Andersson Schwarz, Jonas
Forthcoming book on file sharing
I'm happy to announce my forthcoming book, out later this year on Routledge. Online File Sharing: Innovations in Media Consumption (Routledge, September 2013, Comedia series) by Jonas Andersson Schwarz.
This book provides a critical perspective on the current phenomenon of mass-scale file sharing on the Internet. By focusing on the example of Sweden—home to both The Pirate Bay and Spotify—a unique insight is offered into collectively shared approaches to digital technology, that drive both innovation and deviance, and accommodate sharing in both its unadulterated and its compliant, business-friendly forms.
Online file sharing does not only entail music files but movies, software, and e-books alike. The phenomenon has been an integral part of online life for more than a decade. From my own and other researchers' findings it is apparent that unregulated file sharing is an emergent norm—if not even a new condition to media consumption—especially among young people. In countries like the US, the UK, Sweden, and South Korea, access to high-speed broadband is commonplace; both file sharers who I have interviewed and those who speak out in online forums hold that file sharing is as natural an element online as trees would be in the forest.
This original and thought-provoking book critically summarizes debates on this topic, on a level which is approachable to undergraduates, yet useful for postgraduates and senior scholars as well.
The book is based on a novel approach that fuses close-range, micro observations of user behavior and reasoning with macro perspectives of political economy and infrastructural features of digitization. Through exploring the reflexive management of the self, found among media audiences, insights into more innovative modes of management in the media industries are elicited. Through merging an ontological inquiry (popularized by theorists such as Bruno Latour) with an economics of complexity and networks (popularized by theorists like Manuel Castells) new insights into both online sociality, media anthropology, and modes of accumulation can be sought.
The continuity between Spotify and illegal file sharing is explored through a critical account that examines the discourses of both file sharers and industry stalwarts. Tendencies towards "information idealism" and "networked accumulation" are scrutinized; they are found to be endemic among actors striving to extract value from online, granular dissemination.
In the first place, the book would suit undergraduates on courses in media and communications—especially undergrad courses in new media, and the sociology of the Internet. The book can be seen as a critical introduction, a historical overview, as well as a case study of file-sharing—explaining the infrastructures, the particular modes of media use involved; ultimately, sketching out a political economy of unregulated file-sharing, based on the current historical record, listing some observed economic repercussions, alongside potential future ones.
A major secondary market would be postgraduate students, Ph.D. students, researchers, and lecturers. The great appeal with this book is that it would be of interest to several groups within academia. It would appeal both to scholars of my own subject, media & communications (especially, the history and sociology of new, digital media)—but it would appeal also to scholars of science & technology studies (STS), since the topic raises numerous interesting questions about the nature of technology, the complexity of agency and morality, while simultaneously offering a "case study," and thus some specificity in an otherwise broad, slippery subject.
Andersson Schwarz, Jonas & Palmås, Karl (2013; forthcoming) 'Introducing the panspectric challenge: A reconfiguration of regulatory values in a multiplatform media landscape'. Central European Journal of Communication, Vol. 6, No 2, (Fall 2013).
Andersson, Jonas (2012) ‘Learning from the file-sharers: Civic modes of justification versus industrial ones’, Arts Marketing: An International Journal, Vol. 2 Iss: 2, pp.104 - 117
Andersson, Jonas (2012) ‘The Quiet Agglomeration of Data: How Piracy is Made Mundane’, International Journal of Communication (IJoC), issue 6, Piracy Cultures Special Section
Andersson, Jonas (2011) ‘The origins and impacts of the Swedish file-sharing movement: A case study’, Critical Studies in Peer Production (CSPP), 1.
Andersson, Jonas (2010) ‘The metamorphosis of music-listening and the (alleged) obliteration of the aura’, in Nedim Hassan & Holly Tessler (eds.) Sounds of the Overground – Selected papers from a postgraduate colloquium on ubiquitous music and music in everyday life. Turku, Finland: International Institute for Popular Culture. ISSN 1797-318X
Andersson, Jonas (2009) ‘For the good of the net: The Pirate Bay as strategic sovereign’. Culture Machine vol. 10, Pirate Philosophy issue. London, ISSN 1465-4121
Papers (not yet published)
Andersson, Jonas & Palmås, Karl (2012) ‘From ”setting a schedule” to ”governing uses”? The reconfiguration of regulatory values in a changing media landscape’. ECREA Pre-Conference, Imposing Freedoms: The role of copyright, privacy and censorship governance in the re/definition of rights in digital media. Plato College of Higher Education, Istanbul. October 23.
Andersson, Jonas & Burkart, Patrick (2012) ‘Gunboat diplomacy and pirate sanctuaries: The use of trade agreements to promote copyright reform’. ECREA Workshop: Communication and Media Policy in the Era of the Internet and Digitization. Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich, March 16-17.
Andersson, Jonas (2013). ‘Not necessarily an intervention: The Pirate Bay and the case of file-sharing’, in Kevin Howley (ed.) Media Interventions. New York, NY: Peter Lang.
Andersson Schwarz, Jonas (2013; in press). 'Catering for whom? The problematic ethos of audiovisual distribution online', in Virginia Crisp & Gabriel Menotti (eds.) Besides the Screen: The Distribution, Exhibition and Consumption of Moving Images (forthcoming).
Andersson Schwarz, Jonas & Larsson, Stefan (2013; in press). 'The justifications of piracy: Differences in conceptualization and argumentation between active uploaders and other file-sharers', in Martin Fredriksson & James Arvanitakis (eds.) Piracy: Leakages from Modernity. Los Angeles, CA: Litwin Books (forthcoming).
Burkart, Patrick & Andersson Schwarz, Jonas (2013; in press) 'Post-privacy and ideology: a question of doxa and praxis', in André Jansson & Miyase Christiansen (eds.) Media, Surveillance and Identity: A Social Perspective. New York, NY: Peter Lang (forthcoming).
Andersson, Jonas (2010) ‘Det dumma nätet’, in Jonas Andersson & Pelle Snickars (eds.) Efter The Pirate Bay. Stockholm: Mediehistoriskt arkiv. ISBN 978-91-88468-25-3.
Andersson, Jonas & Snickars, Pelle (2010) ‘Introduktion: Efter The Pirate Bay’, in Jonas Andersson & Pelle Snickars (eds.) Efter The Pirate Bay. Stockholm: Mediehistoriskt arkiv. ISBN 978-91-88468-25-3.
Andersson, Jonas (2008) ‘The fantasy of cultural control, and the crisis of distribution’, in Adnan Hadzi et al. (eds.) Deptford.TV Diaries volume II: Pirate Strategies. London: Openmute Publishing. ISBN 978-1-906496-11-1
Andersson, Jonas (2006) ‘The Pirate Bay and the ethos of sharing’, in Adnan Hadzi et al. (eds.) Deptford.TV Diaries. London: Openmute Publishing. ISBN 0-9554796-0-6
Andersson, Jonas & Schüldt, Eric (2011). Framtiden. Malmö: Ivrig.
Andersson, Jonas & Snickars, Pelle (eds.) (2010). Efter The Pirate Bay. Stockholm: Mediehistoriskt arkiv.
Andersson, Jonas (2010) Peer-to-peer-based file-sharing beyond the dichotomy of ‘downloading is theft’ vs. ‘information wants to be free’: How Swedish file-sharers motivate their action. Ph.D. thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London.
Op-ed / non-scientific articles
Andersson, Jonas (2011) ‘It takes (at least) two to tango’. Re-Public Magazine, Piracy as Activism issue, 6/2 2011. ISSN 1791-857X.