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: What is a technological author? The pirate function and intellectual property - KAVITA PHILIP (Postcolonial Studies, Vol 8, N. 2, pp 199-218, 2005) -
"While the pre-modern, colonial, and postcolonial histories of piracy and the global traffic in ideas give us insight into the role of knowledge in global economies and dispel the fallacy of the supposed novelty of today’s ‘knowledge economy,’ I do not wish to suggest that history indicates a long unbroken continuity of structurally identical piratical appropriations of knowledge. Clearly, even while it participates in a longer history, the current discourse of piracy is specific to our present historical and economic moment, and illuminates particular characteristics of the emerging forms of global informational capitalism. I wish, however, to read the current debate over ‘sharing,’ ‘openness,’ and ‘freedom’ in software, music, and film data not as an entirely unique and unprecedented moment, but, rather, via a genealogical understanding of its legal and political economic conditions of enunciation. What can we learn if, rather than joining the chorus of libertarian or radical critiques of corporate ownership and intellectual property, we investigate the assumptions that undergird the current discussion of piracy? We might track the ways in which certain narratives of authorship, creativity, and ownership emerge. What are the continuities of this new kind of authorship—a fundamentally technological authorship—with prior assumptions about authorship? What forms of globalized citizenship and personhood are being shaped via the emerging legal discourses of intellectual property, on both sides of the struggle for access to new forms of information?" -
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