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No discussion of regulatory struggles, transnational mobilization, or institutional entrepreneurship lacks references to the importance of actors’ framing strategies (for an overview see Benford and Snow 2000). More often than not oppositional attempts for establishing discursive hegemony lead to changes in wording and/or a constant drift in meaning and connotation of important terms. One of the most interesting questions in the context of such framing battles is whether actors try to establish their own, new wording or rather attempt to change the meaning/connotation of existing frames.

Discussing the election success of European pirate parties (see “Pirate Parties: Transnational Mobilization and German Elections“), Sigrid Quack and I had already emphasized their success in redefining a derogatory designation and compared it to other examples of successful re-framing such as in the case of the term “queer” (see Jagose).

In the meantime, major representatives of the copyright industries seem to have recognized that the continued fight against “pirates” could be a strategic mistake – at least when it comes to wording. As Nate Anderson at ars technica reports, the head of the International Actors’ Federation, Agnete Haaland, said “We should change the word piracy.” at a press conference:

“To me, piracy is something adventurous, it makes you think about Johnny Depp. We all want to be a bit like Johnny Depp. But we’re talking about a criminal act. We’re talking about making it impossible to make a living from what you do.”

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The Book

Governance across borders: transnational fields and transversal themes. Leonhard Dobusch, Philip Mader and Sigrid Quack (eds.), 2013, epubli publishers.
July 2019
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