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Let’s talk about Porn. According to Wikipedia, „[d]epictions of a sexual nature are as old as civilization“. And of course, paraphrasing Walter Benjamins famous essay, works of porn have changed in the age of mechanical reproduction. New means for (re-)producing works of art – printing press, photography, video, the Internet – have always and early on been used for producing and distributing pornographic works. And in the Internet age, porn has become more widespread than ever. Wondracek et al. (2010, PDF) report in their paper entitled “Is the Internet for Porn?” that 42,7% of all Internet users view pages with pornographic content. Also, popularity of peer-to-peer file-sharing technologies is connected to access to pornographic content (see Coopersmith 2006, PDF).

In spite of these well-known facts regarding the importance of pornography in the context of new copyright-related technologies, talking about the role of both producers and consumers of pornographic content in regulatory struggles is uncommon in journalistic and scholarly analyses alike. As a first step to acknowledging this role, I just want to list examples I can recall where porn producers and/or users have been influential in the field of copyright-related struggles: Read the rest of this entry »

We are late with posts on the issue that dominated the web over the last couple weeks, namely the two bills in the U.S. congress on SOPA and PIPA. Even Wikipedia, for the first time in its history, decided to join the protest blackout on January 18 to protest against the bills. (Which was, by the way, also exemplifying the difficulties of Wikimedia making decisions involving the community due to the absence of accepted and routinized participation structures within Wikimedia governance, see also “Redrawing the Borders of Wikimedia Governance“).

Nevertheless, this might not be all that much of a problem. Because if NYU’s Clay Shirky is right, SOPA and PIPA will come back with new acronyms but similar content. But see for yourself in Shirky’s 15 minute TED talk on the issue:


The Book

Governance across borders: transnational fields and transversal themes. Leonhard Dobusch, Philip Mader and Sigrid Quack (eds.), 2013, epubli publishers.
January 2023

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