to copy unlicensed media files is assumed not just by young people but by Internet service providers and small businesses. The transition from the moral economy of intellectual property to the global intellectual property regime has occurred in law but not in practice.
Policy Implications as Stated By Author
Analysis of the use and social meaning of Internet file sharing should not assume that a given technology or network will have the same meaning for users in all countries. Instead, studies of information sharing behavior should be integrated within a broader analysis of the social and national milieus in which they take place.
Coverage of Study
|Sample size:|| Not stated|
"Not stated" is not a number.
|Level of aggregation:||Individual|
|Period of material under study:||2007|