Beekhuyzen, Von Hellens and Nielsen (2011)

From Copyright EVIDENCE

Advertising Architectural Publishing of books, periodicals and other publishing Programming and broadcasting Computer programming Computer consultancy Creative, arts and entertainment Cultural education

Film and motion pictures Sound recording and music publishing Photographic activities PR and communication Software publishing (including video games) Specialised design Television programmes Translation and interpretation

1. Relationship between protection (subject matter/term/scope) and supply/economic development/growth/welfare 2. Relationship between creative process and protection - what motivates creators (e.g. attribution; control; remuneration; time allocation)? 3. Harmony of interest assumption between authors and publishers (creators and producers/investors) 4. Effects of protection on industry structure (e.g. oligopolies; competition; economics of superstars; business models; technology adoption) 5. Understanding consumption/use (e.g. determinants of unlawful behaviour; user-generated content; social media)

A. Nature and Scope of exclusive rights (hyperlinking/browsing; reproduction right) B. Exceptions (distinguish innovation and public policy purposes; open-ended/closed list; commercial/non-commercial distinction) C. Mass digitisation/orphan works (non-use; extended collective licensing) D. Licensing and Business models (collecting societies; meta data; exchanges/hubs; windowing; crossborder availability) E. Fair remuneration (levies; copyright contracts) F. Enforcement (quantifying infringement; criminal sanctions; intermediary liability; graduated response; litigation and court data; commercial/non-commercial distinction; education and awareness)

Source Details

Beekhuyzen, Von Hellens and Nielsen (2011)
Title: Underground online music communities: exploring rules for membership
Author(s): Beekhuyzen, J., Von Hellens, L., Nielsen, S.
Year: 2011
Citation: Beekhuyzen, J., Von Hellens, L. and Nielsen, S. 2011. Underground online music communities: exploring rules for membership. Online Information Review, 35, 699-715.
Link(s): Definitive
Key Related Studies:
Discipline:
Linked by:
About the Data
Data Description: Interviews with 3 members of an underground music file-sharing community. Participant observation within the community over a period of 120 days in 2007-2008.
Data Type: Primary data
Secondary Data Sources:
Data Collection Methods:
Data Analysis Methods:
Industry(ies):
Country(ies):
Cross Country Study?: No
Comparative Study?: No
Literature review?: No
Government or policy study?: No
Time Period(s) of Collection:
  • 2007-2008
Funder(s):
  • None

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to investigate the rules and rituals for joining and operating within underground music file sharing communities as well as the members’ motivations for joining.

Design/methodology/approach – Actor-network theory is combined with an ethnographic methodology to explore the structure, technology and rules of these communities from an actor-oriented, member perspective.

Empirical data include in-depth interviews with three file sharers, and participant-observations for 120 days within an online community.

Findings – The paper provides an increased understanding of the structured and orderly nature of underground music file sharing communities and the perceived importance of strong rules and rituals for membership. Many communities use the same open-source software.

Research limitations/implications – Only a small number of file sharers (three) were interviewed. However they provide rich insights into this under-researched topic.

Practical implications – An understanding of these sophisticated underground file sharing communities assists the further development of legitimate online music systems to appeal to the large number of individuals involved in music file sharing communities.

Social implications – This paper provides an understanding of the practices within a subculture that is currently regarded as deviant and illegal, and contributes to the discussion and policy formulation on file sharing.

Originality/value – This study is the only known ethnography investigating underground music file sharing communities. These communities have not been systematically studied previously and the paper addresses this lack of research literature. This study is also novel as it applies actor-network theory to a context to which it has not previously been applied.

Main Results of the Study

The main results of this study are:

  • Social inequality is being preserved by the status quo in regard to file sharing, which leads to an apparent lack of critical thought on the topic of file sharing and the systems which support such activities.
  • This marginalising of file sharers is often achieved through the use of language (terms such as “pirates” and “piracy”), and increasingly through the criminalisation of file sharing activities in most western countries.
  • Underground music file sharing communities are highly sophisticated, and can offer new ideas for the development of future online music systems.
  • Of particular interest was the discovery of the orderly nature of the community, in particular that there are strict rules in place for obtaining an invitation to join the community.

Policy Implications as Stated By Author

Underground music file sharing communities are highly sophisticated, and can offer new ideas for the development of future online music systems.

Coverage of Study

Coverage of Fundamental Issues
Issue Included within Study
Relationship between protection (subject matter/term/scope) and supply/economic development/growth/welfare
Relationship between creative process and protection - what motivates creators (e.g. attribution; control; remuneration; time allocation)?
Harmony of interest assumption between authors and publishers (creators and producers/investors)
Effects of protection on industry structure (e.g. oligopolies; competition; economics of superstars; business models; technology adoption)
Green-tick.png
Understanding consumption/use (e.g. determinants of unlawful behaviour; user-generated content; social media)
Green-tick.png
Coverage of Evidence Based Policies
Issue Included within Study
Nature and Scope of exclusive rights (hyperlinking/browsing; reproduction right)
Exceptions (distinguish innovation and public policy purposes; open-ended/closed list; commercial/non-commercial distinction)
Mass digitisation/orphan works (non-use; extended collective licensing)
Licensing and Business models (collecting societies; meta data; exchanges/hubs; windowing; crossborder availability)
Green-tick.png
Fair remuneration (levies; copyright contracts)
Enforcement (quantifying infringement; criminal sanctions; intermediary liability; graduated response; litigation and court data; commercial/non-commercial distinction; education and awareness)
Green-tick.png

Datasets

Sample size: 3
Level of aggregation: Individual
Period of material under study: 2007-2008